Children's Computer Access: Analysis of the Visual-Motor Demands of Software Designed for Children

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As technology access becomes an increasingly important activity of daily living, debate persists as to the manner in which computers are best able to assist children in educational and recreational settings. In particular, information regarding the suitability of commonly used child-computer interfaces is required. Occupational therapists are uniquely qualified to assess and problem-solve computer access Issues but, to date, have limited the application of this skill to the areas of rehabilitation and disability.

This paper describes a process where the traditional occupational therapy tool of task analysis was used to identify the visual-motor demands of the children's computer game packages that use the mouse for operation. The first author examined 12 game packages comprising 45 separate games and applications and recorded information on the types of movement, task design features and recommended ages for all games. The results of the analysis are discussed in terms of the degree of visual-motor development that is required of children accessing these games and the implications for game designers producing developmentally sensitive software.

Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: January 1, 1999

More about this publication?
  • The British Journal of Occupational Therapy (BJOT) is the official journal of the College of Occupational Therapists. Its purpose is to publish articles relevant to theory, practice, research, education and management in occupational therapy internationally.

    BJOT publishes research articles, critical reviews, practice analyses, opinion pieces, editorials, letters to the editor, book reviews and an annual index. Please refer to the author's guide at

    Submissions can be made at

    The 2013 Impact Factor for The British Journal of Occupational Therapy is 0.897.

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