TIGA, the trade association representing the videogame industry, has recently published a new guide that explores in-depth how to better virtual reality (VR) accessibility. Titled Accessibility and VR, the guide has been written to help developers, studios and publisher bring VR content to a broad spectrum of different users by better understanding what they can do to enable their content to be more accessible.
The report has been written by veteran videogame accessibility specialist Ian Hamilton and shares a number of detailed overviews for the opportunities that come in making VR content suitable for a diversity of users. Taking a deep dive into the challenges of developing content for VR at present, allowing with exploring distinct accessibility considerations – as well as VR content creation disciplines and design elements – while offering thoughtful, practical tips on what developers should consider to make their content more suitable for all audience members.
Some of the topics that are covered within the report include better serving those with motor and visual impairment, understanding hearing loss relative to VR, considering simulation sickness, and the reality of photosensitive epilepsy. All of these, along with a number of extra topics, are key factors that should be considered by any developer when trying to build more accessible content. Other areas to consider include offering colourblind options, subtitles and closed captions, options to reduce motion blur and much more.
“The more accessible a game is, the better for the user and the greater the potential success for the creators and the wider industry,” said Dr Richard Wilson OBE, TIGA CEO. “The more people that are able to play games, the more the benefits of gaming can reach every corner of society. Virtual reality, of course, presents many challenges for content creators, regardless of the individual requirements of any given user.”
“Ensuring accessibility when shaping VR content will make a better experience for every kind of player. VR offers unique challenges and opportunities and we are thrilled to share Ian’s insights with all our members, and help them maximise the potential reach of their games. I would like to thank Ian for writing this report.”
The report Accessibility and VR is available now for free to all TIGA members, with details on how to become one available on their website. Earlier in the year TIGA also published a report that showed that VR and augmented reality (AR) was the faster growing sectors for the United Kingdom’s games industry.
For more on TIGA in the future, keep reading VRFocus.