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Stevie Wonder's Plea for Accessibility in Games

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Undoubtedly, the Spike Video Game Awards' Best Music Game was going to go to The Beatles: Rock Band, and the show lined up a presenter with enough star power to do the job last night: Motown legend Stevie Wonder.

But it's what Wonder, did with the moment that shows why the man is and has been so respected, for so long, in both his art and popular culture. In praising the rhythm genre for creating accessibility to disabled gamers, Wonder - blind since birth - called on the industry as a whole to follow that example, and find ways that this emerging art form may be enjoyed by everyone.

Yes, "video game" would imply that sight is a necessary condition of participation. People have had the same assumption about baseball, which is also played by the blind; basketball is contested by those who use wheelchairs. On and on. These are not the games many people choose to play, and they are not the ones we watch on television. But the value these sports present to their participants can't be qualified by whether the fully abled would want to play.


Similarly, perhaps a game for the blind, whatever form it takes, would not be one that you or I would buy. But Stevie Wonder is right; as the art form mainstreams, it acquires mainstream obligations to serve more communities that wish to enjoy it. His message last night was on the mark. This is a remarkably creative industry, and it can find a way.

Stevie Wonder Pleads for "Disabled Accessibility" [The Lost Gamer]