6 month of social network activity on game accessibility

A study based on the analysis of 856 mentions online – excluding facebook and linkedin

The hype started begin of august and the rush lasted half a month. Accessibility became a huge topic until begin of October, and fell back to regular levels of mentions. Begin January show a new increase in mensions. Articles on the topic were massively shared on twitter and on websites mainly in the USA but also in UK (not so much on blogs and forums). Canada and France don’t seem to have noticed anything really – or remained quieter about it on those networks at least.

The most active folks online to convey this information were @Ianhamilton_, @theblindwriter, @ECBotOfficial @GDBroadcaster and @Vlakmaker on twitter, as well as (no surprise) the gamasutra.com and polygon.com sites. But also! CGmeetup and techcrunch :)

30% of the posts mentioning game accessibility are positive: sharing of great articles, encouraging others to take accessibility in account, congratulating people on their articles on the topic.

Among the majority of neutral comments, about half share the article on polygon “why game accessibility matters” which was published in august, as well as AbleGamers Foundation Game accessibility Guidelines. The other half is related to accessibility awards at the TIGA, sharing accessible games and events like Alterconf.

When looking more in detail at the polygon article on game accessibility and the game accessibility guidelines, half of the comments are positive – the others being neutral.

A lot of articles and posts are also putting the emphasis on Bayonetta, named most accessible game by AbleGamers, and the blind-accessible mode from Injustice.

They also put the emphasis on color blindness and re-mappable key bindings, which is actually quite easy to take in account, but also games for disabled and blind people, often sharing games which suit them.

Generally game accessibility is perceived not only as a positive, but as a necessary thing in game development. This is particularly true for indie game developers, which largers studios should take as an example on the subject.

One person ironically comments that accessibility is directly linked to revenue, not good will of the industry. Whatever the case, if it’s a motivation to make games more accessible, I don’t care what the intent is, developers need to eat after all, if they want to continue making great games. It’s a lot better to make games accessible for the money than to use dark patterns for the same reason.

One tweeter is ok with working on accessibility though is perplexed by some extreme voices, saying killing a game release because it isn’t accessible enough is going a bit far.

When accessibility reaches game development tools, the tweets deal with another topic: game development tools being easily available to larger audience. A couple of tweets share mixed feelings on the topic. Will the better accessibility of tools lead to another 1983 crash? But that’s a completely different topic.

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