On December 9, 2019 RNIB held an Experts’ Workshop on “Accessible Gaming.”
The workshop was organised at the London HQ of the sight loss charity with significant inputs from Ian Hamilton, UK based Independent Accessible Gaming Consultant. Over 20 professional and end user experts attended. Speakers and participants reviewed the current level of accessibility offered in gaming and demonstrated the impact of current design practices on the access for people with sight loss. The workshop also discussed the possible implications of toolsets being developed which will eventually make it easier for developers to design more accessible experiences.
One of the key areas that emerged from the discussions was the issue of developments in high paced action games and the level of complexity of immersive environments that have resulted in assistive technology users being excluded from mainstream gaming. This is more than evident in the fact that despite all the efforts made so far, none of the popular mainstream games i.e. the ones in the top 50 list are currently accessible for assistive technology users.
Even so, it was acknowledged and very much appreciated that the organisations – including content designers and hardware developers - looking at specific user needs to stimulate research, knowledge and understanding of their customer base was a positive change.