Microsoft is holding an Accessibility Summit this week. Whether for the Edge browser, Windows 11, or the gaming branch, the company is full of innovations and services designed in collaboration with users with disabilities. Even Minecraft is becoming more accessible.
When you aim to beat the three billion players on the planet, and all mediums combined, you need to know how to adapt your message as much as your tools. The message has always been very clear in Microsoft’s mind with the desire to make every service, every accessory, and every philosophy accessible to as many people as possible. The tools have become more precise so that everyone can enjoy everything with equal ease.
mark Microsoft Capacity Summit Organized this Tuesday, Redmond revealed new trends in many areas, from Windows 11 to Microsoft Edge via Xbox. Already on the cutting edge of accessibility On PCs and consoles, Microsoft goes above and beyond for its gamers.
All ready to improve accessibility on console and PC
A few years ago, Microsoft launched the Xbox Insider Hub. A space that allows you to test and give feedback on beta features, sometimes games, and different services. For several months now, the community of disabled and healthy gamers who want to help improve accessibility in video games have been able to give their opinion and discuss the various options and functions that will then be rolled out to consoles and PCs.
The Xbox Accessibility Insiders League (XAIL) was born with over 158,000 players with disabilities and community supporters. They give their opinion of the accessibility features offered, and provide ideas for developers. They can also submit products and games for testing via the Microsoft Game Accessibility Testing Service (MGATS) in order to get feedback from the community.
” We all make games to play and we want as many people as possible to experience the worlds you build. This can only happen if players can experience your game and are confident in their ability to play it.”explains Sarah Bonds, who is responsible for the game creator experience and the Xbox ecosystem.
With 400 million gamers with disabilities, this topic is taken very seriously by Seattle. We know above all that everything initially goes through the game developers, who now have the bible to support in the design (Xbox Accessibility Guidelines). This is being enriched by new practices in mental health (Topic covered in the game Psychological Pioneers 2)-Work on text size or even motion sickness.
Developers can also take advantage of free online courses on the basics of game design to make it more accessible, with a resource base available for basic knowledge, community communications and best practices. Hardware or software practices as well.
It’s easier to find the right game
For Microsoft, the most important part is also allowing gamers to enjoy the games. They still need to know which one is made for them.
There is now a way to determine which games may best suit their disability. Last year, the Xbox was revealed Add an accessibility sheet With the options included, the features you would expect from a game offered by the developers. About twenty of the most desirable features are listed and displayed according to the titles they support.
Xbox Accessibility Menu // Source: Xbox
It’s now possible to sort your game library (or those in the Xbox Store) to find your best matches thanks to the accessibility feature tags (custom volume control, subtitles, etc.) and search menu.
To raise awareness of everyone’s disabilities, Microsoft has announced the arrival Minecraft: Education Edition fromBuildability, an accessibility-themed world designed with the barriers that players with disabilities often encounter. More than what is meant for people with disabilities, this world wants to make physically able people aware of difficulties and teach them to recognize and eliminate them within schools and communities.
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