Link4All & TNO Applied Games

Game Accessibility was invited by Link4All to attend a day dedicated to the development of applied games at TNO. Goal of this day is to redevelop the online platform for cognitive disabled persons in The Netherlands.

GA employee walks with a small orange robot that also walks about 50cm high
Erik from Game Accessibility walks with a robot that teaches children about their disease

Serious gaming, e-learning, exergaming and more
The day is kicked-off by playing a game ourselves and we get to know each other through playing this game. We’re told that applied gaming offers a new and unique learning environment, even in places where you don’t expect tablets to be around like Sudan in Africa. Exergaming is a term for video games that are also used for excercise for elderly people for example. However, it’s not always easy for the elderly to stay focused on the game and they can also get bored in the end.

Media lab at TNO, computers and tables.
The Media Lab at TNO

Learning whilst playing
Jeroen van Mastrigt is specialized on the topic of gaming and design and tells us that from every game you’ll learn something. However it’s not always certain if you can also apply the knowledge you’ve learned in real life. You probably won’t drive a tank everyday like you do when playing Battlefield or fly a Boeing 747 from Seatlle to Honolulu. Games give you the opportunity to learn in a fun way. You can see our other articles to learn more about gaming and the place it takes within our lives.

Screenshot of a game
An applied game we played that day about synchromodality

Game design
However, he also tells that games are fun because they are well developed. If game design is very poor its unlikely it will be a success. During the session that followed we designed our own game for cognitive disabled persons which was based on something that already exists. Most games are a success because of that fact. Change is coming however, see the game No man’s sky for example(dutch article).

Lobbying for accessibility
Jeroen also tells us that most games are property of large game companies, like Tetris is the property of Nintendo. In order to make that game accessible for a larger group of people who are disabled, we have to ask Nintendo if that’s possible and under what conditions. That’s exactly what we’re planning to do here at Game Accessibility. Everyone needs to be able to play a game, regardless of their disability.

 

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