[games_access] The Human Controller

Eitan Glinert glinert at mit.edu
Thu Jun 5 17:50:17 EDT 2008


Good news, everyone! In a surprise twist, I'm graduating! I know a lot
of you are interested in my thesis, so you can check it out at
web.mit.edu/glinert/www/thesis . I'm happy to answer questions about
it, and I welcome feedback (both positive and negative). Special
thanks to Dimitris, Eelke, Michelle, and Reid for all their help
answering my questions over the months.

In case you're not sure whether it is worth reading, here's some more info:

TITLE: The Human Controller: Usability and Accessibility in Video Game
Interfaces

ABSTRACT:
Despite the advances in user interfaces and the new gaming genres, not
all people can play all games - disabled people are frequently
excluded from game play experiences. On the one hand this adds to the
list of discriminations disabled people face in our society, while on
the other hand actively including them potentially results in games
that are better for everyone. The largest hurdle to involvement is the
user interface, or how a player interacts with the game. Analyzing
usability and adhering to accessibility design principles makes it
both possible and practical to develop fun and engaging game user
interfaces that a broader range of the population can play. To
demonstrate these principles we created AudiOdyssey, a PC rhythm game
that is accessible to both sighted and non-sighted audiences. By
following accessibility guidelines we incorporated a novel combination
of features resulting in a similar play experience for both groups.
Testing AudiOdyssey yielded useful insights into which interface
elements work and which don't work for all users. Finally a case is
made for considering accessibility when designing future versions of
gaming user interfaces, and speculative scenarios are presented for
what such interfaces might look like.

Eitan


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