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Gaming with disabilities - suggestions?

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Gaming with disabilities - suggestions?

Post by ImLawBoy » Thu May 03, 2018 11:19 am

Dual purpose to this thread. The overarching aim is to have a place to discuss issues with gaming when the gamer has one or more disabilities. That's a hugely broad category, and not everyone might be willing to share their disabilities, so no worries if this doesn't really get going down that path. I think it's worth opening a thread to let people discuss issues if they have issues with mobility, hearing, vision, sensory-input, etc.

My more immediate question, though, comes with my oldest son's 8th birthday next Friday. As many know, my son has disabilities. Without getting into too much detail here, he has spastic quadriplegia, which means that he has very little motor control in all extremities. He's also deaf (but uses cochlear implants to hear) and has cortical visual impairment, which is a visual processing issue. He's non-verbal, but can communicate using "low tech" (a switch that he can activate with his cheek to choose from among options presented to him) or "high tech" (specialized communication software on a tablet running Windows 10; it reads through objects and he activates his switch to indicate his choice, build words, etc.). Video games would seem to be a major challenge for him. And yet . . . .

Max has asked for video games for his birthday. I'm trying to figure out what we can get him that he can have success with and have fun. We have a PlayStation 3 and I've got a laptop that is decent for gaming (even if I almost never get to use it for that purpose). Games that might work are strategy type games that I could work with him and be his hands. Real-time would be difficult, as communicating choices can take a while, but turn-based might work. Any suggestions on games that might work (and are age-appropriate for an 8-year old)?

If anyone has any other experiences with adaptive gaming, I'd love to hear about it (and think about how I might use that to help my kid!).
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Re: Gaming with disabilities - suggestions?

Post by hentzau » Thu May 03, 2018 11:55 am

The first thing that popped into my head was Minecraft on creative mode. Big giant virtual sandbox that he could build things with.

Can he use an eye gaze type mouse device?
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Re: Gaming with disabilities - suggestions?

Post by ImLawBoy » Thu May 03, 2018 12:02 pm

hentzau wrote:
Thu May 03, 2018 11:55 am
The first thing that popped into my head was Minecraft on creative mode. Big giant virtual sandbox that he could build things with.
I've never played Minecraft, so that never occurred to me. Good idea, though - I'll definitely dig into that.
Can he use an eye gaze type mouse device?
Not at this point. His poor trunk/neck control along with his CVI make eye control difficult. We're working on something that he might be able to use with his hands, but it's still switched based (i.e., he squeezes the switch to indicate his choice when it is read to him or otherwise highlighted). We don't have anything that would enable him to point and click, though.
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Re: Gaming with disabilities - suggestions?

Post by hentzau » Thu May 03, 2018 12:07 pm

ImLawBoy wrote:
Thu May 03, 2018 12:02 pm
Good idea, though - I'll definitely dig into that.
Funny...

With Minecraft it could be a cooperative experience where you guys work together to build out things. It's slow enough paced in creative mode that you can take your time with asking questions like "Does this look like a good spot for a house" or "Should we plant potatoes or pumpkins here", that sort of thing.

Stardew Valley might be good too, but that one has a real time clock that is running in the background so you have to be more mindful of time.
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Re: Gaming with disabilities - suggestions?

Post by Blackhawk » Thu May 03, 2018 1:56 pm

I saw an article a while back - I wish I could find it - about a company whose sole purpose was making custom controllers for those with disabilities. I can't find the specific article I read, but I am seeing a handful of options out there that may be worth looking into.

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Re: Gaming with disabilities - suggestions?

Post by ImLawBoy » Thu May 03, 2018 2:39 pm

That game-accessibility.com site is great, BH. They've got a listing of accessible games with tags for different needs (e.g., the first game listed has the tags "color blind, one arm, no voice, deaf, illiterate, epilepsy"). They also rate how accessible and how fun each game is. Very cool - thanks for finding it.
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Re: Gaming with disabilities - suggestions?

Post by stessier » Thu May 03, 2018 3:16 pm

If you are going to be his hands - Civilization? I think they made one for tablets that was well reviewed so you would be able to play it on the go as well.
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Re: Gaming with disabilities - suggestions?

