The newspaper Público published a piece about the work of David Gonçalves, LASIGE’s PhD Student and researcher, within the rubric “Tell us your Science”, on July 17, 2023. The article focuses on the work published this year at CHI 2023 and co-authored with Pedro Pais (PhD student), Manuel Piçarra (MSc student), João Guerreiro, and André Rodrigues (both integrated researchers), which describes the experiences of blind players playing mainstream digital games.
It is estimated that around 40 million people are blind but technological advances open up new possibilities, enabling inclusive practices and better living conditions, including in the area of entertainment.
However, as David mentions “The vast majority of video games are designed for a stereotypical population, assuming that all players see what happens on the screen or use their hands to press keys. There are accessible options, but usually, we are talking about games specifically designed to accommodate a disability. This is the case of so-called “audio games”, designed for blind people to play using only their hearing. Unfortunately, the most popular games rely heavily on the use of sight, and are rarely accessible, let alone offer an experience that can be shared with players of different abilities. It is therefore crucial to strategies in game development to meet the needs of a diverse audience”. The newspaper piece is available here.
“Tell us your Science” is an initiative open to all PhD students at the University of Lisbon, which challenges them to share with Público readers a short text about their scientific research, and why this work is important for all of us, sharing scientific knowledge with society, a non-specialized audience.
Photo credits: David Gonçalves