Games and Accessibility

I did two things in the last few days.

  1. Participated in John Slatin AccessU in Austin, TX both as a presenter and as a participant in the some of the excellent classes and sessions offered on accessibility. If you’re self-taught on the topic of accessibility, this event is like getting your Ph.D. in accessibility. I urge you to make an effort to attend some time.
  2. Finished reading Jane McGonigal’s book Reality is Broken: Why Games Make Us Better and How they Can Change the World. This fascinating book opened my eyes to so many new concepts I could wax on about it for a long time. It has changed the way I look at many things – not just games. Anyone who is interested in modern technology and social change should read this book.

During AccessU, there was no discussion of games. That does not mean that people with disabilities don’t enjoy playing games. Today I opened my Google Reader and saw this article from ATMac: Time-Independent Games. If Jane McGonigal is right about what game design is going to mean to the future of the entire world, then we need to start thinking and talking about how games can be made accessible and compliant with WCAG 2.0. Particularly if a game is meant to have a real effect in the real world, we don’t want to bar the creative thinking that might come from the disabled who might play.

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