Post by Smoove_B » Thu May 03, 2018 3:22 pm

Can you get in on the Humble Monthly and get a copy of Kerbal Space Program? I haven't touched mine yet so maybe others can comment on how appropriate it would be. The other games...not so much, but maybe someone has a copy floating around they aren't using?

I do have a copy of Crazy Machines 3 via this month's Humble that you're welcome to if you think it would work.

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Re: Gaming with disabilities - suggestions?

Post by dbt1949 » Thu May 03, 2018 6:40 pm

Not electronic but my with has a lot of major problems and we play dominoes all the time.
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Re: Gaming with disabilities - suggestions?

Post by LawBeefaroni » Thu May 03, 2018 9:06 pm

How is he with reading? While text adventures might a letdown initially without all the graphics, they could grow on him. Retro is all the coolness these days. We all grew up on Zork, right?

Plus no clock and input errors are correctable.
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Re: Gaming with disabilities - suggestions?

Post by Archinerd » Sat May 05, 2018 1:21 am

My initial thoughts;
Samarost
Machinarium - both neat looking adventure/puzzle games.
Hidden Folks - sort of a black and white interactive Where's Waldo
Sim City or Cities Skylines.
Maybe an old school turn based RPG or JRPG? Final Fantasy or Betrayal at Krondor?

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Re: Gaming with disabilities - suggestions?

Post by Kasey Chang » Sat May 05, 2018 3:06 pm

It had to be turn-based.

How is his logic and reasoning? I was thinking one of the simple bridge building games, or puzzlers like Crazy Machine series, as suggested before.
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Re: Gaming with disabilities - suggestions?

Post by Archinerd » Sun May 06, 2018 10:11 pm

Train or truck simulator?

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Re: Gaming with disabilities - suggestions?

Post by ImLawBoy » Mon May 07, 2018 10:45 am

LawBeefaroni wrote:
Thu May 03, 2018 9:06 pm
How is he with reading? While text adventures might a letdown initially without all the graphics, they could grow on him. Retro is all the coolness these days. We all grew up on Zork, right?

Plus no clock and input errors are correctable.
He's not reading on his own, but we can read stuff to him. I think for his first official video game he might want something a bit more flashy, but this is an option down the line.
Archinerd wrote:
Sat May 05, 2018 1:21 am
My initial thoughts;
Samarost
Machinarium - both neat looking adventure/puzzle games.
Hidden Folks - sort of a black and white interactive Where's Waldo
Sim City or Cities Skylines.
Maybe an old school turn based RPG or JRPG? Final Fantasy or Betrayal at Krondor?
I've been thinking about a turn based RPG, although it might be a bit advanced for him at this point. He's just going to be eight, has some level of intellectual disability (the extent of which is still undetermined at this point), and I think it might be a bit overwhelming at this point. It's an interesting down the line option, though.
Kasey Chang wrote:
Sat May 05, 2018 3:06 pm
How is his logic and reasoning? I was thinking one of the simple bridge building games, or puzzlers like Crazy Machine series, as suggested before.
I may end up doing some sort of bridge builder on the iPad, but that probably won't be as a gift - just something to do.
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Re: Gaming with disabilities - suggestions?

Post by Kasey Chang » Mon May 07, 2018 12:27 pm

May want to talk to AbleGamers.org

They mainly have expertise alternate controllers for the disabled, but they may have expertise on what games to offer.

http://www.ablegamers.org/getting-back-into-the-game/
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Re: Gaming with disabilities - suggestions?

Post by Kasey Chang » Mon May 07, 2018 12:35 pm

There's also games like 'World of Goo', 'Little Inferno', and maybe Human Resource Machine. They are all puzzlers in one way or another.
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Re: Gaming with disabilities - suggestions?

Post by Blackhawk » Mon May 07, 2018 12:36 pm

Thinking of my own kids' gaming habits at 8, and their level of development, you might be better off looking into kids games rather than looking for adult games that appeal to kids. Does he have a favorite TV show or character? My kids were hugely into Thomas, and had several Thomas-based PC games. They were usually very simple mechanically, and gave you plenty of time to think. As a cooperative endeavor ("Should I put this piece on the left or the right?"), kids' games may be a great place to start.

