Computer or console gaming is fun and everyone deserves to enjoy the fun of playing the game including people with disabilities. I’m very lucky to meet Mark Barlet (Co-founder & President of the AbleGamers Foundation) during the Microsoft Accelerating Asia Pacific at Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia where he bring all different kind of controller devices for Xbox 360 all the way from US to showcase how people with disabilities can enjoy playing game just like anyone else.
As long as you are still alive and breathing, no matter what disabilities you have, there will be a custom made controller device for you to play the game on Xbox 360. I personally try out the controller myself. It is very simple. I can play a racing game with just 2 or 3 fingers only. Well, the easy level of car racing game might look too simple for a hard core gamer, but gaming is purely for the sake of fun here. There are also many other controllers showcase there like controller control by mouth, only left hand or only right hand and many more. All controllers are specially designed for certain disabilities. Of course, Microsoft Kinect with Fruit Ninja game is showcase there too, just swing your hand and cut the fruits!
The Microsoft Accelerating Asia Pacific summit is a media and analyst gathering focused on showcasing how Microsoft, through technology and partnerships, is making a real and positive impact in Asia. One of the objectives is to showcase how Microsoft accessible technology can help improve the living of people with certain disabilities. I’m very impressed with all the guests invited to share their experience on how accessible technology can help them. For example like Tan Siew Ling from Microsoft citizenship share her experience on how those small little features that Microsoft build into operating system like Narrator which help her get connected with everyone in the world through Internet.
With just software alone is not enough, we also need hardware to help. One of the panel discussion invited Mark Barlet, Doojin Choi (Executive Director, National Information Society Agency) and Dr. Young-il Kim (Director, The National Library Support Center for Individuals with Disabilities) to discuss on “Accessibility Principles In Hardware Design”. Yes, we definably need all those hardware to enhance the information and communication technology experience especially for people with disabilities. Not just for the purpose of getting the job done in work, but for the fun of gaming as well.