It finally happened, I pushed through my nerves, fear of failure and the overwhelming feeling I always get when I need to start a new project (Thank you mental illness) and postet my first TikTok in my new series #AccessGaming!
And like it always goes; the post ended up being meet with positivity and support, and it even got pushed out to new people! In other words: I could not ask for a better start.
Yes, I did have some problems with TikTok (needed to post it twice due to a glitch) but all in all it went well.
So why make a blog post about this? Well, I thought it would be fun to do a deep dive in to my thoughts around each post, show you where I find research, and hopefully make a "database" with information you easily can look up about accessibility.
Even tho I love to read and learn more about this subject (accessibility) you can't hide the fact that it's not the most popular research subject and it can be really hard finding studies about this. They are often far inbetween so let's just say: disability/accessibility is sadly not the new hot thing on the market. But let's hope that is about to change!
So let get down to business, what is accessibility? The whole point of my first TikTok is to give a baseline for what we say when we talk about accessibility. Simply put:
Accessibility is when you lower barriers of your product so that more people can use them (1)
As I said in the video; normally we associate the word accessibility with access for disabled people, but a generally well accessed environment will help everyone in the long run.
I think this is an important point to get across, especially when it comes to gaming, because I think a lot of people easily can think "this does not include me". I can understand this, as even tho I have been disabled since birth, I did not see myself as "disabled enough" to take a place or speak up in the community until last year. This is not undermine people that 100% need accessibility to access a product/game, they are the most important in this case. But it is to make people understand that accessibility also include people that "only" need subtitels when they eat chips, or they have glasses and will need the text/HUD to be a bit larger when they sit far away from the screen (calling myself out here as age has made it harder to read things on the screen).
So, what is GAME accessibility? Short awnser is that:
Game accessibility is referred to the accessibility of all gaming product, from video games to tabletop RPG. This means that accessibility both be done through the software where it is design or options in the game itself, but it can also be done with the hardware to make controllers usable for more people (2)
I want to make this series to focus on vidoe game, but it is important to notic that game accessibility also inclued bordgames and other types of game. I have chosen to set the boundery of my series to the video game part, because that is where my passion is, but it is importan no notic that the term itself if broad then just video game accessibility.
I think the one thing I got most shocked to figure out doing research for this first part, was that 1 in 5 of all gamers has some sort of disability! (3) This comes from a survey done by PopCap Games in 2008. There is a argument there to be said that this is an old study. Sadly it do not seem like this is a popular research topic, but we have later seen other places reporting that disabled gamers up to 30% in the US. (4) This is a huge amount of people, when we think about it in the scale of how many people actually look at themself as a gamer or partake in the hoby that is gaming.
So this blog post is starting to be long, so I will wrap up with just giving an honorable mention to two articles I read:
SCOPE Accessibility in gaming report: Did a lot more in depth research that "aims of understanding the barriers disabled gamers face as part of our mission to end disability inequality and champion the rights and needs of disabled people." (5)
Game assessibility guidelines made a really big and comprehensive list over way to make your game more accessible, and ranged them in cagetories from Basic, Intermediate to Advanced. (6)
To sum it all up accessibility is something we all should care about, even if one is disabled or non-disabled. I hope with this series that I will bring some of my knowlages out to more poeple throug TikTok using humor, knowlage and everyday language! Hope you will join me on this journey and enjoy the show!
Sources: 1: Introduction to Web Accessibility (https://www.w3.org/WAI/fundamentals/accessibility-intro/)
2: Game Accessibility (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Game_accessibility)
3: PopCap Games: disabled gamers 20 percent of casual audience (https://arstechnica.com/gaming/2008/06/popcap-games-disabled-gamers-20-percent-of-casual-audience/)
4: Diversity, Equity & Inclusion in Games: Gamers Want Less Toxicity in Games and Want Publishers to Take a Stance (https://newzoo.com/insights/articles/newzoos-gamer-sentiment-diversity-inclusion-gender-ethnicity-sexual-identity-disability)
5: SCOPE Accessibility in gaming report (https://www.scope.org.uk/campaigns/research-policy/accessibility-in-gaming/)
6. Game assessibility guidelines (https://gameaccessibilityguidelines.com/full-list/)