A guide to ensuring accessibility and representation in your game development process


Accessibility in games is about ensuring that players with disabilities or impairments can fully participate in and enjoy your game. This can include everything from providing customisable controls and audio options to designing levels and interfaces that are easy to navigate for players with visual or cognitive impairments.

One key consideration for studios is providing customisable controls that can be tailored to each player’s individual needs. This means allowing players to remap buttons, adjust controller sensitivity, or choose different input devices to accommodate different physical abilities. It’s also important to provide a range of control options, including keyboard and mouse, touch screen, and gamepads, to ensure that players with different abilities and preferences can find a control scheme that works for them.

Audio options are another key consideration. This can include providing closed captioning or subtitles for players with hearing impairments or adding visual cues to audio cues to make the game more accessible to players with visual impairments. It’s also important to ensure that all audio cues have a visual counterpart, such as a visual indicator that shows when an enemy is nearby, or a character is speaking.

Designing levels and interfaces that are easy to navigate for players with visual or cognitive impairments is also important. This means using clear and consistent visual cues to help players understand the game’s mechanics and providing easy-to-read text that is not too small or difficult to see. And avoid using colour alone to convey information, to take those with colour blindness into consideration.

You might want to look at providing the opportunity for players to adjust the game’s difficulty. This can include options to reduce or eliminate time limits, adjust enemy difficulty, or add assistive features like auto-aim or aim assist. Providing these options can help ensure that players with different skill levels and abilities can enjoy the game without feeling frustrated or excluded.

Finally, it’s worth involving players with disabilities or impairments in the development process. This can include consulting with disability advocates, hiring disabled developers, or working with disability organisations to ensure that the game is designed with accessibility in mind.


Representation in games, meanwhile, is about ensuring that players from all backgrounds can see themselves reflected in the games that they play.

First and foremost, it’s important to understand that representation in video games means including characters and stories that reflect the diversity of the real world. This can include representing different races, ethnicities, genders, sexual orientations, abilities, and ages. By including characters and stories that reflect this diversity, games studios can create games that feel more realistic and relatable to a broad range of players.

It is vital that characters are not stereotyped or tokenised. This means avoiding one-dimensional representations of characters based on their gender, race, or other identity markers. It’s important to create characters that are complex and multi-dimensional, with unique personalities, motivations, and backstories. Characters from under-represented groups should not relegated to minor or supporting roles, but are given the same level of attention and importance as other characters in the game.

The game’s setting and world should reflect the diversity of the real world. This means creating environments that reflect a broad range of cultures and experiences. And make sure that they feel authentic and respectful of the cultures and experiences they represent.

In addition to characters and setting, you might want to consider representation in the game’s marketing and promotional materials. This means ensuring that the game’s trailers, screenshots, and other promotional materials feature a diverse range of characters and perspectives.

Of course, to be authentic, it helps to have lived experiences within your studio, so having a development team which reflects a diverse range of backgrounds and experiences is key. This means hiring developers from under-represented groups, such as women, people of colour, and LGBTQ+ individuals. By including a diverse range of perspectives on the development team, studios can ensure that the game is created with a broad range of experiences and perspectives in mind. You can find out more about recruitment and hiring for a diverse studio here.

Finally, involve players in the representation process. This means listening to feedback from players about how the game’s characters, settings, and storylines are being represented. Be open to feedback and willing to make changes based on this input.

Accessibility and representation in video games are crucial because they ensure that a broader range of players can engage with and enjoy games, fostering inclusivity. When players see themselves represented in games, it validates their experiences and promotes a sense of belonging. Additionally, diverse characters and narratives can introduce players to different perspectives, enriching storytelling and promoting empathy. Lastly, prioritising accessibility ensures that players of all abilities can participate, expanding the audience and making gaming more universally approachable.

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