Gaming for good: The Game Awards 2023 and the rise in impact and accessibility

Last week on the 7th of December 2023 was The Game Awards. Whilst there was lot of cool awards and premieres, here's our run down of the rise of impact and accessibility in the digital space.
Tags: Accessibility, Blog, Impact

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Innovation of Accessibility

This award focuses on games that take care to add features and content to enhance their games to make them more accessible to a wider audience. The nominations for this category were:

  • Diablo IV by Blizzard Entertainment
  • Forza Motorsports by Turn 10 Studios / Xbox Game Studios
  • Hi-Fi Rush by Tango Gameworks / Bethesda Softworks
  • Marvel’s Spider-man 2 by Insomniac Games / SIE
  • Mortal Kombat 1 by NetherRealm Studios / WB Games
  • Street Fighter 6 by Capcom

The winner was Forza Motorsports, and rightfully so! The game did a great job, from subtitles and screenreader compatibility to the world’s first ‘Bind driving Assists’, Turn 10 Studios put great effort into helping make their game as accessible as possible.

Screenshot from access-ability.uk

Games for Impact

This award is given to games that showcase a pro-social and thought-provoking message. The nominees were:

  • A Space For The Unbound by Mojiken Studios / Toge Productions / Chorus
  • Chance of Seenaar by Rundisc / Focus Entertainment
  • Goodbye Volcano High by KO_OP
  • Tchia by Awaceb / Kepler Interactive
  • Terra Nil by Free Lives / Developer Digital / Netflix
  • Venba by Visai games

The winner was Tchia, an open-world action/adventure game, which is a coming-of-age story inspired by the culture, folklore and landscapes of New Caledonia – a place that most people don’t even know exists! The Cofounders of the studio call this island home and the game includes voice acting from people native to New Caledonia.

An honourable mention from me is Venba. It’s a beautiful narrative story game about an immigrant mother who moved with her family to Canada from India in the 1980s and the role that food has in connecting generations. The soundtrack is inspired by Tamil music, and comes through the radio whilst your cooking and makes you feel like you’re really in the Kitchen cooking these dishes.

World Premier – Harmonium: The Musical

One thing about the game awards, is the hype surrounding new video game trailers. One in particular that is exciting, is Harmonium: The Musical. We don’t know a whole about the game, but what we do know, is it tells the story of 10-year-old Melody, who is deaf and wants to make a musical that extends beyond the page.

The game aims to be accessible for a wide, all-ages audience to enjoy and is a collaboration between many artists, developers and the Deaf community.

You can view the trailer here!

So why is this important for charities?

It might be easy to look at accessibility in a very isolated view – making sure a building has wheelchair access or brail on signs. Whilst these features for accessibility are super important, the wider need for accessible digital content is ever-rising and charities need to make sure that any benefactor or donator can access all of your content.

These awards also show how important it is to highlight your impact on your charity website. It might feel like you are bragging about all the awesome work you do, but you should! People love to hear about the positive change your charity has done, and gives you some credibility to potential donors or sponsors.

Unsure of where to start with your accessibility journey? Read our starter guide for accessibility.

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