Serious indie games for social awareness: Gamifying human characters with disabilities

  • Choo A
  • Eylül Işcen Ö
  • Karamnejad M
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Abstract

By avoiding holistic and accurate portrayals of the physical limitations of human beings, contemporary games ultimately fail to acknowledge the more marginalized qualities of humankind in their characters. For example, we often see idealized human heroes who require no food, water or sleep in games from all generations, such as the majority of characters in first person shooters (FPS), roleplaying games (RPG) and action adventure games. Such characters shrug off extreme bodily damage and are almost always in perfect mental health. 3=3 aims to expand the definition of what it means to experience the journey of an ideal protagonist through the realization and development of three characters, each of whom have an individualized disability or impairment. Inspired by games with proven design frameworks, game mechanics and user experiences, their journey together to survive a contemporary disaster scenario becomes a memorable experience of emotive and relational understanding. 3=3 aims to encourage a positive shift in the way gamers understand and perceive the embodied experiences that manifest from the addressed disability demographics, not only in virtual characters, but in real life encounters. Additionally, the success of 3=3 would invoke new perceptions in regards to how notable characters can be portrayed, encouraging game designers to consider more realistic, inclusive portrayals. Copyright 2013 ACM.

Author-supplied keywords

  • Carrier mobility
  • Design
  • Learning systems
  • Mobility
  • autism
  • blindness
  • disability awareness
  • educational game
  • educational games
  • game design
  • indie games
  • serious games

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Authors

  • A Choo

  • Ö Eylül Işcen

  • M Karamnejad

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