[games_access] RE: game access for learning disabled

Lynn Marentette lynnvm at alltel.net
Tue May 9 22:27:22 EDT 2006


 

Hi-

 

I haven't had much time to interact here lately, between work and taking
classes.

 

 I've done some thinking about game access for people with learning
disabilities and attention deficits. I am a school psychologist, so I have
worked with many students who have milder disabilities over the years. Most
of the students I know really like to play computer or video games, but some
get frustrated with certain genres.  

 

A few months ago I wrote about the concept of "Universal Design for Gaming",
based on the principles of Universal Design for Learning developed by David
Rose and Anne Mayer at CAST (Center for Applied Special Technology -
http://www.cast.org.In a nutshell, in an ideal world, all games (and
instruction), would be designed from the very beginning with Universal
Design principles in mind.   

 

Many of the students I work with have auditory processing problems,
short-term auditory memory deficits, or problems with working memory.  Even
thought they might have an average or higher IQ, this can be a problem when
they play games, as it is in life.  

 

Icons would make many games more accessible for people with a wide range of
disabilities.  For example, for those who have memory problems, icons could
be embedded in the game (with the option of turning them off or on), to give
the player hints throughout the game.  

 

 

Earcons might have some use in making games more accessible for people who
have auditory processing problems. I've noticed that in many games,
background sounds, even background music, provide players with hints about
what is about to happen next.  Gamers who have auditory processing problems
may not pick up on this, even though they hear the sounds. An earcon could
serve the same purpose.  The earcon option could be turned on or off.

 

Here is someone's webpage about earcon research:

http://www.dcs.gla.ac.uk/~stephen/research.shtml#earcons

 

 

There are plenty of people who have visual-spatial difficulties - they don't
play games where they are likely to get lost and frustrated. Hints- through
earcons, icons, text, or a clear map system (in-game GIS?) might be helpful.


 

 

This is off the subject a bit: I noticed that there was a link to Priority
Woods school, in the UK.  Is that the school that was linked to the old
Peepo.com?  Some of the students I work with have severe disabilities, and I
used to take them to Peepo.com sometimes.  

 

Lynn Marentette

 

 

 

-----Original Message-----
From: games_access-bounces at igda.org [mailto:games_access-bounces at igda.org]
On Behalf Of games_access-request at igda.org
Sent: Friday, May 05, 2006 12:00 PM
To: games_access at igda.org
Subject: games_access Digest, Vol 22, Issue 7

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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