Video games have shaped our culture for many decades. Many remember classic games like Pong (1972), Space Invaders (1978), and Pac-Man (1980). In the years since video gamers have been agrowing part of our culture. The gaming world is vast and includes everything from games played using consoles to smartphone games like Candy Crush.
Gaming has become a way for people to connect socially in a virtual environment. Gaming has the potential to help people with disabilities experiencing social isolation to connect with others. However, gaming devices may not always be accessible to people with disabilities, especially those with physical disabilities.
Fortunately, a number of devices and adaptations can make gaming accessible to many people with disabilities.
For example, a wide variety of accessible joy sticks can make it easier for people with physical disabilities to play video games and Xbox has created an adaptive controller for their console. The Minnesota-based company QuadStick has created a control device for quadriplegics that combines a mouth-actuated joystick with sip and puff switches, allowing users to play complex games on modern systems like Switch, Xbox One, and PS4.
The gamer “Rocky No Hands” who uses a QuadStick has developed a following for his skills and has made it into the Guinness Book of World Records.
With these innovations, people with disabilities are able to play video games and connect with others virtually.