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Game Accessibility and the Aging Community Eleanor Robinson 7-128 Software www.7128.com
Gamer Statistics Gamers are getting older – average gamer is 35 in 2008 up from 30 in 1995 65% of American households play computer or video games 75% of the US population used the internet in 2009 – 22% of them over 65 There now are 77 million Baby Boomers (between 50 and 64 years old)
Breakdown of Gamers by Age There are as many gamers over 50 as there are under 18
Disability Statistics Although 19.3% of the US population have at least one disability, it is unequally distributed by age.
5 to 15 year olds - 7.2% males and 4.3% females report at least one disability 16 -64 year olds – 19.6% males and 17.6% females report at least one disability 65 and older – 40.4% males and 43.0% females report at least one disability
What disabilities are included? The US census report included problems with vision, hearing, motion impairments and emotional and cognitive impairments 26.3 million Americans are blind or visually impaired 28 million Americans have a significant hearing impairment 8.2% of Americans have a physical disability 4.8% of Americans have a mental disability
Accessibility Accommodations The types of accommodations include but are not limited to:
Variable size fonts/typefaces Specific colors changes for color blind gamers Access to screen readers or built-in voice to assist in screen navigation and play
Accommodations (continued) Variable speed settings to allow motion impaired gamers to use less rapid response access methods to play. This also allows gamers who have cognitive disabilities such as dyslexia, dementia and the like to play at a speed that is comfortable for them Captions for all spoken dialogue and for important sounds that give direction or other information in a game
Accommodations (continued) Extra descriptive material accessible to screen readers or a built-in game voice to give blind or visually impaired gamers a picture of what is on the screen Game consoles that can be reprogrammed to allow operation in a pattern different than a non-disabled player uses, such as one-handed play User interfaces that do not require multiple keys to be pressed at the same time
Growth in Gaming Computer Access – In 2007, 61% of U.S. homes own computers (14% in 1985) Internet Use – 75% of the U.S. population used the Internet in 2009 (44% 2000) Console Ownership – 58% of U.S. households own and use videogame consoles (11% of them aged 63-75) Mobile Devices – 54% of mobile phone owners played games on them
IMPACT 32.5 million potential customers not served because they can’t access games due to disability In 5 years, the Baby Boomers will be between 60 and 70 years old. Over 40% of them will have one or more disability. If no accessibility accommodations put in place, they will not be able to continue to play games Significant revenue will be lost
Report Available Gaming on a Collision Course: Averting significant revenue loss by making games accessible to older Americans By Stephanie Walker – AbleGamers Foundation www.AbleGamers.org Eleanor Robinson – 7-128 Software www.7128.com