Figure out his interests, and then see if there are any games that are built around that.
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Re: Gaming with disabilities - suggestions?

Post by hentzau » Mon May 07, 2018 12:38 pm

BH may have seen the forest for the trees here. My kids loved the Putt-putt games, and there's quite a bit of adult humor in those as well, so they aren't (too) mind-numbing for the parents.
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Re: Gaming with disabilities - suggestions?

Post by Zarathud » Mon May 07, 2018 11:26 pm

My 8 year old keeps going back to Sky Fox and Putt Putt. They love the story adventure games.

Minecraft: Story Mode is also popular. And they like the simple joys of Cat Goes Fishing.

Reigns: Her Majesty might be a better option. You choose between 2 options every cycle, trying to balance different factions and work the queen through an "endless lifecycle" to complete the story. I haven't made it too far, but the humor seems to be self-aware even though your choices often end in sudden death. It's also apparently an app.
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Re: Gaming with disabilities - suggestions?

Post by em2nought » Thu May 10, 2018 9:26 pm

Is pinball too boring these days? Pinball and some kind of breath based controller for the flippers. He might only need you to launch the ball.
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https://www.amsvans.com/blog/page/75/ the bit about a magnetic tongue ring and headset sensors sounds really promising.

came across this just now too, might be of interest https://www.ranker.com/list/video-game- ... han-gibson

I like wildsnake personally. The pinball/space invaders cross particularly http://www.wildsnake.com/pinball/
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Re: Gaming with disabilities - suggestions?

Post by Archinerd » Thu May 10, 2018 9:45 pm

Hidden Folks is 50% off on Steam today. $3.99

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Re: Gaming with disabilities - suggestions?

Post by ImLawBoy » Fri May 11, 2018 10:31 am

em2nought wrote:
Thu May 10, 2018 9:26 pm
Is pinball too boring these days? Pinball and some kind of breath based controller for the flippers. He might only need you to launch the ball.
My son's situation wouldn't likely permit this kind of breath controller. The effects of CP with spastic quadriplegia are a bit different from what you might associate with someone who has paralytic quadriplegia (I don't know if that's a real term or not, but it sounds professional). My son does have some (very limited) control over his body and extremities, but CP also often impacts the muscles in and around the mouth. This can make eating, speaking, and using things like mouth and breath controllers more difficult. The stuff you linked, though, is very cool. My hope is that someone looking for this kind of information might just stumble across this post and find something helpful, even if it's not helpful to my specific situation.
Archinerd wrote:
Thu May 10, 2018 9:45 pm
Hidden Folks is 50% off on Steam today. $3.99
That's a nifty looking game. The visuals look a little too dense for my son given his visual processing issues, but I might look at that for myself. ;)

For the record, we went with Minecraft for the PS3. That way we can put it up on the big screen to help him see better. Depending on how this goes, we'll likely look at some of the other suggestions. Sometimes my wife and I need a kick in the butt to remind us that he's still a young kid who would probably like kiddie things. We see so many people trying to infantilize him that we sometimes overcompensate and go with something that might be a bit too mature for him or his tastes. The suggestions about the kiddie games are well taken.
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Re: Gaming with disabilities - suggestions?

Post by LawBeefaroni » Fri May 11, 2018 10:58 am

My 7-yo loves Stardew Valley. It infuriates me that all she does is walk around town giving out gifts and then goes for a swim in the public baths before bed. But she loves it. It also runs great on the laptop so we can plug it in to the big screen via HDMI. Pixel graphics in 4k? Strangely satisftying.


Hdden Folks is a decent time waster but the kiddo gets bored of it easily. She always wants to go back to it but doesn't do more than 20 minutes at a time.

We also just started on Zelda Breath of the Wild. She drives during exploration/puzzles and then gives me control for combat.
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Re: Gaming with disabilities - suggestions?

