AbleGamers and the Inevitability of Inclusive Gaming

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AbleGamers promotes the many benefits of developing highly accessible gaming software, whereby disabled gamers have brand new outlets for everything from esteem-building escapism to social experiences. Gaming as an entertainment medium and culturally vital art form has seen a vast increase in the diversity of players in recent years, however many gamers with special needs can have a difficult time enjoying it. In this talk, I discussed how we reach out to developers about making their games more accessible. I also detailed some of the best examples of accessible games, explained how engineering options for disabled gamers can be very simple, and got into the business advantages of reaching a wide gamer audience.

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AbleGamers and the Inevitability of Inclusive Gaming

  1. Johnny Richardson
  2.  Games, Web Developer and Consultant @ Jack Morton Worldwide Disabled Gamer Accessibility Evangelist Director of Industry Outreach, AbleGamers Mission and specialty: to make games and entertainment software more accessible
  3. The AbleGamers Foundation is dedicated to bringing greater accessibility in the digital entertainment space so that people with disabilities can gain a greater quality of life, and develop the rich social life that gaming can bring. Player and caregiver support Developers Events and community Editorial Grants Accessible hardware
  4.  For disabled players…  Empowerment  Self-efficacy  Escapism  Social experiences  Aids in rehabilitation Audience diversification
  5.  Events such as  PAX and GDC  AbilitiesExpo  World Congress on Disabilities Day-to-day support and consulting Sponsors: Microsoft, Rockstar, PopCap, Harmonix, IndieGala
  6.  Includification First-ever permanent accessibility arcade in D.C. New advisor and Board of Directors member  Paul Barnett (EA)  Larry Goldberg (WGBH) Weeklong of coverage on G4TV.com AAPD Paul G. Hearne Leadership Award and documentary
  7.  Located at the MLK Memorial Library in D.C. Several gaming stations featuring a variety of games and hardware  Kinect/Xbox, PC, Adroit, Quasimoto Axis  Fruit Ninja, Forza First-ever arcade of its kind open to public Generated a lot of attention “When properly used, video games can be an important learning tool for literacy, spatial reasoning and curriculum support as well as a wonderful social experience.” - Venetia Demson, Chief of D.C. Public Library’s Adaptive Services Division
  8.  The “How” Comprehensive Best Practices  Good, Better, Best Case Studies Developer Exercises Testimonials Will be updated annually in print and often online Has gotten excellent feedback
  9. “There should be no barriers to fun” Solutions for Developers Hardware Business Ethical Imperative
  10.  Don’t add lots of time (for the most part) Are not technically infeasible Do not violate platform requirements Will not alienate your player base …or ruin your gameplay Accessibility is accessible to everyone Realistic
  11. Never saysomeone wouldnt want to play yourgame a certain way
  12.  Remappable Keys, Camera Options  Dragon Age, Rift, Resistance Third party access Moveable UI, Macros  WoW, Dark Age of Camelot Save Points Speed
  13.  Font colors Colorblind options Target marking Change fonts Customizable interface Speed Text-to-speech
  14.  Closed Captioning  Needs to account for dialogue and events Fonts/colors Alternative indicators  Call of Duty Hard to come by
  15.  Tutorials/training  “Starter” areas Sandboxes/freedom  Open-world games Difficulty adjustment Good menu systems Camera options Auto-pass
  16.  Still evolving very rapidly Most of these practices apply Modified multi-touch Alternative input  iOS/Android both have their strengths Accessibility not heavily enforced Can be more accessible than other platforms …or far less, depending on need.
  17.  Adroit Quasimoto Axis, etc. Motion controllers  Wii/Wii U, Kinect, Move Coming along…  Brain enabled
  18.  42 million disabled people in US alone Average household has some kind of gaming device Audience represents major untapped revenue Money is an excellent motivator
  19.  We’re getting through Developers who act see happier players Changes design process Medicine is major proponent Increasing awareness
  20. Gaming as an accessible activity is inevitable, in the long run Market demand Maturation of the art form Industry changes constantly New gen of developers Obsolescence of AbleGamers would be welcomed
  21.  It’s about playing  Not rewards, points, etc. Innumerable benefits for player Social options Ethical and cultural imperative
  22. johnny@ablegamers.org 585 944 4841 ablegamers.com includification.com /ablegamers /ablegamers @ablegamers @johnnycrich

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