AbleGamers creates how-to accessibility guide for devs, publishers

AbleGamers creates howto accessibility guide for devs, publishers
The AbleGamers Foundation has created a 48-page document it hopes will serve as a how-to guide for game developers and publishers on how to create more accessible games. The in-depth guide by the disability non-profit covers in great detail how to make games available to those with varying degrees of mobility, hearing, visual and cognitive issues.

"We are gamers first. To us that means that the core of the game should never be changed or altered in any way," AbleGamers Foundation president and founder Mark Barlet told Joystiq. "Our mission has been and always will be to include as many accessibility options for those who need them that are also invisible to those who don't."

Some of those "invisible" ideas include being cognizant of color-based game mechanics for the 10 percent of males who are color-blind and offering different levels of visual feedback for those with hearing impairments.

"Developers could harness more than 33 million gamers if they were to look at these guidelines and incorporate even half of them," Barlet said regarding the economics at play with accessibility. "So far we have been largely successful, but we still need to convince publishers the almighty dollar is just waiting for them from gamers with disabilities if they would only pay attention to accessibility."

Grab a copy of the document here: Includification [PDF]
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Disability Non-Profit Releases In-depth How-to Document for Video Game Developers


The AbleGamers Foundation launches fully illustrated guide to designing games for the disabled community.

Harpers Ferry, WV –September 12, 2012– The AbleGamers Foundation is pleased to announce the unveiling of Includification-a 48 page, fully illustrated how-to guide for videogame developers and publishers road-mapping the exact solutions needed to design an accessible game.

"For nearly a decade, our organization has been reaching out to developers convincing them they need to include accessibility for gamers with disabilities," said Mark Barlet, President and Founder of the AbleGamers Foundation. "As that message has been increasingly accepted in the video game industry, the question has slowly turned into "Okay, we need to make our games accessible, but how?""

"We believe this document and its companion website www.includification.com will serve to answer any questions a developer might have about the solutions needed to make their games accessible to the disability community," continued Mr. Barlet. "What thrills me the most is that our recommendations can be updated via the website as new technology and information arises. The videogame industry is a living breathing entity and we need to treat it as such by updating information as it comes in."

"Words cannot express how extremely proud I am of this document, this organization and everyone who helped bring this together. This is the culmination of the hard work and dedication everyone at our nonprofit has put in over the last 8 years," said Steve Spohn, Editor-in-Chief of AbleGamers.com. "It is my sincerest wish that a copy of this document sits on the desk of every developer, in the resource area of every library and with every major publisher across the world. It's time game accessibility leaped to the next level and these guidelines show developers exactly how to enable gamers with disabilities in the easiest, most efficient and cost-effective manner possible."

The AbleGamers publication, Includification, includes numerous detailed explanations of common problems for gamers with disabilities, solutions for those problems, printable checklists, developer exercises and personal letters from industry insiders to the game industry. You can download Includification for free at http://www.includification.com/guide. The companion website with easy-to-read references can be found at www.includification.com. A physical print copy is available at-cost from www.includification.com/print.


About The AbleGamers Foundation

The AbleGamers Foundation is a 501(c)(3) public charity that runs AbleGamers.com, which provides news and reviews on the accessibility of mainstream video game titles, as well as consultation on assistive technology. As an alternative to Serious Gaming, mainstream video games supply many disabled individuals and veterans with rehabilitation as well as social stimulation in situations where they may be otherwise shut out of society's idea of normal everyday life.


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This article was originally published on Joystiq.