SpecialEffect - making gaming more accessible for everyone

Owen Hill at

The games industry is still lagging when it comes to accessibility.

SpecialEffect are a charity dedicated to helping anyone with a disability to enjoy games. They've recently launched the GameBase - a site dedicated to sharing accessibility-related tips and info.

They're also in charge of a Loan Library which loans out control devices to anyone with a disability and the StarGaze Plus scheme, which provides the equipment and training required to control computers by using your eyes alone; a bit like the technology Valve showed off at GDC.

It's cutting-edge tech being used for an admirable cause. Now SpecialEffect are trying to improve accessibility in games from source with their handy developer's guide. It's still in beta, but there's already value to be gleaned from the Game Accessibility Rating System. A bit like Minecraft.

The list is split into four different sections and includes 20 individual points. It might seem daunting, but SpecialEffect are realistic with their aims. According to the site, if games developers include "just one item from each list" it would be a "wonderful start." We agree.

Are you a wannabe developer? Give it a read. Are you an established developer? Definitely give it a read. Neither of those things? Give it a read anyway.

Feeling particularly rich or generous? Check this page for details on how to donate to SpecialEffect. Let's be honest - they deserve it.

See below for a video highlighting some of the team's work.

Introduction to SpecialEffect's Accessible GameBase from William Donegan on Vimeo.

For more on accessibility in games, read our Special Report, which is due to go live later on today.