This book explores the opportunities and challenges people with disabilities experience in the context of digital games from the perspective of three related areas: representation, access and inclusion, and community.

Drawing on key concerns in disability media studies, the book brings together scholars from disability studies and game studies, alongside game developers, educators, and disability rights activists, to reflect upon the increasing visibility of disabled characters in digital games. Chapters explore the contemporary gaming environment as it relates to disability on platforms such as Twitch, Minecraft, and Tingyou, while also addressing future possibilities and pitfalls for people with disabilities within gaming given the rise of virtual reality applications, and augmented games such as Pokémon Go. The book asks how game developers can attempt to represent diverse abilities, taking games such as BlindSide and Overwatch as examples.

A significant collection for scholars and students interested in the critical analysis of digital games, this volume will be of interest across several disciplines including game studies, game design and development, internet, visual, cultural, communication and media studies, as well as disability studies.

chapter 1|16 pages


Gaming (and) Disability
ByKatie Ellis, Tama Leaver, Mike Kent

part Part I|86 pages


chapter 182|12 pages

A History of Disability in Video Game Character Design

ByJennifer Dalsen

chapter 3|10 pages

Dis/abling Androids

Gaming, Posthumanism, and Critical Disability Studies
ByMark A. Castrodale

chapter 4|14 pages

Outliers as Heroes

Disability, Representation, and Inclusion in Blizzard's Overwatch
ByKai-Ti Kao, Denise Woods

chapter 5|14 pages

The Dis/ability of the Avatar

Vulnerability versus the Autonomous Subject
BySimon Ledder

chapter 6|12 pages

Crashing through Capitalism

Happy Wheels, Debilitation, and Disability Representation
ByLeanne McRae

chapter 7|11 pages

A Missile to the Face

Scarred Characters in Mass Effect 2
ByGabriele Aroni

chapter 8|11 pages

Representations of Ability in Digital Games

ByDiane Carr

part Part II|78 pages

Digital Access and Design

chapter 1049|12 pages

A Spectrum of Real

Augmented Reality and Social Scaffolding
ByCraig Smith, Heath Wild

chapter 10|15 pages

Towards Inclusive Game Design

ByPatricia da Silva Leite, Leonelo Dell Anhol Almeida

chapter 11|12 pages

The Ultimate Medium for People with Disabilities?

Re-Centring the Human in Virtual Reality Visions of Play, Care, and Empathy
ByMarisa Brandt, Mitchell Reddan, Morgan Kiryakoza

chapter 12|11 pages

The Sociological Accessibility of Gaming

ByMichael James Heron

chapter 13|13 pages

A Life-Course Analysis of Third-Age Digital Game Players in China

ByChen Guo, Katie Ellis

chapter 14|13 pages

Gaming with Blindness in Audio Virtual Reality

Making BlindSide
ByMike Kent, Michael T. Astolfi, Aaron Rasmussen

part Part III|67 pages

Inclusive Communities

chapter 18215|13 pages

A (Dis-)abling Gaming Model for Playful Inclusion

Playing (Digital) Games with Persons with and without Learning Difficulties and Dis/abilities
ByGertraud Kremsner, Alexander Schmoelz, Michelle Proyer

chapter 16|14 pages

Online Games Players in Darkness

A Study of the Blind Gaming Community Tingyou
ByHuan Wu

chapter 17|12 pages

Pokémon Go and Urban Accessibility

ByKathryn Locke, Tama Leaver

chapter 18|15 pages

Crip Twitchology

You're Already One of Us
ByKatie Ellis, Lachlan Howells

chapter 19|11 pages

Minecraft as an Online Playground

Reframing Play and Games in a Minecraft Community for Autistic Youth
ByKathryn E. Ringland