Audiogame Jam 2 – In Support Of RNIB

Audiogame Jam 2 – In Support Of RNIB

During my hiatus from blogging, I seemed to have missed the Audiogame Jam, A game jam held last year with a focus, obviously, on audio games with an aim to raise money for RNIB. It took place between  August 26th and September 5th 2016, inspiring 16 developers to submit their creations.

The event was organised by James Kyle @JameKyle  (who’s website can be found here). Himself being visually impaired, due to macular degeneration from his early teens, has a passion for gaming and wanted to use this passion to draw attention to an issue close to his heart, game accessibility. He wanted to do this while also benefiting RNIB, a charity that helps people like us, the visually impaired, here in the UK,. To that end, a Game Jam seamed just the ticket.

Now, a year later, following on the success of the inaugural Audiogame Jam , James has announced Audiogame Jam 2. Again with the same aims as the original, hoping to entice the talent of the game development community to think outside of the box and see what they can come up with.

I was curious to find out more about the person behind Audiogame Jam, his thoughts on the current state of game accessibility and what he hopes to achieve with Audiogame Jam. Below, you can read some questions I posed to James . Thankfully, James  was kind enough to agree to answer them.

How long have you been involved in the gaming industry?

I’ve been doing small game projects and freelance animation since I completed the Masters in Professional Practice in Games Development at the University of Abertay in 2012.

What inspired you to create Audiogame Jam?

I started Audiogame Jam as I wanted to raise money for RNIB and raise awareness of the work they do and the barriers to videogames faced by people with sight loss. RNIB are a charity that have helped me a great deal in the past with various issues regarding my sight and I wanted to organise something to help the organisation that took advantage of my love of videogames and game development.

There were other factors too. My own sight loss to macular degeneration and my experience of playing videogames played a part. The lack of information from UK sight loss charities on gaming options for blind people or blind gaming communities was another.

Did you learn anything from the Audiogame Jam submissions, as to the current state of developers understanding toward game accessibility?

The main thing I took away from the first Audiogame Jam was the enthusiasm so many people had for the project. It was a great motivator to push me to make it as successful as possible. I hadn’t realised that so many people with interested in videogame accessibility and that it was an issue being taken far more seriously by many developers and publishers. Of the game submissions most were playable to those with sight loss. Some had accessibility issues that would prevent a blind person from being able to play, such as requiring mouse use to click on an icon to start a game. This is leading me this year to better communicate that the games should be playable without sight and provide better guidance on how to achieve this.

What do you hope to see in Audiogame Jam 2 submissions?

I’d like to see more game submissions than last year. I’d also like to see games that are designed for the mobile devices popular with blind people, such as Android and iOS smartphones. Games for voice devices like Amazon’s Echo would also be good to see as I think these have a big place in how blind people access information in the future.

What do you think the biggest barriers are, that prevent game developers, from producing games that have a broader spectrum of accessibility?

I think there are several reasons game developers don’t consider accessibility when making games. The idea that accessibility options are expensive is a problem. Yes, adding accessibility options and features can be expensive and time-consuming if done near the end of the project. This is rarely the case if it is something planned for at the start of the project however, and encouraging developers to do this makes a big difference. There may also be a view that the number of users who would benefit from accessibility features may not be worth the time and cost. While it may be true that the number of users who would identify themselves as disabled and would argue the case for these features they are far from the only people who would benefit from their inclusion. The industry needs more people with accessibility or inclusion needs working to make games, especially in major studios and publishers producing mainstream games. People with accessibility needs making games are in a great position to make the case that they should be able to play the games they are working so hard to create.

Will you be submitting any creations to Audiogame Jam 2?

No, I won’t be submitting any games.

Do you have anything more to add?

Audiogame Jam couldn’t have come together as it has without the help and support of so many people within RNIB, in the games industry, those with an interest in videogame accessibility and all those who worked to submit games. I can’t thank them enough.

On that note, I’d like to thank  James for answering my questions,, I could have asked so many more, maybe we’ll do a follow up post after Audiogame Jam 2 were I can once again satisfy my curiosity.

