Input devices

One of the most critical elements to designing video games for disabled gamers is to include the ability for all peripherals to work adequately with each game. Most gamers in the disabled community need to use third-party software and hardware in order to mitigate some of the difficulties of playing complex games. It is important to make sure that these types of software and hardware are not disabled.

Although the list of assistive technology is long and extensive, the basic categories of assistive technology range from on-screen keyboards, voice recognition software and switch-based hardware input devices.

These types of software and hardware devices shift gaming from an impossibility to an important activity for many disabled gamers. Included in Windows by default, on-screen keyboards can be tested easily and other hardware can be white listed as programs that help the disabled community.

Examples

A gamer with Duchenne muscular dystrophy uses an on-screen keyboard and a voice control software program to play his favorite RTS. The game has a ‘full-screen windowed’ mode that allows the gamer to place the on-screen keyboard over top of the game and allows voice control to work properly.