I present the design intentions and process of Lumapath, a virtual reality (VR) game designed to encourage movement in aging adults, with and without arthritis, in a safe and controlled way. I demonstrate how user testing was a crucial part of the design decisions and present the results of a pilot study that was conducted using the game and 28 participants. Overall, my results show that VR has a lot of potential as a tool for motivating aging adults to be physically active. While the specific needs of any group should be taken into consideration, the limitations of aging emerged as extremely important factors because of how these factors can fundamentally affect or frame the way these users experience their virtual surroundings. Future considerations that emerged from the design and testing of this VR project are also discussed. These range from issues of how the user testing can be improved to more wide-ranging considerations of what should be taken into account when designing for this demographic.
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Thesis advisor: Gromala, Diane
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