I for one look forward to Audiogame Jam 2 and the gems that it will spawn. If you’re interested in finding out more, or better yet submitting your creations once the Audiogame Jam 2 starts on October 6th 2017, feel free to click on any of the previous links in this post or just click here to go to it’s Game Jolt page.

If you want to support Audiogame Jam’s efforts, you can do so by heading on over to their Just Giving page and make a donation, the proceeds of which will go to RNIB.

As always, if you have any question or anything to add, please feel free to leave a comment below. Please feel free to follow on Twitter and Facebook. I’d also appreciate you sharing this post to help get the word out about Audiogame Jam 2.

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Why December IS My Favorite Time Of The Year!

Why December IS My Favorite Time Of The Year!

Happy New Year everyone! I hope you’ve all had a happy festive period. I know I did. Unlike a  lot of bloggers, I’m not going to do a 2016 retrospective, that would have required a lot of planning and forethought on my part and anyone who knows me, well they know that’s not me.

Instead, as a gamer, I thought it fitting that my first blog post of 2017 should be all about the new games that the last month of 2016 left me with. I’m lucky in that December doesn’t only bring me Christmas, it also delivers to me my Birthday. For us gamers however, December has one more surprise up it’s sleeves, the Steam Winter Sale. So you can imagine, I do look forward to December.

Tabletop Treats

I’ll start with the board games that were left under the tree for me when I woke up, all bleary eyed on Christmas Day.

Seven Wonders Duel

This game was recommended to me some time ago on twitter. Then after reading reviews of the game on sites such as Meeple Like Us, I’d made up my mind, I had to have it. My wife saved me the money and the effort though. I had an inkling that I would find this game sitting here waiting for me, as my wife had let it slip some time ago. It didn’t diminish how excited I was to finally get the first member of my tabletop collection though (outside of the usual fair of Monopoly and such like).

Seven Wonders Duel Board Game

Pokemon Monopoly – Kanto Edition

Speaking of Monopoly. My mum, bless her heart, knows that my wife and I are both into gaming. Knowing this and my wife’s love for Pokemon Go, she thought that Monopoly, Pokemon Edition would look right at home among our other games, adorning our games shelf and she was right.

Pokemon Monopoly Board Game

Monopoly Game Of Thrones Edition

As Pokemon is more for my wife than me really, my mum also bought us Monopoly Game Of Thrones Edition. Let me tell you, she hit the nail on the head with this one too, thanks mum.

Monopoly Game Of Thrones Board Game

Winter Is Coming

Holding onto the money I received for my Birthday in anticipation of the Steam Winter Sale, I was rewarded for my patience when it began on the 22nd of December.  Below is a list of the games I picked up during the sale.

MiniMetro

I hate them, yes, I hate the person who introduced me to this game. It has soaked up so much of my time and as a serial procrastinator I don’t have that much time to spare. Anyway, it’s A beautifully simplistic game available on PC as well as mobile.

Being a PC gamer at heart though, I chose to wait for the winter sale to see if I could pick it up at a nice discount which would bring it closer to it’s mobile OS based equivalent.  OK, hate might be a bit strong, love might be a better word to describe how I feel, about the person who pointed me in the direction of MiniMetro.

Banished

If I was to describe this game, I’d say it was a cross between a mid evil RTS game and a city builder. I bought it based purely on how it looked and  I can’t wait to find the time to get stuck into this one.

Golf With Your Friends

I have very little to do with my buying this game. When I mentioned how excited I was about MiniMetro being available for a discount during the Steam Winter Sale, a really good friend of mine @crystalfoxgirl also picked it up. So I thought I’d reciprocate the gesture and grab a  game she recommended to me. That game being Golf With Your Friends.

Brings the joy of Crazy Golf to your desktop, allowing you to share the experience with your friends around the world. We’re yet to play it together but I look forward to it.

