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Microsoft setting up accessibility consulting service for developers

Published: 12:12, 17 February 2021
Microsoft
Warning, Xbox Accessibility Guidelines may cause excessive smiling
Warning, Xbox Accessibility Guidelines may cause excessive smiling

One has to give it up to Microsoft, whose Xbox Series X and S, Game Pass, xCloud and a number of games in development didn't prevent them from thinking about the less fortunate.

This is nothing new, mind you, as the company has been investing and promoting game controllers and gear that has brought more laughs and joy than Big Bang Theory. It doesn't get nobler than this folks, honestly. 

"Passion for game accessibility has grown exponentially among developers and gamers alike in the past decade. According to the ESA Foundation, there are nearly 46 million gamers with disabilities in the U.S. alone, so we’re heartened to see that game developers are actively seeking out resources that guide inclusive game design to ensure that their games are fun for everyone who wants to play", the company wrote.

Their uncompromising insistence on inclusive design across team Xbox can be traced back to 2019, when the Microsoft Gaming Accessibility team laid down the Xbox Accessibility Guidelines (XAGs) - a set of practices that will ensure everyone is able-bodied in the world of gaming. 

During this period, Microsoft encountered many a studio that wished to contribute, which ultimately provided them with a clear set of XAG guidelines for various stages of development. Moreover, good guy Xbox are willing to take third-party games for professional consultation on why, how, and where to focus their efforts.

One Special Day One Special Day initiative for gamers with disabilities, by Special Effect One Special Day by Special Effect charity (unrelated to Microsoft by the way, but the smile made it worth it)

"Developers now have the option to send Microsoft their Xbox or PC title and have it analyzed and validated against the recommendations provided in the XAGs. Where issues are found, they are noted with reproduction steps, screenshots, and other information to help the developer understand what aspect of a given experience may be challenging for certain gamers with disabilities", they said. 

You can find the full post on Xbox Wire

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