Creating Access in the Virtual World: AT for Video Gaming


By MATP Staff Laura Hall

Growing up in 80′s, many of my days were spent with my sister and friends striving to save the princess in the Super Mario Brothers video games and pretending to be a sharpshooter in Duck Hunt. I hate to brag but I was proud of my ability to defeat the evil Bowser and down those ducks!

Yet, video games and gaming itself have changed since the years of the original Nintendo.  What used to the merely a be a form  of entertainment has now become part of our culture, a way to develop skills, gain physical activity, and develop friends and communities.  My basic controller, simply rectangular with two buttons, a start, select and a cross-pad has been replaced by larger controllers with so many more buttons, triggers, thumb sticks, and bumpers that at times must be all be used in combination to perform a particular movement.  I have neither the fine motor skills nor the reflexes to be able to use these controllers effectively.  As a result, I typically get frustrated while playing easily and usually end up watching my friends.

Fortunately, work is being done to create greater accessibility for gamers with disabilities, both in the development of game features and with assistive technology. Learn more by attending our webinar Fun For Everyone: AT for Video Gaming on June 26th from 1:00-3:00pm Eastern Time.  This webinar will feature guest speaker Mark Bartlett from the AbleGamers Foundation who will discuss some assistive technology that can be used to create access for people with mobility disabilities. You will also learn about some access options for hearing, cognitive, and visual disabilities along with tips for which features to look for in video games.  Hurry!  Registration ends Tuesday, June 24th.




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