Overcooked

I know what you’re thinking, “Did I buy this because it reminded me of my wife’s cooking  NO, how could you think such a thing…” (I’ll pay for that little dig at her cooking skills, just you wait). No I picked it up because it looked like an awesome local co-op game that my wife and I, as well as our extended family would have loads of fun playing together. This is probably one that would have made more sense buying for the PS4 but we’ll wait and see.

City Skylines

This is a game I’ve been looking at for a  while. I was reminded about it recently  though by a tweet from another member of the blind gaming community @BGMisadventures. So when it was included in the steam Winter Sale with a pretty steep discount, I just had to grab it.

The Gift Of Giving

I don’t hoard all the games to myself, oh no, I share my love for gaming with as many people who will listen, but as Croc (not his real name), my brother in law and my wife are right here with me , so I tend to give them gaming gifts when the occasion calls for it.

The Culling

Croc is a console convert. When I first found him, he was hooked up to an XBOX, it seemed to be feeding on his Call Of Duty rage while supplying him a steady stream of frags to keep him hooked.  It seamed a dangerous cycle, turning him into some kind of monster!

It took me some time but I finally weaned him off of consoles and onto the PC. He took up RTS games in a big way with games like Rome Total War and Stronghold Kingdoms. That being said he still likes hiss FPS games , a hang over from his console days. So Anime and I thought we’d treat him to The Culling.

Stardew Valley

My wife @crescent_2005 , (commonly referred to by me as Anime), has expensive tastes, this floods over onto her gaming habits too, so despite the heavy Steam Winter Sale discounts, I still found a lot of the games on her steam wish list a little pricey (not that she’s not worth it). Star dew Valley stood out though as one of the big hits of 2016 at a great price, after seeing her reaction to the trailer I just had to pick it up for her. Merry Christmas Anime. Maybe next year the other games on your wish list will be cheep enough for me to buy them for you.

You’re Still doing it wrong!

I know, I know. I said some time ago that I would start buying games based on their accessibility rating, however the number of games being released always out paces the communities ability to review or rate them all, based on their accessibility. Plus, I’m impulsive, sometimes I just have to have it, whatever it is.

Anyway, that’s me all spent up, so impulses or not these will be the last games I get for a  little while at least. Once I’ve had time with them, you can expect either written reviews, YouTube game play videos and reviews or both, so look forward to that. If I find them impossible or difficult to play you’ll hear about it and then they’ll either get retired to the shelf or to my ever growing steam library.

What did you find under the Christmas Tree?

Now you’ve read the list of games I’ve added to my collection over the Christmas period,  I’d love to hear what you found under your tree. Did your family pick you up a game you’ve had your eye on for ages, or did you treat yourself to a rare gem, let me know.

Feel free to leave a comment, contact me on twitter or hit me up on Facebook. As always, if you liked the post or think someone you know might like it, please share it using your social media of choice.

(Note On Affiliate Links – Any links on this page to amazon.co.uk are affiliate links – Any purchases made during your visit to amazon.co.uk  reached through this site will support this blog in the way of  a referral bonus from Amazon. Thank you for your support)

Accessing Table Top Games!

Accessing Table Top Games!

My last post touched on a few aspects of Video Game accessibility for the visually impaired. I love video games, so much in fact I have forgotten how much fun can be had after you peal the cellophane off, then lift the lid of a new board game for the first time, all the corners of the box still crisp and sharp. Or perhaps dusting off the old battered boxes from the top of the wardrobe and settling in for yet another Monopoly marathon, fighting for your favorite piece and dealing out the well worn bank notes. With these fond memories in mind, this time I’m putting down the pixels and picking up the dice and turning my attention towards table top gaming.

A picture of the monopoly board game

Help Finding The Right Game

I thought I was all set, having gathered together a healthy (or perhaps unhealthy) selection of my favorite drinks and snacks to sustain me during my gaming marathon. I’d Persuaded members of my immediate family, that a night of board gaming will be nothing like the last time I threw my toys out of the pram when losing at Monopoly. Then, heading over to Amazon, the realisation hit me, I know absolutely nothing about table top gaming.

