What are the different experiences of blind and partially sighted people in gaming?
What are the perceived barriers and enablers? Would making video games more accessible encourage people with severe vision impairment to play video games more often?
These are some of the questions that a research consortium is seeking to answer in the RNIB Accessible Gaming Research. The consortium, led by the Royal National Institute of Blind People, is supported by researchers with experience in media and gaming from i2 media research at Goldsmiths, University of London and University of Edinburgh, Moray House School of Education and Sport.
The study is aimed at understanding blind and partially sighted people’s experiences, needs and preferences in relation to playing games and how this compares with sighted gamers. It will also seek to understand how enjoyable existing games are to play for people with a vision impairment.
The research team will also explore the level of sight-loss awareness that exists in the gaming industry and look at how to improve knowledge of accessibility features, remove barriers for their inclusion and encourage their adoption in games.
There will be many opportunities for gamers to participate in this research. First off there is a survey for all gamers and people with sight loss. We want to hear from gamers with and without sight loss, and from non-gamers and ex-gamers with sight loss.
We expect most people will take between 20-25 minutes to complete the survey and the questions you get will be tailored to you based on your answers to previous questions. You will also have a chance to be entered into a prize draw for a £50 Amazon voucher.
If you have filled out the survey, have vision impairment or sight loss, and you are interested in attending a focus group or interview please complete this short registration form.
The study will also consider the knowledge, resources and barriers for the gaming industry in relation to accessibility.
Do developers have the information they need to make accessible games and what factors encourage or prevent them from implementing accessibility? Do gaming engines and middleware support accessibility and are these features that get requested by developers? Do platforms and devices support accessibility features and is there anything platform owners can do to encourage accessible games development?
There are three short industry surveys to capture information about the gaming industry. These can be answered anonymously and all data captured will be anonymised in the report. The surveys should take around 10 minutes. There is also an option to participate in follow-up interviews to expand on answers given in the surveys.
As a games developer what barriers do you face and what would help you to build in accessibility?
As a game engine or middleware provider, what can you do to enable and encourage accessibility in games built using your products?
As a platform owner what would help encourage accessible games to be developed for your platform and what trends do you see?
If you have any questions about this survey or accessible gaming in general contact us at [email protected].