Post by ImLawBoy » Thu May 17, 2018 9:57 am

In very cool news, Microsoft is releasing an Xbox Adaptive Controller this year. It's not cheap ($99.99), but considering the cost to get a custom controller, this is really great. The core device seems to be the white rectangle with the two large black circles, but it's got 19(!) 3.5mm jack inputs to allow a variety of switches and other devices to connect in. It'll work for Xbox and Windows 10 gaming.

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Re: Gaming with disabilities - suggestions?

Post by Blackhawk » Thu May 17, 2018 10:29 am

That's fantastic! It's about time one of the mainstream companies did this. Most of the stuff I've seen out there is essentially skilled hobbyists trying to fill a hole in the market.
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Re: Gaming with disabilities - suggestions?

Post by LawBeefaroni » Thu May 17, 2018 11:11 am

ImLawBoy wrote:
Thu May 17, 2018 9:57 am
In very cool news, Microsoft is releasing an Xbox Adaptive Controller this year. It's not cheap ($99.99), but considering the cost to get a custom controller, this is really great. The core device seems to be the white rectangle with the two large black circles, but it's got 19(!) 3.5mm jack inputs to allow a variety of switches and other devices to connect in. It'll work for Xbox and Windows 10 gaming.

Image
Was just coming to post that. Looks very interesting.


More detail and "hands on" from CNet.



Also, today is GAAD.
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Re: Gaming with disabilities - suggestions?

Post by Paingod » Tue Jul 17, 2018 8:03 am

LawBeefaroni wrote:
Fri May 11, 2018 10:58 am
My 7-yo loves Stardew Valley. It infuriates me that all she does is walk around town giving out gifts and then goes for a swim in the public baths before bed. But she loves it. It also runs great on the laptop so we can plug it in to the big screen via HDMI. Pixel graphics in 4k? Strangely satisftying.
My 9 year old loves Stardew Valley as well, but mostly ignores his farm and the villagers and tries to plumb the depths of the dungeon. The best thing about Stardew Valley is that there's no hard and fast goal. You can farm endlessly, socialize all day with NPC's, go fishing, fight in the dungeon, or just wander around. He's also a huge fan of Minecraft, Sonic the Hedgehog, and Scratch.

Scratch has been his biggest thing for like a year now. It's hosted by MIT, the engineering school. It's a pretty 'low impact' programming platform where kids can build and share games with each other. If you're acting as hands on the keyboard, you might be able to explore this together and build games he could play and share with others. I don't know if it helps much. It has a learning curve - like understanding the basic theories of programming - but also has a lot of content to pull apart, examine, retool, and release.
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Re: Gaming with disabilities - suggestions?

Post by ImLawBoy » Thu Jul 19, 2018 11:10 am

Programming is something we'd look for down the line, but is probably a bit too advanced right now.

As for how things are going with Minecraft, well . . . . It's much more real-time than I had anticipated. Thus far we've had a few sessions where he's basically watched me as I play, but it's hard to find good points to make it really directed by him. It probably doesn't help that I have zero personal interest in this type of game and find it boring, so it's challenging to get him excited for it.

I'm going to keep looking for something that is both more turn-based and age appropriate. We'll return to Minecraft on occasion, but it's not fitting the bill as much as I had hoped.
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Re: Gaming with disabilities - suggestions?

Post by Paingod » Thu Jul 19, 2018 3:25 pm

ImLawBoy wrote:
Thu Jul 19, 2018 11:10 am
I'm going to keep looking for something that is both more turn-based and age appropriate. We'll return to Minecraft on occasion, but it's not fitting the bill as much as I had hoped.
That's a shame. The Creative mode eliminates any rush to get anything done as enemies aren't hostile, allowing free building - but it does require a lot of keystrokes, mouse movement, and clicks. :?

A couple other thoughts.

Ironcast - It says it's a turn based, gem-matching, robot combat. It might be too involved though. It's a rogue-like and challenging to get through, but I enjoyed playing it (long enough to beat it, which is rare). I haven't tested it on my kids. My recollections of how "fast" it plays are spotty. I don't remember turn-based, but I may have been playing each turn quickly.

Maybe explore some boardgames on the PC? Risk, Monopoly, any others? Might not be 'video-game' enough?