What I needed was a resource equivalent to game-accessibility.com. I had to have an informed opinion, like they provide for video games only this time focused toward table top gaming. A place that would tell me not only what the game play was like but also how accessible it was for a visually impaired person.

Then I remembered, some time ago, while perusing Twitter for fun and interesting people to follow, I came across  @meeplelikeus. The editor over at meeplelikeus  is @DrMichaelHeron. A lecturer in the School of Computing and Digital Media at Robert Gordon University. Other contributors at the site include Pauline Belford  and Hayley Reid . In their own words they are  “a group of gaming academics, developers, hobbyists and enthusiasts”.

At meeplelikeus they carry out in depth “tare downs'” and reviews of table top games. Offering well informed and in depth commentary on their current levels of accessibility and providing possible improvements that can be made.

They also provide written reviews of the vast majority of table top games they do accessibility Tare Downs of, from a game play perspective. Providing you with all the information you need to make an informed purchase. That sounds like just what I needed.

I Didn’t Think Of That

Approaching game accessibility from a visually impaired persons point of view, I some times forget all the other limiting factors, that may effect other people from accessing video games and table top gaming alike.

Thankfully meeplelikeus and game-accessibility.com didn’t forget. They cover a wide range of factors that may limit access to the games that they review. Including but not limited to how accessible the games are for visually impaired people.

 

But, The Table Top Game I Want To Play Isn’t Accessible

Don’t write that game off just yet! That’s what I love about board games over video games. If a video game isn’t accessible you’re almost entirely reliant on the developer to resolve that issue. When it comes to board games it’s different, we have the option to change a lot of the constraining elements.

Rules Are Made To Be Broken

The easiest and least expensive thing you can do to solve accessibility issues with board games is implement house rules. This may include for example playing as a team of two instead of individually. A visually impaired person could team up with a sighted person to read the game cards and then make strategy decisions together. You should of course  attempt to keep the rules as close to the original rule set as possible, as to experience the game as the author intended.

Accessibility Up Their Sleeves

If the accessibility issue can’t be resolved with a simple rule change, then there are ways around it, but it may involve you spending a penny or two. I was recently introduced to @64ozGames on twitter by @sedjtroll  a game designer. On their website, they provide accessibility kits for a wide variety of games.

This site is run by Richard and Emily Gibs. They are both teachers and dedicated to making games accessible to the Blind and Visually Impaired.

Their Game Accessibility Kits include, but are not limited to, brailled sleeves, to get around the problem of text printed on game cards, such as those in Cards Against Humanity.

 

The Fun Factor

After finding all these excellent resources, offering expert and well informed opinions, my 3 year old daughter decided it was her turn to have her say. “Pig Goes Pop! Please!” she shouted, as I reeled off a list of games I would like to play. She was insistent, after every suggestion I made, “Pig Goes Pop! Please!”

Pester Power having seemingly increased in it’s potency since I used to whaled it as a child, I had no choice but to surrender. Although not being the most accessible game for a blind person. With it’s use of a small coloured die indicating the colour of the burger the player feeds to the pig. The barely tactile numbers on the base of the burgers, indicating the number of times you press down the piggies head. Not to mention the fact the game play only consists of feeding burgers to a pig. I just didn’t have the inner strength to resist the pestering, cuddles and kisses of a three year old, as she pleaded with her father (me) to give her what she wanted.

 

Pig Goes Pop Game

With the accessibility limitations in mind, my daughter and I came to an agreement. In exchange for my help in pressing down the piggies head, as she wasn’t quite strong enough to do it herself, she would help me identify the colours on the die after my role. My son and daughter then took turns in reading out the numbers on the base of the burgers after each of our turns. All the limitations overcome, we settled in for a game of Pig Goes Pop.

That’s what you need to remember when it comes to gaming, the most important thing when choosing a game to play is the fun factor. The game you are playing should be fun and inclusive for all the people playing it. And when you see the smile on a three year old’s face when a very full piggy bursts out of it’s jacket and throws it’s arms up in the air. And almost burst with laughter yourself as her infectious giggle spread around all the people playing, you can’t help but remember that fact.

