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Game accessibility: a survey

Game accessibility: a survey,10.1007/s10209-010-0189-5,Universal Access in The Information Society,Bei Yuan,Eelke Folmer,Frederick C. Harris

Game accessibility: a survey   (Citations: 3)
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Over the last three decades, video games have evolved from a pastime into a force of change that is transforming the way people perceive, learn about, and interact with the world around them. In addition to entertainment, games are increasingly used for other purposes such as education or health. Despite this increased interest, a significant number of people encounter barriers when playing games due to a disability. Accessibility problems may include the following: (1) not being able to receive feedback; (2) not being able to determine in-game responses; (3) not being able to provide input using conventional input devices. This paper surveys the current state-of-the-art in research and practice in the accessibility of video games and points out relevant areas for future research. A generalized game interaction model shows how a disability affects ones ability to play games. Estimates are provided on the total number of people in the United States whose ability to play games is affected by a disability. A large number of accessible games are surveyed for different types of impairments, across several game genres, from which a number of high- and low-level accessibility strategies are distilled for game developers to inform their design.
Journal: Universal Access in The Information Society - UAIS , vol. 10, no. 1, pp. 81-100, 2011
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    • ...Playing video games is a challenge for players who are visually impaired as video games provide predominantly visual feedback that the player must interpret to determine what input to provide [33]...
    • ...Though games may provide audio or tactile cues, this generally doesn’t contain sucient information to determine what input to provide and when [33]...
    • ...In the past decade there has been an active movement to create games that can be played without visual feedback [33], for example using audio feedback...
    • ...A survey [33] of strategies used in games accessible to players who are blind, revealed that most games use a combination of audio techniques, ranging from speech and audio cues to sonication based techniques, e.g., the modulation of acoustic properties such as volume, frequency or timbre...
    • ...Two types of feedback [33] are distinguished: (1) primary cues require the Figure 1: Wii Sports Tennis: (left) Player serving the ball (right) Player returning the ball...
    • ...To be able to play a game successfully one must: (1) have a mental model of how to play the game; and (2) be able to perceive primary cues [33]...
    • ...To be able to successfully play a game, players must be able to perceive primary cues [33]...

    Tony Morelliet al. VI-Tennis: a vibrotactile/audio exergame for players who are visually ...

    • ...Access to exergames could significantly increase existing exercise opportunities for individuals with visual impair­ ments [25], yet existing exergames rely upon their players to be able to perceive visual cues that indicate what input to provide and when [32]...
    • ...Though exergames provide audio feedback, this generally doesn’t contain sufficient information to determine what in­ put to provide and when [32]...
    • ...Games for individuals who are blind predom­ inantly use audio based sensory substitution techniques [4] such as speech, (spatial) audio cues or sonification [32]...
    • ...Two types o f feedback [32] are distinguished:...
    • ...To successfully play a game, players must be able to per­ ceive primary cues [32]...
    • ...Often significant tradeoffs with regard to the gameplay must be made, which may be detrimental to the overall game experience [32]...

    Tony Morelliet al. Vi-bowling: a tactile spatial exergame for individuals with visual imp...

    • ...In [36] Yuan et al presents a survey of game accessibility which includes a generalized game interaction model and estimates of how many in the United States who may have difficulties playing games due to a disability...
    • ...The interaction model illustrates what problems disabled gamers have when playing games and is used to find the number of people “who are estimated to have their disability affect their ability to play games” [36]...
    • ...by age), ~0.4% are unable to play computer games while ~2.3% “suffer from a reduced gaming experience” [36]...
    • ...Hence it is vital to reach out to society with sources like [36] to convince publishers about the potential for reaching new groups of gamers...
    • ...[39]. Very little research has been found in the selected papers about cognitive games, so it might also be a good subject for further research, which is also proposed in [36]...

    Thomas Westinet al. Advances in Game Accessibility from 2005 to 2010

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