IGDA Game Accessibility Special Interest Group

Games for People with Disabilities to Make Showing at E for All 2007



This Event Marks the First Game Industry Consumer Expo to Include A Group Advocating Awareness of Gamers with Disabilities.

The Game Accessibility Special Interest Group (SIG) of the International Game Developers Association (IGDA) has been invited to participate as exhibitors at next week's E for All Expo at the Los Angeles Convention Center, October 18 - 21.

SIG members hope that this opportunity will help raise awareness amongst game consumers and developers that people with disabilities also want the chance to play commercial games designed for computers and popular console systems.

"The message we hope to convey is that games are for everyone and are an important part of life today that cannot continue to be inaccessible for people with disabilities," said Michelle Hinn, chairperson of the Game Accessibility SIG and game design instructor at the University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign. "The majority of games on the market remain unplayable by up to 10-20% of the population. This is not simply an opportunity for developers to increase revenue - it is an issue of social injustice that must be corrected."

SIG members also hope that their participation in the first annual E for All will raise awareness amongst potential gamers with disabilities who want to learn more about game hardware alternatives - often created by hobbyist supporters and SIG members - that already exist to make game play possible for some people with certain types of disabilities, usually mobility disabilities. But there are many other types of disabilities - learning, auditory, and visual disabilities - and people with these disabilities require other solutions, such as closed captioning.

"The gaming industry cannot just assume that because these controllers exist that they are off the hook," Hinn added. "There are many types of disabilities that impact game play in different ways. Even if someone is using these controllers, many are quite costly and many games still remain impossible to play due to issues such as button combination choices that seem to be complex just to be complex. But this criticism has not only been made by disability advocates - Industry veterans such as Ernest Adams and Peter Molyneux have also spoken out on the game complexity control issue for gamers in general.

Solutions that help gamers with disabilities can enhance the game play experience for ALL gamers."The Game Accessibility SIG will be exhibiting at booth #1056 in the Los Angeles Convention Center. The SIG will be presenting games, game mods, and game hardware designed for gamers with disabilities.About the International Game Developers Association (IGDA) The International Game Developers Association is a non-profit professional society that is committed to advancing the careers and enhancing the lives of game developers by connecting members with their peers, promoting professional development, and advocating on issues that affect the developer community.

For more information on the IGDA, please visit http://www.igda.org/

About the IGDA Game Accessibility Special Interest Group (SIG): The IGDA Game Accessibility SIG is a game industry advocacy group formed to promote awareness of the issues that gamers with disabilities face and to help provide solutions that can be used to design games that are accessible to all.

Press inquires should be directed to the SIG chairperson Michelle Hinn at hinn@uiuc.edu

For more information on the IGDA Game Accessibility SIG, please visit www.igda.org/accessibility.

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