SpecialEffect is a UK-based organization that uses technology to enhance the quality of life of people with physical disabilities by providing them with access to video games. Whether a gamer’s challenge arises from a congenital birth issues, car accident, stroke, or war wound, SpecialEffect adapts video game hardware to make games more accessible, all at no cost to the client.
In this week’s podcast, SpecialEffect communications officer Mark Saville discusses the variety of approaches that the organization’s engineers and occupational therapists take to adapt today’s video games to each unique patient and situation. We discuss how today’s increasingly advanced games and input methods have been accommodated by advances in technology, such as eye tracking; whether motion controls, mobile games, and virtual reality have made games more or less accessible; how accessibility stems not just from physical disabilities, but also cognitive and age-related issues as well. Finally, we look forward to GameBlast, a weekend-long gaming marathon being held February 26–28 as a fundraiser for the organization.
Stream the audio edition of this interview below or from Apple Podcasts, Stitcher, Google Podcasts, Spotify, Amazon Music, Overcast, Pandora, Pocket Casts, iHeartRadio, TuneIn, RadioPublic, or the Internet Archive. Click past the jump for links to resources mentioned in this episode.
Links mentioned in this episode:
- Child’s Play
- “The Effects of Video Game Play on Pain Threshold and Tolerance“, by Dr. Bryan Raudenbush
- Polygamer #4: Sheri Graner Ray on gender-inclusive game design
- One-button Bayonetta: Disabled gamers fight for inclusion
- The AbleGamers Charity
- GameBlast16 gaming marathon fundraiser — February 26–28, 2016
- Polygamer #26: Christian Donlan on multiple sclerosis