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According to the Oxford English Dictionary, inclusivity is the “practice or policy of including people who might otherwise be excluded or marginalized, such as those who have physical or mental disabilities and members of minority groups.” This competition challenges you to imagine inclusivity as both a design principle but as a game mechanic. Working in teams of upwards of five, your goal is to pitch and prototype either a physical or digital game that is as accessible as possible for people with disabilities, minority groups, and other populations that are traditionally underrepresented by the contemporary gaming industry. Winning teams will be eligible for a variety of prizes, including funding and support to turn their prototype into a finished game. Interested? Scroll down for details.

How Can Games Bring People Together? 

The ideal of “fair play” is fundamental to our understanding of what constitutes a good game or gaming experience. Whether on the sports field, the card table, or in the virtual, networked environments of our video games, we believe that all players should have the same opportunities to participate regardless of individual differences. The problem, though, is that the way we achieve this ideal is often fundamentally unfair. As with many other aspects of everyday life, we design games in the idealized image of so-called “normal” players---which is to say, in the image of individuals who are imagined as possessing a requisite level of physical and mental ability. In doing so, we make it more difficult for people with disabilities and special needs to participate as equals. The result is an unequal playing field---a culture of games and gaming that is designed for and privileges certain types of players as “normal” or “able” at the expense of others.  

The Challenge:  

Designed to radically challenge our predefined notions of who gets to play and what constitutes play, this event challenges you and your team to use the principles of inclusive design to prototype  games (digital, board, card, etc....) that are as accessible to as many people as possible. Finished games should feature innovative game mechanics designed to accommodate players across the sensory spectrum. They should also include narratives, characters, and other game play elements that reflect a diversity of human experiences and abilities. 

Interested? There are two ways you can sign up: 

1.) Register as a team: tackle this challenge with a group of up to five friends.  
2.) Register solo: we’ll put you into a team with other participants based on your interests and expertise. 

STEAM on Spectrum event at the Virginia Modeling, Analysis, and Simulation Center on October 27, 2018. The event was showing children and their parents the fun side of Science, Technology, Engineering, Art, and Math (STEAM).




Virginia Modeling, Analysis, & Simulation Center

Dr. Kevin Moberly

Address1030 University Blvd, Suffolk, VA 23435

Phone: 757-683-5324

Email: inclusivegaming@odu.edu

"VSDC proudly supports the Inclusive Gaming Initiative, which educates future problem solvers and facilitates increased empathy through the development of technology enabling inclusion. The initiative fosters data-driven problem-solving thinking and supports the VSDC's goals for human-centered data solutions."