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The Number One Educational Resource for the Game Industry

Session Name: Beyond Graphics: Reaching the Visually Impaired Gamer
Speaker(s): Brandon Cole, Ian Hamilton, Jonathan Hersh, Alex Macmillan, Brian Schmidt
Company Name(s): Independent, Ian Hamilton DC, Splinesoft LLC, Six to Start, Ear Games
Track / Format: Advocacy

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Overview: On the surface, the move to touchscreen devices and their visually oriented interfaces would seem to be an anathema for the visually impaired. Surprisingly, the opposite is true; they have had a rapid and life-changing effect, with smartphone uptake amongst people with profound vision impairments outstripping the rest of the population. Modern smartphones have powerful and sophisticated technologies to specifically facilitate their use by those with vision impairments. These technologies, and others, are actually very simple and straightforward for developers to work with, making it increasingly easy to accommodate those with vision impairments or even target them directly. In this session, speakers will present their experiences specifically creating or modifying games with the visually impaired in mind, during the development or refinement of games such as Zombies, Run!, MUDRammer and Ear Monsters. This session will discuss vision related accessibility in gaming, ranging from what there is to gain from it, creative gameplay issues, as well as technical and business challenges and rewards. Also presenting is blind video gamer and advocate, Brandon Cole, for his unique insight into gaming as a person with a visual impairment, and as a beginning hobbyist game developer.

GDC 2014

Brandon Cole


Ian Hamilton

Ian Hamilton DC

Jonathan Hersh

Splinesoft LLC

Alex Macmillan

Six to Start

Brian Schmidt

Ear Games

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