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Session Information

TitleMouth Sticks to Full Control - Design and Control Considerations for Multi-Level Accessibility in Mobile Games
Presenter(s)Eric Maslowski and Michelle Meade
TimeSaturday, October 20, 10:15a-11:15a
LocationParlor A
DescriptionWithin the game development industry there exist multiple levels of accessibility with each often tailored towards a specific function. Those with spinal cord injury can exhibit a wide range of physical limitations. These limitations often reflect their level of injury and can include everything from full use of their arms and hands to complete loss of motor control. This presents unique design challenges when deciding on control schemes, user interaction, pacing, and general difficulty.

In this session attendees will learn about common issues those with motor impairment face with mobile games such as: varying touch speed/accuracy, limited access to the full screen, spasms, difficulty with long swipes, knuckle drag, etc. Using SCI-Hard, a mobile game aimed at behavioral change among spinal cord injury patients, as context the session will introduce the "Five Guidelines of Accessible Design" used during development of the game. Such guidelines include: Single action mechanics, favoring cognitive challenges over reflex, short swipes to increase accuracy, single taps vs. double taps, and knowing where the line is. Concrete examples of each, what additional development and design challenges accompany them, and exceptions to the guidelines will be discussed.

Participants will walk away with a strong understanding of common limitations found with this demographic, design guidelines and control schemes they can implement in their own projects, and a sense of how designing games with accessibility in mind can increase your audience.

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