IGDA Game Accessibility Special Interest Group

To Hell with Johnny

Michi.nu have a reputation for producing games with some of the best thought out and diverse accessibility features seen anywhere. Their latest, To Hell with Johnny, goes even further, as demonstrated in the amazing top video.

Great accessible fun for Halloween. Expect to see a review at the Accessible GameBase soon. Available to buy from Michi.nu for £10 ($15 USD) for PC with Mac version due soon.

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The goal of Accessibility Fusion (http://www.accessibilityfusion.com/) is to generate interest in building an online community where game developers, players with disabilities, and accessibility experts can come together and share ideas about creating accessibility guidelines for computer and video games.

Most mainstream computer and video games today are not accessible for players with disabilities. The problem is not necessarily that they cannot be made accessible, but rather it is a lack of open dialog across the industry between game developers, players with disabilities, and accessibility experts. Everyone is working in silos, which makes it easy to lose communication and momentum. The purpose of this site is to have a central place to facilitate this dialog and increase awareness about accessibility in games.

This website is essentially translates my master's thesis, "Applying the User-Centered Design Process to Improve the Accessibility of Real-Time Strategy Games for Players with Physical Disabilities," into a blog. I used Warcraft III: The Frozen Throne as a case study for this project and wrote a keyboard accessibility script that makes it, and other RTS games accessible to players with physical disabilities. It successfully serves as a proof of concept for the process of creating accessible mainstream games, but the online community needs input from developers, experts, and users to be successful and grow for a full-scale application.

If you are interested, then please contribute ideas to get the ball rolling!

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Xbox 360 Kinect Accessibility Round Table: Some Questions and Answers

Image of Microsoft's slim-black Xbox 360 with Kinect, flanked by symbols for a game controller and the universal symbol of accessibility.
On the 2nd of September Microsoft drew together some of the biggest advocates of accessible gaming to a round table event on Kinect, the Xbox 360 and accessibility. These included members of the IGDA's GASIG (us!!).

Amongst those who couldn't make it were SpecialEffect and OneSwitch.org.uk. Instead, they put their heads together to pose some thoughts and questions to Microsoft for the day in their place. These are now shared over at the Accessible GameBase, alongside Microsoft's answers. Things could be looking bright for the near future.

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