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Playability Initiative to create accessible games

game screenshot

The Playability Initiative, in partnership with existing accessibility bodies like AbleGamers, produces games and develop tech that makes gaming available for all. Numinous Games is behind the program for developing more accessible games.

The first such game is the Painted Waters, a free, all-ages multiplayer adventure game that uses one-button, designed to teach children and young people about empathy, creativity, and social dynamics. AbleGamers is assisting in developing one of the modes that will assess an individual player’s accessibility needs and preferences, and recommend adaptive technology, and other games, accordingly.

“At AbleGamers Charity, our mission is to enable play to combat social isolation for people with disabilities,” AbleGamers COO Steven Spohn said in a statement. “We’re thrilled to support Numinous Games in creating a digital playground that allows children with disabilities to express themselves creatively, flex their imaginations, and, most importantly, play, just like anyone else.” Other disability representatives and collaborators are involved, and the group is actively looking for more.

The Playability Initiative is also working to include a disability modifier in this year’s Games For Change design competition, update the Family Video Game Database with accessibility search criteria, and create teaching materials for design modules. Making games easier to access for disabled players is becoming more and more mainstream in the industry, from Xbox’s adaptive controller, which has inspired adaptive gaming kits from companies like Logitech to SpecialEffect’s work on From Software’s Sekiro: Heroes Die Twice.

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