 

Your thoughts?

Like always, if you have any comments, please feel free to leave them below r get in touch with me on Twitter or Facebook. Do you have any resources as far as accessible gaming goes that you haven’t seen me mention? What games do you like to play? Let me know I want to hear it all. Also if you like the post, please consider sharing  using the social media links below. Thank you.

Playing It By Ear!

Playing It By Ear!

Being a legally blind PC gamer, I have a choice of Text Based Games, Audio Games or the more typical, mainstream video games. I mention this choice as my mind has been drifting back towards gaming of late. Having taken a bit of a break from it recently. The tweet below caught my eye and it’s corresponding article got me thinking.

Ignoring text based games and audio games for a moment, mainstream video gaming, for blind and partially sighted people, is more often than not a game of trial and error. Going over the same level over and over again, remembering where the enemies, power ups and pit falls are all located. @BGMisadventures mentioned something similar to this in her #MyBlindStory article (which can be found here), on Blind New World. She also mentions that we have to rely heavily on others. But I feel, with the current programming knowledge and tools at developers disposal, this situation could be vastly improved.

Although peoples levels of sight obviously vary widely, Terry demonstrates perfectly in his popular YouTube video, how he copes with a mainstream game, using stereo sound and in game audio indicators to navigate the game. This is a great demonstration of the current state of affairs for blind gamers.

I want to be clear, I’m not belittling blind gamers achievements for playing mainstream games in this way. On the contrary, I congratulate them, It shows an outstanding level of determination and love for the game they’re playing. It’s just my dream, as a legally blind gamer myself, to have a more immersive gaming experience, similar to that of my sighted peers and I doubt I am alone in this.

Don’t get me wrong, there are video games out there that are, for the most part, completely accessible for blind and partially sighted players, especially on the iOS and Android platforms, such as Dice World, a very popular game in the blind community.  These games can hardly be considered action packed however. On the graphics heavy end of the game spectrum there are games, that, once your vision drops below a given level, playing that game just becomes untenable.

Does that have to be the case? Would it be possible to introduce a game mechanic, like the one that is central to Deep Echo. In this game, you can make your way through each game level, locating objects of danger and exit points all through sound. Although once again, the game play is not graphically stimulating for the fully sighted player and can hardly be considered a mainstream game, that’s not the point. What I want to focus on here is the way in which players navigate the game levels.

Mainstream games could integrate such a mechanic where, upon selecting an accessibility option, the player can navigate the game world using an echo location aid. This way, rather than trusting to luck and an awesome memory. Blind players can play reactionary game play, like our sighted counterparts. Once again, or maybe for the first time, having that on the edge of your seat game play, where you’re lost in the moment, not knowing what’s going to come next and loving it.

As demonstrated by Terry in the video linked to earlier in the post, visually impaired gamers, even more so than sighted players, are used to using audio queues that the game developers introduce into the game. Using audio to  provide even more accurate navigational information is just the natural evolution in my mind.

Adding to the echo location, developers could also provide visually impaired gamers with tactile feedback, using today’s console controllers. Or maybe, through a wearable peripheral that has yet to be invented. These additions would increase the immersion into the game for visually impaired gamers as well as increasing game accessibility.

These feedback adaptations may require the game play to be paired down in some cases, in order to avoid overwhelming a blind player. For example, slowing down the speed at which an enemy attacks you, or maybe a reduction in the number of attackers, so that you are able to identify the direction at which you are being attacked.

In my layman’s opinion, I would think this could be relatively easy to implement in single player games. I would have imagined the challenge would present itself when playing along side sighted players in team based, co-operative game play, in terms of balancing the play between sighted and visually impaired players. But I’m sure this challenge could be overcome, given enough thought.

The question is, would blind and partially sighted people be willing to accept that they, we, would possibly be playing an altered version of the game compared to a fully sighted player,  in exchange for a more immersive and accessible gaming experience, or do they prefer the current trial and error state of affairs.

