What is GARDEN?

GARDEN is a research project aimed at developing a framework for the creation of rehabilitation games. Older adults may experience physical and cognitive barriers that impact their participation in meaningful activities. Increasingly, digital rehabilitation games have been developed and may be used by older adults to enhance their aging and wellness.  The purpose of this project is to develop a design framework that focuses on the end user in their role as a game player and rehabilitation client.

Who are we?


Dr. William Miller 

Bill is a Professor in the Department of Occupational Science and  Occupational Therapy at the University of British Columbia. His research interests  include wheeled mobility devices, determinants of wheelchair use, measurement tools,  balance and ambulation confidence, and assessment of assistive technology used to  enable mobility disabled adults.

Gordon Tao 

Gordon is a PhD student at the University of British Columbia in the Rehabilitation  Sciences graduate program with Dr. William C. Miller supervising. He is passionate  about the role of assistive technologies in supporting independence and improving quality  of life. His research interests include digital media and virtual reality applications for  health as well as stakeholder-driven evaluation of assistive technologies. His doctoral  research focuses on the design of digital games for rehabilitation.

Advisory Members 

Dr. Olive Bryanton  

Olive is a long-time advocate for older adults and a lifelong learner. She  obtained her M.Ed. in 2009 and her Ph.D. in 2019 at the age of 82, from the University of  Prince Edward. Her dissertation Pioneers in Aging: Voices of Women Age 85 and Older  Aging in Place in Rural Communities. Dr. Bryanton is a leader in her community and is  involved in many projects driving change for older adults. As an older adult, Bryanton,  aspires to negate ageism by learning from older adults their life realities and working  with other generations to better understand ageism and its impact on society, and  ultimately to validate older adults and their aspirations as they continue their life journey.  

Charlene Burton

Exergame tester and experiential expert in hip rehabilitation.

Darryl Caves  

Darryl Caves is a physiotherapist with over 31 years of experience ranging from private  orthopaedics and hand therapy to working with persistent pain folks, elder populations.  Additionally, he has taken on educator and project lead roles within Vancouver Coastal  Health Authority. His current key focus is on Neuro (Brain/Spinal Cord)-rehab, working  as a clinician at GF Strong.   

Jason Elliott 

Jason is a digital media expert, having worked professionally for over twenty years as an  artist, game designer, and now as a lecturer of Game Design. He is very passionate about  applying game design theory to real-world problems, exploring new technologies, and  working with teams to improve collaborative communication skills. 

Robin Hunicke

Robin is a Professor and program director at the University of California Santa Cruz who developed the Art & Design: Games & Playable Media (AGPM) program. She is also the Co-Founder and CEO of Funomena. Her research interests include experimental & user-centered game design, games & learning, games & social impact, building sustainable & deliberately developmental creative cultures, and supporting diversity & innovation for Arts entrepreneurship. Her work on the Mechanics-Dynamics-Aesthetics framework for deconstructing game design has been a key influence for the inception of this project.

Bill McCracken

Experiential expert and volunteer in stroke recovery.

Dr. Julie Robillard

Julie leads the leads the Neuroscience, Engagement and Smart Tech (NEST) lab and oversees a range of initiatives related to patient experience research at C&W. She brings her background in neuroscience and biomedical ethics to the evaluation and development of novel technologies to support brain health across the lifespan. Together with her team and through international interdisciplinary collaborations, she is exploring co-creation processes, development and applications of technologies from mobile apps to social robots in both older adult and youth populations.