You can read more of my writing over at the Meeple Like Us blog, or the Textual Intercourse blog over at Epitaph Online. You can some information about my research interests over at my personal homepage, or on my profile at Robert Gordon University.
The Computer Games Journal is a Springer academic journal focused on – as you might expect – computer games. They are doing a special issue in early 2018 on the topic of accessibility in games and that is awesome. There is a guest editor for this, and spoiler alert, it me. For this issue, there is a relaxation in scope of the journal to accommodate accessibility in games rather than specifically accessibility in computer games. What we’re looking for here is a wide range of perspectives from industry, affected parties, and accessibility researchers and advocates. The proper Call for Papers (CFP) will appear on the Springer website soon I hope, but in the meantime if you know anyone that might be interested or active in this area, I’d hugely appreciate if you could send them to this page for the details. If you want to chat about the special issue, you can drop me an email too – address is linked at the bottom of the text. Hit me up on twitter too if you like at @drmichaelheron or @meeplelikeus. Thanks!
TCGJ – Special Issue on Accessibility in Gaming
In recent years, this topic has become greatly enriched. Academic literature in this field now covers a wide range of disciplines, from sociology to cutting-edge technologies. Video games, which until recently were mainly of interest only to hobbyists and enthusiasts, are now a mainstay of the global recreational landscape; video games are now considered interactive units of culture and art. In 2017, the value of the global video games market surpassed US$100 billion for the first time. However, video games represent only one part of a larger spectrum of experiences. The sustained and accelerating success of the video games industry is being mirrored by rising popularity in roleplaying games, multi-modal games, and table-top games.
In such a large and vibrant marketplace, it is easy to assume that gaming is a hobby that can truly be enjoyed by anyone. However, this is not the case. There remain subsets of the population that are excluded from full participation in this remarkable hobby. There are gamers-in-waiting that want to play games, but who are excluded due to impairment or disability. Coupled to this is a large group of people who do not recognise their own desire to play games because they feel as if video game products are designed only for certain ‘hardcore’ gamers, for ‘geeks’. Researchers and game designers are now responding to this crisis. 2016 was a wonderful year in terms of computer games accessibility; however, that must be understood in terms of the industry clearing a bar that was already set quite low. For every outstanding example of best practice, there are several counter-examples of sustained inaccessibility.
We invite submissions for this special issue of The Computer Games Journal, which focus on cutting edge research and perspectives in relation to game inaccessibility. We welcome contributions from academics, industry professionals, students, and those with direct experience of inaccessibility. We will also consider papers concerning non-computing related gaming inaccessibility, which reflect the intersectional and interlinked nature of recreational interaction. Deadline: 31 December 2017
Topics include, but are not limited to:
- Tools, techniques and cutting-edge research into game technologies for accessibility
- Modifications and alterations to games for the purposes of ‘accessibility hacking’
- Mobile gaming platforms and the implications of disability
- Cultural issues of accessibility, including perspectives on diversity and inclusion
- Vectors of inaccessibility in both game design and narrative presentation
- Best design practice for accessibility requirements
- Case studies in the implementation of accessibility in games
- Issues of stigma against or unwelcome self-disclosure of disability in gaming communities
- Heuristics or evaluations of gaming accessibility in novel or challenging environments
For queries regarding scope and applicability, please contact the guest editor, Dr Michael James Heron, by sending an email to: [email protected].