Gaming For Specially-abled People: A Not-So-Explored Area

Some companies are developing tools for people whose movements are restricted, while some are dealing with senses. Gamers are exploring new area to help specially-abled people play their favorite games.

Gaming For Specially-abled People A Not-So-Explored Area
Development Of Games For Specially-abled People: An Emerging Market For Game Developers

Gaming industry across the world is booming as millions of players have been looking forward to exploring the virtual world. With gaming turning professional and best players earning millions each year, the gaming industry has been experiencing golden era. The technological advancements over time is cherry on the cake of gaming. Game developers have been able to provide a real-world experience to gamers. As they offer innovative games to keep players hooked and crave for more, there is a not-so-explored area of gaming industry: gaming for people with disability.

AbleGamers is an American charity working for improvement of the lot of disabled video-game players. During a game-development conference in San Francisco in 2009, the representatives of AbleGamers asked executives of game producing companies if they thought about development of disability-friendly products. Most of them said no, few said yes, while one executive left the conference laughing. It was almost a decade ago. Now, the time has changed, and the development of disability-friendly games has improved to an extent. There are nearly 33 million gamers have some sort of disability. If they are not playing the games they want due to unavailability for them, game developers have been losing money, a lot of it. They have taken them into account and started developing games depending on the interest of people with disability. Not only games but also gaming equipment should be built for them to assist them in playing games with ease.

Long Eaton Powered Mobility Integration Service is a British firm that develops hardware for people with disability. The products of the firm include single0-handed controllers for amputees to access pods, which are nothing but central hubs for game controllers. There is an emergence of innovative technologies in which devices are attached to players to enable some functions. A tilt switch is attached to a head of a gamer can help them in taking a header while playing football game. They do not need to use controller in their hands to take header. There is also a switch attached to players legs. Gamers with cerebral palsy who struggle with short and sharp passes through buttons. A kick switch can create a pulse of finite length even when the switch is kept down for some time.

This British firm is dealing with people whose ability is restricted by one way or the other. Some companies are dealing with senses. One of the most common types of color blindness is deuteranopia. This has affected nearly 5% of people. Affected people cannot distinguish between red and green. These colors are the most common to define opposite teams.

Rockstar Games, the New York-based developers of the “Grand Theft Auto” series, addresses the issue by utilizing different shapes and different colors in the built-in map of the game. EA Dice, a Swedish subsidiary of Electronic Arts, went an extra mile. Its “Star Wars Battlefront” provides four pre-selected color schemes. One of those schemes is for gamers with normal vision. The other three are for those affected with deuteranopia, protanopia, and tritanopia (which correspond to difficulties in sensing red, green, and blue light respectively). As the technology advances, people with disability will get more equipment and changes in colors in gaming world. The era of innovation has begun and it will take the gaming industry to places.