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Community Driven Adaptation of Game Based Learning Content for Cognitive Accessibility
Stockholm University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Computer and Systems Sciences.
2016 (English)In: Proceedings of The 10th European Conference on Games Based Learning / [ed] Thomas Connolly, Liz Boyle, Academic Conferences Publishing, 2016, 781-787 p.Conference paper, Published paper (Refereed)
Abstract [en]

Computer games have great potential both for learning purposes and to overcome cognitive disabilities such as dyslexia, but many games are unnecessarily inaccessible by design for many gamers. There are few games accessible for people with cognitive impairments and cognition is also less researched regarding game accessibility. This gap is especially problematic when using games in educational contexts; both regarding universal human rights of education and equality but also because understanding content is central in a learning situation. Furthermore, game based learning projects often have very limited budgets, restraining to what extent game content can be adapted by the developers. However, computer games are increasingly required to be accessible due to legislation in the USA, which will benefit all gamers to different degrees. The problem is that adapting content usually requires human intervention and extra resources, which are limited for all game developers but especially so for GBL developers and independent entertainment game developers. Involving the game community could be a possible approach for many developers, but how community driven adaptation of textbased content for cognitive accessibility could be achieved is not a trivial question. A possible approach to close the gap in a sustainable way is a community driven adaption of content such as transforming text into a simplified form, while maintaining meaning of the text and keeping the game balanced. This interdisciplinary, theoretical study discusses these issues based upon academic papers in computer games, learning, social psychology, linguistics, biology, human computer interaction and accessibility. The findings explain what simplified text is and what it means in the context of games, as well as how game balance can be achieved in different approaches of games and learning. Furthermore, the findings are discussed regarding motivations for the game community for contributing with simplified texts, and how to create accessible interfaces for selecting the highest-rated simplified texts. Concluding remarks are that community based adaptation can be preferred to – or be used in conjunction with – automated and/or individual solutions. Also, how to design a ranking system for acknowledging authors is discussed as well as what social psychology techniques can be used to increase user participation. Handling abuse of the system is important, as well as considering different challenges for different forms of games (real-time/turn-based, multi-player/single-player) and different approaches to games and learning. Finally, future work with participatory action research and potential benefits for people with other disabilities is discussed.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Academic Conferences Publishing, 2016. 781-787 p.
Series
ECGBL Proceedings, ISSN 2049‐0992 ; 2016
National Category
Information Systems
Research subject
Computer and Systems Sciences
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:su:diva-135409ISBN: 9781911218098 (print)OAI: oai:DiVA.org:su-135409DiVA: diva2:1045193
Conference
The 10th European Conference on Games Based Learning (ECGBL), Paisley, United Kingdom, 6th to 7th October 2016
Available from: 2016-11-08 Created: 2016-11-08 Last updated: 2017-06-22Bibliographically approved

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