What is accessibility?

As a design principle, good accessibility means people of all abilities can interact with whatever you're designing. It's usually focused on people with disabilities or other limiting conditions, but accessible design benefits everyone. Accessibility is related to usability, which refers to the ease-of-use and intuitiveness of your design. Using these two principles always results in better, clearer design.

Why is accessibility important?

Video games are a powerful medium for storytelling and immersion. But for players with disabilities or other limiting conditions, poorly designed video games can be a barrier to entry. Nearly everyone will experience some limiting condition in their lifetimes, from having a broken arm or broken headphones to worsening eyesight and mobility issues as they get older.


I'm Ruthie Edwards, a VCU Brandcenter graduate student focusing on Experience Design. I'm a gamer, a game developer, and a game jam addict. In fall 2018, I got to combine the principles of accessibility and usability with my love for game design in an independent study, resulting in these guidelines. I also developed a game called Just Fishing to prove that accessible design principles create better games. I'll be presenting both of these at MAGFest in January 2019.

Special Thanks

These guidelines wouldn't be possible without the support of the accessibility community. Thank you to Barrie Ellis, Susan from OneOddGamerGirl, TJ the Blind Gamer, Ertay from Sightless Fun, Andrew LeVasseur, and all the gamers I've interviewed, along with everyone at RVA Game Jams and the VCU Brandcenter for the encouragement and user testing.