Experiencing EVA Park, A Multi-User Virtual World For People With Aphasia

Galliers, J. R., Wilson, S., Marshall, J., Talbot, R., Devane, N., Booth, T., Woolf, C. & Greenwood, H. (2017). Experiencing EVA Park, A Multi-User Virtual World For People With Aphasia. ACM Transactions on Accessible Computing,

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Virtual worlds are used in wide-ranging ways by many people with long-term health conditions but their use by people with aphasia (PWA) has been limited. In contrast, this paper reports the use of EVA Park, a multi-user virtual world designed for PWA to practice conversations, focusing on people's emotional, social, and conversational experiences. An analysis of observation and interview data collected from 20 people with aphasia who participated in a 5 week therapy intervention revealed key themes related to user experience. The themes offer a rich insight into aspects of the virtual world experience for PWA that go beyond therapeutic outcomes. They are: affect (positive and negative), types of conversation, miscommunication and misunderstanding, immersion in the virtual world, social presence and initiative and flow. Overall, the study showed that participants experienced positive emotional and social outcomes. We argue that this was achieved as a consequence of EVA Park being not only accessible but also a varied and entertaining environment within which PWA experienced both the realistic and the quirky whilst engaging with others and having fun.

Item Type: Article
Additional Information: © ACM, 2017. This is the author's version of the work. It is posted here by permission of ACM for your personal use. Not for redistribution. The definitive version will be available in published in ACM Transactions on Accessible Computing, http://www.gccis.rit.edu/taccess/index.html
Uncontrolled Keywords: Aphasia; Field evaluation; Accessibility; Virtual worlds
Subjects: P Language and Literature > PA Classical philology
Q Science > QA Mathematics > QA75 Electronic computers. Computer science
Divisions: School of Health Sciences > Department of Language & Communication Science
School of Informatics > Department of Computing
URI: http://openaccess.city.ac.uk/id/eprint/18025

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