It’s March in the gaming industry and that means we have come to another Game Developer’s Conference (GDC). We have already kicked off the week with the 2nd annual Gaming & Disability Community Reception! Hosted in partnership with Games Accessibility Conference, a one day series of talks on accessible game design from the IGDA Gaming Accessibility Special Interest Group, the crowd was bigger than ever with over 250 attendees and the conversations about how to bring gaming to more players through inclusive design were inspiring.
Held this year at the Children’s Creativity Museum in San Francisco, an innovative art and technology experience for children ages 2-12 and their families, is located just steps away from the Moscone Convention Center and GDC 2019. A few of the guests and topics that were shared at this year’s event were “Making Forza More Accessible” from Turn 10 Design Director Jon Knowles, “More Inclusive Communication With PlayFab Party” from PlayFab Program Manager Chris Palmer, and “The Xbox Adaptive Controller Story – GAconf Edition” from Microsoft Devices Inclusive Lead Bryce Johnson.
One of the missions of IGDA is to raise awareness that disability is a mismatch between a person and their environment, resulting in barriers performing day-to-day tasks, including gaming. Accessibility is a means to avoiding those unnecessary barriers, that often means to reinforce how information is communicated, and offering players some flexibility, both of which often translate into a better experience for all players.
Understanding and implementation of these principles has been growing at an exponential rate, with every year seeing many more developers making their first forays into the field and may more consolidating and building upon past experiences — this has made GDC 2019 a perfect opportunity to take stock and exchange experiences and expertise.
At Xbox, we believe that when everybody plays, we all win and we were proud to continue this new tradition of bringing together the community of people who work to make that a reality for players everywhere, and we look forward to the next time we’re able to share ideas to make gaming a better place for everyone.