Accessibility Criteria for Video Games – Introducing the DVCM.

Version 0.0.0.1

The idea behind this document is to get a wider conversation happening about what we consider to be accessibility friendly or not in terms of video game accessibility. At time of writing, there is no guideline or regulatory body that says what a game should be labeled to inform buyers it is for a certain level of accessibility. This document is in an effort to make a dent into that space with people from all levels of accessibility and experiences coming together to organize the accessibility space better within gaming. 

Supporting its petition and sharing it around your network means that we can begin to sow the seeds of something bigger than ourselves in gaming. I believe that there should be a recognizable accessibility standard that developers should be adhering to and I want to be part of the discussion to make that possible. 

If you would like to have a chat with me about it you’ll find me in the comments and @ThisIsSpecious on Twitter.

This project is currently named DVCM.

D.V.C.M is named after the four main criteria of an accessibility review

D for Deaf & Hard of Hearing

V for Vision & Blindness and Hard of Sight

C for Cognition

M for Mobility.

The scoring system will be on a DVCM 0 – 5. 0 being the worst score and 5 being the highest. 

In order for a game to get a DVCM score, it must be able to have 1 point in each of the four categories. Ideally, these would be tiered to make a certain amount of logical sense. For example,  the next tier for subtitles [0] would be for the look and size to be changed [1]. 

Deaf & Hard of Hearing

  • Audio Descriptions / Closed Captioning [0]
  • Subtitles [0]
    • Speaker labels for subtitles [1]
      • Changing look and size of subtitles [2]
  • Enemy location / proximity. [0]
    • Controller Vibration indicators [1]
  • Stealth/Hidden/Other indicators [0]
    • Controller Vibration indicators [1]

Vision, Blindness & Hard of Sight

  • Increase subtitle size
  • Increase UI size
    • Increase UI contrast
  • Colour blindness settings
  • Add screen readers
  • Add descriptions to your cutscences
  • Toggle visual effects on or off
  • Add options for adding additional contrast

Cognition

  • Highlighted words
  • Repeatable Tutorials
  • Clear Navigation markers
  • Toggling off/on motion blur
  • Allow for people to read at their own pace
  • Independent sliders for music, sound, dialogue

Mobility

  • Key remapping
    • Full key and button remapping for keyboard, mouse and gamepad
  • Toggle switch support
    • Toggles for all actions
  • Alternatives for QTEs
  • Difficulty modes
  • Inverting axis
  • Left handed option
  • No hardcoded keys
  • Sensitivity settings for all the controls and devices, be it mouse or gamepad
  • Allow both gamepad and mouse cursor controlled menus 
  • Adjustable hold times for actions
    • Or change to a single tap
  • Autorun function with toggle / hold options

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