Ben Heck’s clever customization of an Xbox One controller for one-handed use.[/caption]The word â€œAccessibilityâ€ might bring to mind ramps, braille, and other physical world accommodations. Those are important, but the concepts extends to games and other digital media too.
Sometimes it might even be a practical market share consideration: By some measurements 20% of gamers have a disability, and 8% of all men are colorblind.
Making something more accessible has side benefits too – I know Iâ€™m glad to see automatic opening doors when my hands are full.
Often an accessibility standard isnâ€™t only the ethical thing to do, itâ€™s also just good practice. Wouldnâ€™t you like to be able to play your favorite game if you broke an arm or your vision degrades with age?
But what does it mean for a game to be accessible? Games donâ€™t usually have a legal mandate to meet accessibility standards, yet can still benefit from thinking critically about other areasâ€™ standards might be applied.
Looking mostly through the lens of accessible web standards, this episode starts with a discussion of various requirements like the ADA, WCAG 2.0, and Section 508. Then we move into applications of the standards, specifically times weâ€™ve seen accessibility features applied well (PS4â€™s button mapping options) and less so (Dead Risingâ€™s tiny text).
When have you benefitted from a game being made more accessible? When have you wished developers kept that kind of thing more in mind?
Show Notes & Links:
- National Federation of the Blind vs Target lawsuit
- WCAG 2.0
- DOJ delays adoption of WCAG 2.0 standards to 2018
- Code Cracking: Why is it so Hard to Make a Website for the Government?
- Section 508
- How the Web Became Unreadable
- Colour Contrast Analyser, a free tool for measuring color contrast on websites
- Perkins School for the Blind
- Ben Heckâ€™s custom Xbox One controllers
- Why Game Accessibility Matters
- Includification: A Practical Guide to Game Accessibility
- EEG headset supporting mobility impaired gamers with game accessibility, 2014 proceedings of the IEEE International Conference on Systems, Man and Cybernetics.
- Playing Peggle with the MyGaze eye-tracking system
- Higher Ed Accessibility Lawsuits, Complaints, and Settlements
Games mentioned in this episode:
- Dead Rising
- Mortal Kombat
- Call of Duty 4
- The Witcher 3
- No Manâ€™s Sky
- Dance Dance Revolution
- Pandemic Legacy
- Ticket to Ride