Games development is perhaps one of the least explored areas of accessible design. A new aesthetics theme at the upcoming 9th International Computer Games Conference to take place in Dublin from 22nd to 24th November 2006, will provide an opportunity for contributors to address a broad range of questions in the emerging area of accessible computer games design.

The overarching theme will aim to provoke lively debate on the question: How can the aesthetics of game design lead to the making of inclusive games and for gaming experiences coloured with play, beauty, engagement and interaction?

In the context of computer games, much attention is paid to the visual and auditory elements of design that make a game fun, intriguing, challenging, educational, or whatever designers and users intend, most often from a seeing world perspective. This exciting new theme encourages designers, practitioners, researchers, and others with an active interest, to share perspectives on game design that overstep the boundaries of traditional approaches in designing for people who are blind or partially sighted, as well as for others with special (dis)abilities. This session will offer participants a unique opportunity to specifically examine possibilities for creating accessible games for visually impaired gamers in a cross-disciplinary setting.

The event is enveloped in an aesthetic theme to address the important questions emerging about how to make the most out of opportunities to design in a really inclusive way. For example:

What can sighted designers learn from designing games for blind people or for people with other special sensory abilities or difficulties?

Can design of video-games be made accessible or should design of computer games be totally reinvented for blind or disabled people?

What can we learn from examples of design for disabled people?

Examples of design of computer games for disabled or underrepresented people.

How can an awareness of aesthetic issues open up new avenues for computer games design?

What is the role of aesthetics in the design of accessible computer games?

The session is equally open to contributions on the aesthetics of games design and accessible games design that take an analytic or a more speculative approach. Contributions will be accepted based on originality and relevance to the theme and can be based around work in progress (deadline is 20th September 2006).

For more information please visit the conference website or contact Sal Fiore or Qasim Mehdi