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AbleGamers Announces ‘Player Panels’ for Gamers with Disabilities

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AbleGamers recently announced ‘Player Panels’, which will help disabled gamers take the lead on gaming accessibility testing and research. The charity is partnering with developers and researchers alike “to ensure game accessibility is at the forefront of game development.”

What Does AbleGamers Do?

The AbleGamers Foundation is a 501 (C) (3) nonprofit charity “that aims to improve the overall quality of life for those with disabilities through the power of video games.”

Mark Barlet founded the Charity in 2004. They make specialized gaming rigs, modded controllers, and assistive technology created uniquely for each disabled gamer they work with. This way, they make it possible for people with a wide range of disabilities to play games.

Specialists use technologies such as mouth controllers, eye gaze, and customized modded controllers.  Their goal is to “find a way for people to play video games no matter their disability… we’re using the latest, bleeding-edge technology to bridge the gap between ability and desire.”

AbleGamers also offer grants for disabled gamers whose medical bills make it harder to buy games and equipment. They’re also in the process of opening gaming centers for people with disabilities.

Player Panels

‘Player Panels’ is the next step for AbleGamers– helping change the way developers themselves think about accessibility. The program is “a platform for the voices of gamers with disabilities who need these in-game features.”

The charity is looking to put together a team of players with firsthand experience in gaming accessibility. In partnership with the University of York, panels will be paired with game companies and researchers as accessibility testers. The companies working with AbleGamers ensure proper compensation will be available to all involved.

AbleGamers explained the need for a program like this:“Every year we have countless calls for help from universities, game companies, and other organizations, asking us to provide the names and contact information of people with disabilities. Sometimes, it’s about testing games; other times it is about seeing if a new way of doing things helps make things more inclusive. We felt it was crucial to create a program that would protect players while enabling a database of accessibility testers to be created who WANT to be involved and contacted. We’re aiming to make the largest group of people who want to help shape the future of game accessibility ever created.”

If you’re a gamer with disabilities who’s interested in signing up, you can fill out the application here. If you’d like to support AbleGamers, go here to find out the different ways you can donate!

I play a lot of video games and watch a lot of cartoons. I'm probably complaining about Overwatch.

Gaming

Amazon’s great Fallout TV show is nominated for 16 Emmys

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Critics and fans alike went crazy for Amazon’s take on the famous role-playing game series Fallout. There were a lot of nominations for 16 Emmy awards, including Best Actor and Outstanding Drama Series. The show was able to reach audiences outside of gamers and got a lot of attention from the industry.

Eurogamer has been keeping track, and now that all the votes are in, Fallout is tied for fifth place with 23 nominations for the 76th Emmy Awards, which are put on by the US Academy of Television Arts & Sciences. With 25, The Bear has the most nominations, followed by True Detective: Night Country with 23, and Shogun with 19.

It shouldn’t be a surprise that Walton Goggins is up for Best Actor for his performance as The Ghoul. Although games will always be our first choice, it’s great that adaptations of games don’t have to be awful, and we can’t wait for the next season of the shows.

Are you surprised by how well Amazon’s version of Fallout has done in the mainstream? Is the curse of movies based on video games finally over? Leave a comment below and let us know.

 

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Call of Duty: Black Ops 6 Sets Dates for the Next Multiplayer Beta

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Call of Duty: Black Ops 6 is getting closer and closer, and Activision has announced when players will be able to get their hands on the next game. This means that there will be several chances to try it out before it comes out. If you paid a lot, you might be able to play for more than a week at the end of August and beginning of September.

Call of Duty Early Access will run from Friday, August 30th, to Wednesday, September 4th, as announced on its blog. This is two days after the Call of Duty Next showcase, which is set for August 28th. To play, you must have already bought Black Ops 6.

The open beta is the following weekend, and anyone who wants to can join. The fun will start on Friday, September 6th, and end on Monday, September 9th. The full release is set for October 25th of next month on PS5 and PS4.

How excited are you for the next Call of Duty game? Are you going to play Black Ops 6 in either the Early Access or Open Beta versions? Leave a comment below and let us know.

 

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Ten million people play The First Descendant in its first week

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The free-to-play shooter The First Descendant has gotten a lot of attention in its first week. The game’s publisher, Nexon, says that 10 million people have already tried it out.

Insider Gaming pointed out that since there is no cost up front, it’s still too early to tell how many of those players will stick around, but it’s still a big number for a new IP. On Steam alone, it peaked at 264,860 concurrents right after launch and has still managed to break 200,000 in the last 24 hours, so it looks like a lot of people are still really into the game.

It was a “mindless and repetitive grind,” and we gave The First Descendant a 3/10 in our review. Of course, that’s just one opinion; other experts have had different ones. Most people, though, say that the game’s annoying free-to-play model is the worst thing about it.

Are you one of the millions of people who played The First Descendant last week? Are you going to come back for more? Leave a comment below and let us know.

 

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