Accessibility in Video Games

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When I first started getting into accessibility three years ago there were a lot of things that I wasn’t aware of. I just left the web developer employee life behind me and started my freelance career with a specific focus in the field of web accessibility. I knew vaguely what accessibility in software meant — but was there a lot to learn!

It’s quite astonishing how many technological advancements over the last decades have made things more accessible and inclusive overall, but at the same time general awareness for digital accessibility stayed low. This became apparent to me every time I talked to other developers or clients. When you become aware of a new topic it becomes really clear how unaware other people are.

In my first year next to educating myself I tried to educate other web developers and product owners that I worked with. Often the accessibility concerns that I mentioned and talked about were mostly unknown and in some cases people where genuinely surprised. For example like in the case of one developer who wasn’t aware that blind people can use websites at all.

Fast-forward to 2019 and similar to the unawareness that I encountered with fellow web developers about web accessibility, I myself have been completely unaware about the topic of accessibility in video games. I have to honestly admit: I didn’t know that blind people could play video games at all.

For a couple of months now I have been diving into accessibility in video games. I was looking at games themselves and how the industry is slowly transforming to get better at accessibility and inclusion. But coming from a web and software development background I was also very curious to see how gaming related software like shops, streaming sites and such are doing in accessibility terms.

I thought it to be helpful to write down the things I learned along the way. So here we go.

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