Speaking from my own experience, I currently have to make sacrifices in game play compared to my sighted friends and family, in order to experience a given game. I would often run games on my PC in windowed mode, at a reduced screen resolution, so that in game objects would appear larger or so that I could use screen magnification software when required. This is less than ideal and for the most part doesn’t work at all, leaving me frustrated and either asking for help or abandoning the experience. I would much rather have a version of a game that I can access using a modified game mechanic.

Another accessibility modification that could, quite easily in my opinion, be made to video games would be audio description. This is a feature that has been available on DVD’s Blu-Ray and even TV programs for some time. Why not bring this to the world of Video Games. There are often cinematic cut scenes in video games, the introduction of audio description to these would be great for the visually impaired.

Game accessibility has taken several steps forward recently, especially with the advent of text to speech and zoom functionality on the PS4, XBOX One and the Wii U but there is still a long way to go. It’s great that the console manufacturers have picked up the baton of accessibility but it’s now the turn of the game developers to take hold of that baton and run with it.

It’s one thing to make things larger on screen, or make on screen menus accessible but we deserve more. Blind and partially sighted people deserve to be drawn into the games action. Fully immersed in everything the game has to offer. Not left squinting at the screen as we try to identify friend from foe. Nor do we deserve to be repeatedly presented with the game over music and splash screen as we unceremoniously  fall to our deaths, while we try determinedly, but unsuccessfully,  to negotiate a cliff side obstacle course.

When you look at the World Health Organisation Statistics, approximately 285 million people are visually impaired world wide. That is a statistic and a segment of the market that should not be ignored or undervalued by mainstream game developers, those developers that have the resources at their disposal to make a game changing impact in the lives of literally millions of blind and partially sighted people.

These are just a few of my thoughts on how mainstream games could be changed to make them more accessible for the visually impaired. They are obviously just my opinions, what are your thoughts on the matter? What games do you currently play and how would you like to see them changed to improve your gaming experience? Do you think they are fine as they are and we should just make the best of it?

If you’re a visually impaired gamer I’d love to hear your story. What are your experiences of trying to play mainstream video games, or have you switched to more accessible games such as text based or audio games. What adaptations have you made to your gaming environment to make it more accessible, do you use adapted peripherals, large screens etc, I want to hear it all.

I’m equally interested in hearing the thoughts of game developers large or small. What are the challenges you face when developing a game and trying to ensure you cater for the wide verity of accessibility needs that are out there today. Feel free to leave a comment below or contact me via Twitter or Facebook. . I would also appreciate it if you could share this post using the social media buttons below so that I can gather peoples opinions.

AudioGames.Net

AudioGames.Net

Yep, I’m back again, this time with a site I was introduced to by @ianhamilton_ on twitter. audiogames.net. Before I go into the site however, let me give a little demonstration at just how ignorant and behind the times I can be.

This isn’t the first time I have come across audio games, oh no, in fact, I thought I was the person who had thought up the genre, all on my own, while sitting on the sofa watching discovery channel and eating a pizza, needless to say I wasn’t.

Anyway, along with the story. I was sat making great progress on the king of Pizzas, the Pepperoni, when into my brain comes a thought.

WhiteCaneGamer, my inner demon shouted,

I sat there in stunned silence, with a slice of pizza hanging out of my mouth, lifting my head slightly in acknowledgment of my demon. Anticipating the barrage of insults that were about to come my way.

“Great, now I’ve got your attention”

Barked my demon,

“I just wanted to tell you something, YOU SUCK at drawing, painting and anything to do with art.”

I rolled my eyes, as I normally do, when my inner demons decide it’s time to hammer on my confidence, criticize me or generally make me feel stupid or worthless.

“yes I know, I suck at art, what’s your point”

I muttered in reply, making sure not to attract the attention of my wife sitting next to me enjoying the TV.

