Understanding experiences of older adults in virtual reality environments with a subway fire disaster scenario

Subin Park, Hansu Lee, Minji Kwon, Heejae Jung, Hyunggu Jung

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

3 Scopus citations

Abstract

Training to cope with fire disaster situations utilizing virtual reality (VR) environments as educational materials is becoming universalized. It is widely accepted that VR enables young adult trainees to undergo tactical training in potential disaster situations. However, little is known whether older adults are satisfied with using such a technique for disaster response training. To address this insufficiency, we created a VR environment in a subway fire disaster scenario and conducted an experiment, wherein 13 young and 9 older adults were asked to explore the VR environment. We then conducted surveys and semi-structured interviews involving the participants to understand their experiences. The analysis of results revealed that compared to young adults, older adults tended to move greater distances, take longer times, felt less afraid and scared, and experienced less difficulty in manipulating the controller. Subsequently, we suggest design opportunities for creating VR environments for more effective training of older adults.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)771-783
Number of pages13
JournalUniversal Access in the Information Society
Volume22
Issue number3
DOIs
StatePublished - Aug 2023

Keywords

  • Design for older adults
  • Disaster
  • Older adults
  • User experience
  • Virtual reality

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