Gamecity Impulse: Accessibility in Games
What can games companies do to actively contribute to strengthening equality, diversity and accessibility in the industry and in games? And what challenges do studios, publishers and other games businesses - from large corporations to small indies - face in this field?
To discuss these & more questions, we set up a panel discussion on Accessibility in Games.
Three industry experts joined us on May 8, 5-6.30 pm:
- Michaela "Ela" Peterhansl - UX accessibility specialist at Ubisoft Düsseldorf
- Dennis Winkens "WheelyWorld" - Twitch-Streamer and ambassador for gaming without barriers
- Dave Evans - Studio Director and Owner of Falling Squirrel
This event is part of our event series “Gamecity Impulse” which covers diversity-related topics in different fields of the games industry and gaming culture
About our industry experts on the panel:
Michaela "Ela" Peterhansl
Michaela ("Ela") Peterhansl (she/her) is a UX accessibility specialist at Ubisoft Düsseldorf. Before starting her career in UX, she successfully pursued degrees in Applied Computer Sciences and Human-Computer Interaction. Her first touchpoints with accessibility were in the gaming community as both a designer and a player.
Accessibility and inclusion changed Ela's perspective on her overall approach to design. She's driven by finding solutions that evidently make other people's lives better. To her, design is about being a humble, yet determined life-long learner, and to especially consider marginalized audiences to develop new standards that benefit everyone.
Dennis Winkens "WheelyWorld"
Dennis, also known as WheelyWorld on Twitch, is a quadripelegic gamer who supports other disabled gamers with similar needs. He only plays with his mouth controller setup.
Dave Evans is the owner and studio director of Falling Squirrel, a Canadian video game studio specializing in story-driven experiences with the specific goal of pioneering advances in narrative design and blind accessible audio game mechanics. The studio’s first audio based game, The Vale: Shadow of the Crown, is an Action/Adventure title out on PC and Xbox.
What is Gamecity Impulse?
Gamers are diverse: Around 2,2 billion people around the world play video games, coming from a multitude of ethnic and religious backgrounds, nationalities, genders and sexual identities, abilities, age and language groups. The communities that form around games and the teams that make the games aren't always as diverse. This has already sparked a host of discussions throughout the games industry and community. The German games industry has picked up on the topic, by starting the joint declaration “Hier spielt Vielfalt”, as well engaging in projects, discussions and initiatives as individual companies, associations and people.
As Gamecity Hamburg, we want to contribute to the important discourse by hosting talks and panel discussions on diversity-related topics in different fields of the games industry and gaming culture in our digital event series “Gamecity Impulse”. We hope to help raise awareness of, start discussions, provide food for thought as well as offer industry insights on ways to improve equality, diversity and inclusion.
Over the last two years, we hosted a couple of impulse talks and events on diversity topics, like Gaming Communities, Diversity Management or queer representations and queer authenticity in games. You can find all of the past events here.