Eelke Folmer is a prominent game researcher, concerned with game accessibility at the University of Nevada, Reno. At the Games For Health Conference 2009, he gave a talk about his areas of research and an introduction to game accessibility in general. His argument is that games as a major force of culture should not exclude disabled individuals from playing and enjoying the benefits of them. He outlines a game interaction model, where we see different forms of sensory output of games: visual, tactile, and auditory, and similarly different standard devices, such as game controllers, allowing the player to physically enter information into the game system. Feedback and interaction work in synthesis in games, however often not accounting for all possible modes of interaction or feedback that might challenge so-called able gamers.
As gamers grow older the problem of interacting with games may grow (and they might become part of the accessibility statistics), but a large number of disabled people are currently excluded from playing games. This should not be a problem as games in general are about researching alternative forms of interaction and thus different interaction forms should be available in games, some of them may even be included as gameplay modes (adding bonus value to the product). Before we talk about this some more, first have a look at this presentation. Continue reading