Games are there for everyone! About the inclusion through eSports

The increasing interest in the mass phenomenon eSports naturally includes the 10 million people with recognized disabilities in Germany. How can impaired people be included in eSports and why is especially this area suitable for the inclusion of people with disabilities?

eSports connects

The segment of eSports is a special part of our society since it pays no attention to nationality, gender, age or physical condition. In the digital world, everyone has the same chances. ESports can make it possible to bring together people with and without disabilities if the set-up is adjusted for disabled gamers. Niklas “nik-lugi” Luginsland, professional player for VfB Stuttgart shows them all. Due to the rare hereditary disease called osteogenesis imperfecta, often referred to as vitreous bone disease, he is reliant on a wheelchair for all his life. Nevertheless, he regularly demonstrates his extraordinary skills in the Virtual Bundesliga. One can see that eSports and its accessible entry has a high potential to enable people with disabilities to participate, communicate and interact.

Accessible controllers

Gamers’ individual disabilities require input devices that are adapted to their needs. The considerable advantage of eSports is that, regardless of the person and its controller in front of the screen, the input within the game is the same. This means that no advantages or disadvantages can arise. Over the decades, producers and tinkers developed a variety of input devices to help people with disabilities. These include, amongst others, one-handed controllers, motion sensors attached to the foot or mouth-controlled input devices. Last year, a special controller has been published. It offers the possibility to couple a wide variety of input devices that are adapted to the individual needs of the users. Thus, it can provide an identical gaming experience for everyone.

An inclusive gaming world

In addition to the inclusive hardware it is also necessary to adapt the games themselves in order to meet the needs of impaired gamers. These adjustments include not only the versatile possibility to change the key assignment. Moreover, there is the desire to incorporate characters with disabilities in the game. This should be done in order to, on the one hand, identify with the character. On the other, to raise awareness for the inclusion of disabled people in the segment of eSports.

First steps towards a gaming world for everyone

These new developments, which are designed to provide a full-fledged gaming experience for disabled gamers. Still, these are only a first step towards the inclusion of disabled gamers in the fields of eSports. It is obvious that eSports can provide a framework that blurs the boundaries between disability and non-disability. Nonetheless, it is still necessary to develop new products to support people with physical disabilities. Moreover, it will be crucial to impel the inclusion of disabled people in eSports and society in order to create an analogue and digital world for everyone.