[games_access] Game accessibility survey journal article

Eleanor eleanor at 7128.com
Mon Jul 5 09:45:10 EDT 2010

Excellent article Eelke - your students did a great job!

The one thing that becomes ever more clear as one researches this field
is how can someone quantify the need for accessibility accommodations
when there are several unresolved issues:

1.Many people who play games don't consider themselves gamers and don't
respond to questions about video gaming positively because there is a
social stigma associated with the term "gamer". Most women will not
identify themselves as gamers. Frequently, if you question someone who
does not consider themselves to be a gamer further, they will say oh
yes, I play a couple of online computer games, or I play casual games on
the computer, or I play bowling on the Wii, but I'm not a gamer.. How
then can you then get an accurate figure for the actual number of people
who play games? I believe we have consistently under-estimated the
number of people who play games - especially among older people.

2. This in turn leads to an inability to estimate how many people are
prevented from playing games because the games don't have accommodations
to allow them to play. We have a pretty good handle on the number of
people who have one or more disability. We can say what it will take to
make a game able to be played by them. What we can only guess at is the
actual number of people who are prevented from playing games because of
the lack of accommodations. We can't estimate with any degree of
confidence because we really don't have a good handle on the actual
number of people who are gamers.

The next question is would people with one or more disability be more,
less or equally likely to play games if the accommodations were in place
to allow them to play? I tend to say equally likely if given the chance
- but I may be wrong.

Given all that, if we had better information on these issues, we could
do a better job of estimating the revenue loss game companies are
incurring by not including accessibility accommodations in their games.

Eleanor Robinson
7-128 Software

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