Sunday, March 9, 2008

More on accessible gaming

It appears that I'm not the only person who had thought about the possible assistive technology possibilities of the headset from Emotiv that allows users to manipulate items on the screen using their minds (Febuary 24).
Peter Abrahams speculates on the AT uses of this same headset in a recent article for He is optimistic that the technology will be released for this use as Emotive is an IBM affiliate. I hope that he's right, it could prove a valuable alternative for those with a variety of disabilites.

Until the headset is released, switches are one major way that a significantly impaired individual may utilize a computer. Basically, any voluntary movement can be used to create a switch which would allow a user to use a computer, these include breathing (puffing), or moving a foot, or finger.

Kotaku has a recent article about the release of a new website who's goal is to make gaming more accessible to everyone, Assistive Gaming. In this article, they talk about the challenges of using assistive technology to participate in computer games.

If you have ever doubted how effective assistive technology can be, view the video either below or in the Kotaku article. It is called "One Thumb to Rule Them All" and is about Mike Phillips a young man who has Spinal Muscular Atrophy (SMA). It shows him using a switch with his thumb in barely perceptable movements to play an action video game called World of Warcraft or WOW to its users. It's an amazing video and demonstration of the efficacy of assistive technology.

No comments: