Each year the staff of the Shapiro Design Lab split into teams to develop different projects. One of our project teams this year is focused on Adaptive Gaming. Adaptive Gaming technology allows users with limited mobility to still be able to participate. Games may be considered to be adaptive if they can be: played with one hand, played with voice control, played with a mouth control, etc. One of the most important things that can makes a game adaptive is the controller. Companies like Xbox have jumped on board and released adaptive devices which allow users to customize how the games are played according to their own abilities. Hopefully in the near future, more companies will introduce their own technology. The Shapiro Design Lab’s Adaptive Gaming team is interested in further developing these controllers and the awareness of them within the gaming community.
One of the Adaptive Gaming team’s initiatives for this semester was to organize two gaming nights. The first event on Central Campus was organized as a “workshop” where students could come learn about adaptive technology and create some of their own. Student’s saw Xbox’s Adaptive Controller, Nintendo’s Switch, and other devices in use. They were also able to make their own large buttons at a soldering station. Larger buttons like these are easier for limited mobility users to push. The second event was a gaming exhibition held on North Campus. Gamers with disabilities and adaptive gaming allies were invited to the Computer and Video Game Archive in the Duderstadt to play games together. It was a fun event that drew in a great crowd. Many students who attended were just walking by and stopped to see what was going on. Both events were a great way to spread awareness of Adaptive Gaming and develop new connections within the UM community.