“do you remember mentioning some time ago you wanted to make a game? , you want to make a game don’t you,”

“yes” I answered,

“well”, my demon proceeded, “you’re going to find it hard to make a video game if you suck at drawing and graphics”

This is where my inner genius rose up, taking a swing at my over confident and somewhat annoying demon. It sometimes does that, trying it’s best to defend me.

“Well then”, my genius bellowed, “we just wont have any graphics, we’ll make a completely audio based game, after all, the minds eye can draw better than any artist”.

Grinning stupidly at how clever I was, the pizza having fallen back into the pizza box at this point, I grasp the opportunity to boast to my wife and show her just how smart I was.

My lovely wife, at this point, as usual, teamed up with my smart ass demon, she explained to me that if I can think of it, the chances are someone else out there has already thought of it and I should check to see if there are any games out there, like the one I was describing.

I instantly hopped onto my computer and questioned the font of all knowledge, google, audio games, I typed, Google being Google, scoured the internet and spat out thousands of results faster than I could blink.

“So it turns out you’re not so clever after all”, my demon chuckled.

“It doesn’t matter!” I proclaimed,

I was just happy that such games existed and I had found a completely new genre of games for me to enjoy.

Me being me however, I went back to my Pizza and discovery channel and forgot all about it, until, I made my last blog post and received a reminder in the form a tweet.

Thanks to that tweet it has reinvigorated my interest in the genre. All being said and done, there isn’t a genre that could be any more accessible to the visually impaired, it is even more accessible than text based games. Not only are they accessible, everyone who plays the game, are on a level playing field. This almost perfectly matches my mandate for starting this blog. So in that sense, audio games are the gaming holy grail for blind and visually impaired gamer’s.

Over the coming weeks, I will be scouring this website and it’s accompanying forum to find games that catch my eye, so that I may take a closer look at them and possibly review them here on the blog.

In the mean time, if you’re interested in accessible gaming and feel the urge to try something a little different, I strongly suggest you take a look at this site, who knows, you might find your new favorite game.

Or, if you are already deep into the Audio Game scene and have some suggestions on games that I should take a look at, or a listen to, then please leave a comment below and let me know.

Game Accessibility

Game Accessibility

I’m a blind gamer except I’ve got nothing to play. I’ve got a steam library full of games I want to play, the only problem is I can’t see to play the vast majority of them. So I’ve come to the conclusion I’m doing it all wrong,. That being said I’ve decided to change my game buying strategy.

I’ve decided to approach gaming from the accessibility front. Normally, I’ve noticed games I would probably want to play, either by watching them on twitch.tv or on a YouTube video somewhere. Then, I rush out all excited to buy it, install it on my computer fizzing with excitement, only to find it is completely inaccessible to me and I am unable to play it.

Although I wish I could shop for games in this way, I have come to the realization that I just can’t. I need to shop smarter. If the game is accessible to me, the chances are I’ll get more from it. I’ll be more competitive and have less excuses when I suck.

That’s what led me to this website, game-accessibility.com They are a fantastic resource, reviewing games, not only from an enjoyment stand point, but an accessibility point of view.

Each game they review receives a score out of 10 for both accessibility and the enjoyment factor. Lets face it, if the game is 100 percent accessible and there is no enjoyment to be had, we’re not going to want to play it are we.

In addition to this rating the site also provides you with detailed information on exactly how the game is accessible, for example, does the game make previsions for colour blind gamer’s. You can also search by these criteria, in addition to the device you wish to play the game on. This helps you pin point the exact accessibility features you need from a game so you can direct your search. Lets face it, we want to focus our time where it counts, on the fun stuff! This site makes that possible.

You’ll be pleased to know however, the site doesn’t stop there. Us, as gamer’s, want as many games to be accessible. To that end, The Game Accessibility Project also has a section on their site focused towards developers. passing on advice and valuable information so that, going forward, more and more games will have accessibility features baked into them, from their inception. Hopefully, one day, we might be able to shop the fun way once again, with our hearts, not our heads. But until then, I’m glad that game-accessibility.com exists and is making our gaming lives easier.

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