Video games, between inclusion and accessibility, fun is for everyone

24-08-2020 | News

Video games are bad for your health. How many times have you read that shooter is open world they would have inspired, or even trained (yes, that's right) the worst murderers of our time. And, again, how many times has the gaming world been associated with the isolation and depression of the very young. Hikikomori is a Japanese term that has now entered the collective imagination: they are boys and girls who never leave their room, committed to living their second life online, safe from the risks of real life.

The question is serious, but why should this social drama affect an entire sector made up not only of professionals, billionaire industries, enthusiasts of all ages (both male and female) and so much fun? The world of gaming is also about inclusion and accessibility, a language that acts as a bridge between people, an opportunity for communication for disability.

In Japan, cradle of the videogame world, a senior center has recently been inaugurated where the main occupation of the guests is to practice and have fun in company on consoles and PCs. In Kobe, a city near Osaka, the ISR Esports is the place of entertainment for the elderly: in the photos circulated online we see, for example, that among the titles installed there is the very lucky Fortnite, the brightest gem of the US software house Epic Games. There are 350 million registered accounts worldwide.

The numbers of gaming in Italy

L'IIDEA, the Italy Interactive Digital Entertainment Association, produces reports every year to capture a snapshot of videogame entertainment in our country. In April, the numbers of the previous 12 months were disclosed: 17 million gamers along the boot (equal to 39% of the population) spread over age groups ranging from 6 to 64 years; half men and half women; the turnover of the software sector has totaled 1.4 billion euros (+ 17.3%). Encouraging numbers for industry and development houses, often young startups. Numbers that clarify the basic question: video games are for everyone and are liked by many.

Accessible commands and new languages for disability

To cite the most famous example of the last few weeks, just look at the many accessibility of commands in The Last of Us 2, the latest title from the Naughty Dog software house, perhaps the most anticipated game of the year and the definitive masterpiece on PlayStation 4, waiting for the new generation of Sony's console. As we read on Multiplayer, the developers have also considered gamers with disabilities, to allow them to have fun in the role of Ellie: simplified combat, slow motion mode, use of color contrast to identify incoming opponents. In short, everything at the service of the digital consumer, whoever he is, whatever his ability to handle a joypad. Finally, disability finds a new language in the world of gaming. An experienced developer behind a free of charge inspired by the oratory of the Governor of Campania, Vincenzo De Luca. «The game was born as a joke, one weekend, together with my brother. With him, suffering from autism, I have already made several plans - he said Luigi Sannino, 23, from Naples - I think the world of video games can really help families living in situations of this type. Stimulating the creativity of these people is a way to communicate with them ».

Alessandro Di Stefano

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