Ongoing Projects

Understanding the Value of Play for Young People with Cognitive Disabilities

DurationMay 2019 - April 2020
FundingKU Leuven


The project aims to explore how young people with cognitive disabilities engage with digital games through participatory exploration of play and game design. The proposed research will primarily focus on games as an inherently valuable activity without asking questions around benefits beyond play (e.g., skills learning or rehabilitation). In this context, the project will ask player-centred questions around the design of game interfaces, mechanics, and choice of genre, and it will explore wider questions around the inclusive qualities that games can have to enable young people with learning disability to participate in play. Furthermore, it will explore implications of different degree of learning disability for player engagement and design requirements. For example, players may have very different gaming preferences and needs, with functional consequences for cognitive disabilities ranging from difficulty with attention, memory, problem solving, and comprehension (e.g. of language, maths, or sensory stimuli). Through examination of the interplay between cognitive player abilities and their engagement with games, the project will not only contribute to game accessibility research and support work of researchers and designers in this space, but also benefit players with learning disability and foster their inclusion in wider´society through play.


Academic project team and cooperations
  • Project leader
    • Dr. tech. Katta Spiel (Center for teacher education)