The Computer Games Journal

, Volume 1, Issue 1, pp 29–38 | Cite as

Inaccessible through oversight: the need for inclusive game design

  • Michael Heron
Research Paper


Games are an important part of modern culture. The nature of most video games is such that it can be difficult for individuals with impairments to enjoy many titles. In many cases, this is not due to the games themselves presenting an impossible challenge, but because the games have been left inaccessible through the omission of common features. Mainstream titles are often accessible and inaccessible by turns. This strongly suggests that the resultant inaccessibility is an oversight rather than conscious design. Awareness building is an important process in improving the inclusivity of game titles. This in turn is important in ensuring that all members of society have an opportunity to enjoy a valuable recreational form. To this end, the essay discusses both the types of disability that could be supported and some common mechanisms by which this can be done. A short overview of several prominent game titles is included to provide real world context for the discussion. In this essay, the author argues that ensuring accessibility need not be a costly or an onerous task, and that great strides can be made by, simply adopting the existing good practice that is currently spread across mainstream titles.

Key words

games accessibility inclusion human factors 


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Copyright information

© The Computer Games Journal Ltd 2012

Authors and Affiliations

  • Michael Heron
    • 1
  1. 1.Canterbury Christ Church UniversityUK

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