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Soundbyte: The controllers bringing games to those with disabilities

And the folks who make them

Welcome to Soundbyte! A podcast mini-series that stimulates your ears to explore hot topics in the games industry. In this episode, we’ll be taking a look at accessibility in gaming, and talking to the studios making specialist hardware, the people who use it, and the activists and advocates trying to do even more to bring gaming to those unable to put two hands on a keyboard or a gamepad. This time, I speak to Rocky Stoutenburgh and Zoran, two quadriplegic Twitch streamers about their disabilities, how they got started on Twitch, and the difficulties they face as disabled gamers.

Meanwhile, AbleGamers co-founder Steve Spohn tells me about how the Xbox Adaptive Controller came to be. Geoff Harbach, an NHS disability technician and founder of LEPMIS told me about how it feels to change peoples’ lives with their specialist controllers. Gaming Accessibility Conference organiser Ian Hamilton highlighted the importance of bringing everyone working in gaming accessibility under one roof.

You can listen to it here, or pop over to Soundcloud and download it for a rainy day. We’re also now on Spotify. And it’s on the RSS feed here or find it on iTunes, Stitcher or Pocket Casts.

To read a transcript of this episode please go here.

The music was all provided by Incompetech AKA Kevin MacLeod under the Creative Commons By Attribution 3.0 license. Thanks!

Links:

Rocky Stoutenburgh’s Twitch channel

The Quadstick is a controller for quadriplegic gamers

Zoran’s Twitch channel

The Xbox Adaptive Controller is a controller for those with limited mobility

Microsoft want it to come to PS4 and Switch but that’s unconfirmed

AbleGamers charity

Mark Brown’s video series on designing for disability

LEPMIS is an independent UK company that makes bespoke controllers

The Gaming Accessibility Conference

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Astrid Johnson

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