When you talk about accessible technology for gamers, you would have probably seen the likes of adaptive controllers and other progressive gaming devices in the market. The gaming industry has evolved throughout the years presenting more inclusive products and technology for everyone.
For instance, Can I Play That? is a website that brings inclusivity in games. Not only is it a hub where you can stay up to date with accessibility features, but it also offers workshops for building inclusivity aimed at game developers.
They also have accessibility reference guides available that cover subjects like building games for people who have visual impairments. The guides cover areas such as motor/physical accessibility, hearing accessibility and even colour-blindness.
Can I Play That? reflects a larger shift in thinking for the gaming industry and it opens doors for people with disability to enjoy what gaming can generally offer.
The benefits of gaming
Although gaming doesn’t necessarily encourage physical movements and fitness, it does create opportunities for social and community engagement for players who are virtually connected nonetheless. Games like Halo allows you to split your screen while playing with another gamer from another part of the world. It creates a sense of competition and teamwork while having fun together.
From counting numbers to identifying shapes, there is a game made for everyone. Games can assist with the improvement of fine motor skills as per the study from the National Library of Medicine.
“We submit that playing computer games may be a useful training tool to increase fine motor skills and movement coordination.”
Gaming is becoming more accessible
Halo is one of the most-played and well-known games in the world. Recently, it was announced that the new version, Halo Infinite, will be released with a host of new accessibility features. These include text-to-speech and speech-to-text features that essentially remove barriers for some players who want to participate using chat during the game. There are too many features to list here, so check out this article from The Verge for a more complete listing.
Accessible games give rise to a diverse group of gamers
If you’re into gaming, you might have heard of the social network called Twitch. It’s built for gamers and other digital natives to explore, interact and build entertainment of all kinds. Most big-time gamers have a Twitch profile, so we thought of sharing a couple of individuals who are making waves in the accessible gaming space.
DeafGamersTV has 3,600 followers and the goal behind this channel is to “prove that everyone can game and have fun, whether the person is deaf or not.” The owner of the channel is Chris, aka Phoenix.
“I’m completely deaf in my left ear and severe hearing loss in my right ear. I can only slightly hear out of my right ear if I’m wearing my hearing aid. I speak & use sign language to communicate.”
Chris seems to love Halo – check out one of his videos:
Obsrattlehead is blind, but that hasn’t stopped him from playing Mortal Kombat and games like “Community.” He is a member of the “Blind Fighting Game” community and he organises The Sento Showdown tournament.
In his Twitch profile, Mike carries the fun moniker, “Quadriplegic Spartan,” which is a good way to describe his passion in the gaming world. Mike is a XBOX Adaptive Controller beta tester, a disability and inclusive design advocate for quadriplegics, and also a military veteran.
Here’s a bit of Mike’s story:
It’s always fun to dive into the world of gaming – there’s always plenty of things you can learn. Considering where the industry is at today, we’re incredibly excited to see where it’s headed too. We all better watch this space!
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