AN APPROACH TO ACCESSIBILITY EVALUATION FOR PEOPLE WITH VISUAL IMPAIRMENTS IN SERIOUS GAMES
This study discusses the need to evaluate the accessibility in serious games for people with visual impairments. The growing number of people worldwide with this type of impairments has driven the development of initiatives that promote accessibility as a key feature in the world around us, and serious games are not the exception. Serious games is a category of videogames designed for educational purposes.
In the present, the videogames industry has taken a significant role in software production. In 2014 in Spain and the United States, this industry billed over 81,000 and 22,410 million dollars respectively. Through the entertainment, serious games allow to educate in an amused way in different areas. The development of this type of games is booming: in 2010, it generated about 1,500 million euros, with a projected growth of 47% until 2015.
On the other hand, the World Health Organization estimated that about 15% of the world population lives with a disability, in its world report in 2011. In addition, in 2010 around 285 million people had some kind of visual impairment, and of these, 39 million were blind. These people have to live with social, educational and entertainment limitations because their impairments.
Accessibility is defined as the ability of an object to be used in spite of the condition or disability of a person. Accessibility in videogames is a factor that is beginning to be considered by software developers. The emergence of new technologies, such as Wii or Xbox Kinect, has enabled the development and research of possible solutions to reduce the accessibility gap in videogames. These devices enable new types of interfaces and at the same time, these new interfaces can be useful for some groups of people with impairments.
The main objective of this study is to evaluate the accessibility of serious games for people with visual impairments, through the analysis of parameters that were defined considering the peculiarities of this impairment. For this, the different categories of serious games were analyzed and one game was selected for each category. Once identified, these games were evaluated by defining parameters of the accessibility for a person with visually impairment. The final outcome of this study will determine an indicator of the current accessibility in the analyzed serious games and will identify which features were not considered in their design, based on the needs of people with visual impairments.