Accessibility is important!
It’s important that we can all access our communities, our homes, technology, and more. Today, we would like to talk more about gaming. How it is one of the fastest-growing pastimes, a great escape but not as accessible as we would all like. This is where AbleGamers comes in.
Who Are AbleGamers?
It was soon after Mark Barlet’s close friend was diagnosed with Multiple Sclerosis (MS) in 2005 that he founded ‘AbleGamers’. His close friend was a big fan of gaming but MS had taken away her ability to interact and connect through video games.
AbleGamers was created to ensure that no one with a disability would ever be without answers on how to conquer disabilities and to start or even continue to enjoy one of the worlds biggest past times.
The Gaming Community:
Gaming is everywhere. It sparks debates, forms relationships and gives us an escape. With seeing how popular online gaming is today, its nearly hard to believe that it wasn’t always.
When they where first launched in the 70’s, the gaming industry was made up of a very niche market. They had a small-yet-devoted community that slowly but surely began to grow and this included both able and disabled gamers.
It is because we are transported to a new world whether it be Azeroth in the World of Warcraft or starting a new secret ops in Battlefield, we are all the same. Our characters have the same abilities. This is what is so great about gaming ”It’s such a great equalizer, because we are in the game.” (Mark Barlet).
Equality in Gaming:
There are over 33 million people with disabilities around the world that game. Gamers are everywhere and on nearly anything. Gaming has evolved, you aren’t stuck to a screen in a specific room anymore. You can play on your phone, tablet, console, computer etc. It is literally at your finger tips when ever you wish.
Regardless of what games you play, within each, there are communities that play and work together to complete their missions. It is because of these ambiguous communities of made up characters/avatars that actually break down the barriers of perception about people who live with a disability.
Gaming allows you to be able to paint and build yourself however you please. This helps everyone leave disability at the door and actually get to know the person and not their disability.
What is it that AbleGamers do?
In a nutshell, AbleGamers helps in the design of assistive technology. This means they work on equipment to everyone access gaming without issue. They are the lead in their industry and this gives them the pull to be able to reach out to the big names in the gaming world, pushing them to focus more on their content and how their fans can access it.
Their main focus is to try and change the culture of gaming , ”we want every developer to heed our call and add accessibility to the 9th degree” – Steve Spohn, Editor in Chief of AbleGamers.
This means being able to get close at the start of the process, to be able to teach developers and producers how to make their content accessible and work on making it a part of their culture. This way, when the next big game is at the table and ready for production, there are questions like ”What about accessibility?” coming out naturally.
Whether you or someone you know would be interested to learn more, feel free to keep up to date with AbleGamers here.
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