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W@L Theme: Movement Games and Mobility Disabilities

This workshop theme investigates movement games for persons with mobility disabilities. Making motion-based games accessible for all audiences is challenging in two respects: (1) Input technologies have to be designed for universal access, e.g., they have to be suitable for persons who cannot stand up and move around in the room quickly, and they need to accommodate assistive devices. (2) Interaction paradigms need to be fun and engaging regardless of players’ physical abilities; they need to be designed in a way that is empowering rather than restricting.

What we will do
This workshop addresses motion-based game design for persons with mobility disabilities in three steps. (1) Participants will identify and discuss opportunities in game design for this audience by analysing common mobility disabilities, and outlining core interaction challenges that need to be addressed. (2) Existing approaches toward making motion-based input technologies accessible for people with mobility disabilities will be tested. Participants are invited to apply the toolkit KINECTWheels, which facilitates wheelchair input for camera-based movement games. (3) Participants will work in groups to prototype ideas for accessible motion-based game interaction. Software is provided, and programming expertise will be embedded in the group so that non-technical group members will be able to engage in design work.

The goal of this workshop is to generate new and empowering ways of engaging persons with mobility disabilities in motion-based games. The group will document an overview of interaction paradigms that are suitable for different types of mobility disabilities with the goal of integrating these approaches in future game design projects.

Further reading

Gerling, K., Miller, M., Mandryk, R., Birk, M., and Smeddinck, J. Effects of Balancing for Physical Abilities on Player Performance, Experience and Self-Esteem in Exergames. Proceedings of CHI 2014, Toronto, ON, Canada. PDF download.

Gerling, K., Mandryk, R., and Kalyn, M. Wheelchair-Based Game Design for Older Adults. Proceedings of ASSETS 2013, Bellevue, WA, USA. PDF download.