Entertainment Software Accessibility @ ICCHP 2008

On 15 janvier 2008 by dom

This is a Special Thematic Session at ICCHP 2008, the 11th International Conference on Computers Helping People with Special Needs, July 9-11, 2008, University of Linz, Austria.

The commercial market for computer games and other multimedia products is enormous and young people have a considerable experience of such games. Disabled users have restricted access to this important part of the youth culture. Only a very small amount of computer games for entertainment are accessible. Research and development in the field of IT and the disabled has focused on education rather than leisure. The good news is that we are now seeing a growing awareness of the need for accessibility within the mainstream community of Game developers, reflecting the general trend in society.

During the last 8 years a few projects have been exploring various ways of rendering game situations for users with special needs. Specific games or specific versions of mainstream games were developed, evaluated and for some of them distributed. Strong of these experiences, it is now possible to go one step further. From the experiences collected, we can bring together a set of general rules allowing to improve the accessibility of mainstream games.

These guidelines will allow entertainment software publishers to develop new products that respect as well the reality of the market and the needs of all users. Indeed young people with disabilities wish to use the popular computer games used by friends and family. The guidelines will also be useful to facilitate the development of specific software for disabled users.

Following the Workshop on Accessible Games held in Linz in november 2005, during which the framework of the accessibility guidelines were defined, and the previous STS at ICCHP 2006, this session will focus on projects, experiences and guidelines intended to improve the accessibility of entertaining software:

  • works about on the rendering of a specific game situation for a specific group of users
  • report of experiments and observations when entertainment software are used by disabled users
  • projects to make versions of mainstream software accessible to certain groups of disabled users
  • description of guidelines to make computer games or entertainment software accessible.

Please note: Contributions to these STS have to be submitted via the standard conference submission page! Additionally, authors are invited to send a copy of their contribution to me (dominique.archambault at upmc.fr). The call for papers addressing these themes is now open and will close on February 1st 2008.

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