Maybe older adventure games, like Day of the Tentacle (Remastered) - I've not actually played it, but hear it's a classic. Point & click, colorful, strange. I don't know what age group it might appeal to, or if there are decisions on timers in there anywhere. :(

My 9-year old played the Guild of Dungeoneering a few times and liked it (but not enough to keep him away from Sonic). It's not colorful, but it's strange and has cute art. It's also turn-based. He did get frustrated with dying a lot, but maybe with an adult helping steer the battles, it'd smooth out?
ImLawBoy wrote:
Thu Jul 19, 2018 11:10 am
Programming is something we'd look for down the line, but is probably a bit too advanced right now.
Definitely keep Scratch in mind for when it comes around to being more applicable. They're using it in schools to help kids learn programming and it's a smooth intro system for it.
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Re: Gaming with disabilities - suggestions?

Post by Smoove_B » Tue Sep 04, 2018 12:21 pm

Just saw this link buried on Blues this morning - Xbox Adaptive Controller:
The Xbox Adaptive Controller is a product that was ideated and pioneered with inclusivity at its heart. We iterated on and refined it through close partnership with gamers with limited mobility and fan feedback, as well as guidance and creativity from accessibility experts, advocates and partners such as The AbleGamers Charity, The Cerebral Palsy Foundation, Craig Hospital, Special Effect and Warfighter Engaged. Even the accessible packaging the Xbox Adaptive Controller arrives in was an entirely new approach to redefining success in product packaging—directly informed and guided by gamers with limited mobility. It’s truly the collaboration and teamwork from these individuals and groups who helped bring the Xbox Adaptive Controller to gamers around the world. And gaming, everywhere, becomes greater because of that collaborative spirit.

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Re: Gaming with disabilities - suggestions?

Post by ImLawBoy » Tue Dec 04, 2018 2:18 pm

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Re: Gaming with disabilities - suggestions?

Post by Isgrimnur » Tue Dec 04, 2018 3:05 pm

Polygon
The Xbox Adaptive Controller will retail for $99.99 when it goes on sale at the Microsoft Store later this year. Its low price is just as crucial for individuals as it is for charities like AbleGamers, which often provide controllers through grants to people with disabilities.
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Re: Gaming with disabilities - suggestions?

Post by em2nought » Tue Dec 04, 2018 3:07 pm

ImLawBoy wrote:
Tue Dec 04, 2018 2:18 pm
Oh man, I didn't get that the kid in the commercial had a disability until you linked it here. :doh: Maybe it's a bit too subtle? :think:
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Re: Gaming with disabilities - suggestions?

Post by AWS260 » Tue Dec 04, 2018 3:46 pm

I saw that ad pop up on YouTube the other day, as my son was watching various Minecraft videos. Love it.

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Re: Gaming with disabilities - suggestions?

Post by LawBeefaroni » Tue Dec 04, 2018 3:50 pm

The full version aired a few times during early football on Sunday and then the short version a lot since. First thing I thought of was this thread.
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Re: Gaming with disabilities - suggestions?

Post by ImLawBoy » Tue Dec 04, 2018 4:27 pm

I haven't seen this on TV yet, but I saw it linked on the Love That Max blog, which is written by the mother of a now 16 year old boy who has disabilities, including cerebral palsy and intellectual delay. She notes that Owen, the 9 year old gamer in the ad, is an actual kid with Escobar Syndrome and that the other kids in the ad are his real life friends. I thought her closing on the topic was interesting:
Here's a plea to parents out there who don't have children with disabilities: Please don't just weep over the commercial and move on. Encourage your kid or teen to get to know kids with disabilities at school and in other settings. Talk about the differences we all have, the similarities we share and the abilities each and every one of us possesses. At the very least, encourage your children to say hello to our children at the playground, the park, parties or wherever. They won't be doing our children a favor—they'll be expanding their world, too.

Like the ad says: When everybody plays, we all win.
We had subs. It was crazy

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Re: Gaming with disabilities - suggestions?

Post by MonkeyFinger » Tue Dec 04, 2018 5:40 pm

I've seen both versions of the commercial on TV several times and have been wondering about the controller. Very cool all around. 8-)
-mf

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