The lights are on
During Spike TV’s Video Game Awards, Stevie Wonder surprised the crowd of game developers and journalists with one request: make games that can be enjoyed by people with disabilities. While this may have been the first time some viewers have heard about game accessibility, it is a topic that’s been advocated for years and is slowly gaining recognition. Even though most mainstream games still do not include accessibility features including (but not limited to) color blind modes, closed captioning and reconfigurable controls, there are resources out there that can help. Read on for Game Informer’s Accessibility Buyer’s Guide for some cool gear and resources for gamers of all abilities.
My Football GameVTree LLC and EA Sports have created a football game accessible to players with physical and developmental disabilities. My Football includes adjustable speed settings and accommodates gameplay based on performance. The game is compatible with Xbox 360 controllers as well as adaptive gaming devices. The game also supports one to two players.$39.99; www.vtreellc.com
EASe FunhouseDesigned for children with Autism, this game sets players on a treasure hunt across six unique rooms, all of which produce auditory and virtual vestibular stimulation, and encourages the child to participate in fun therapeutic activities. Treasures to be found include word cards, images of human expressions, colors, shapes and more. $39.00; www.vision-audio.com
Mystery Case Files: Dire GroveDire Grove is one of a series of Mystery Case Files titles by Big Fish Games that offer closed captioning for the Deaf and hard of hearing. Dire Grove is a point-and-click adventure game where players solve puzzles to uncover the mystery surrounding the disappearance of four graduate students. The Mystery Case Files franchise at the top of the casual games market with more than 2.5 million units sold to date. $6.99; www.bigfishgames.com
audiogames.netThis site offers a wealth of audio games for the visually impaired, most of which are free. This includes accessible versions of Snake, Ms. Pac-Man, Battleship and more. These games rely on audio cues for game instructions, feedback and game navigation. This is a great resource for gamers with visual impairments and the legally blind.Varies; www.audiogames.net