It’s been a few years since I started this blog up and, in that time, I’ve changed and grown as a person. I figured I would take the time to update this page for viewers, new and old. Here is my story and why I decided to start Gastrogamer.
My name is Chad and I’m a 28 year old man and I have a medical condition known as cloacal bladder exstrophy. I spent a large part of my life dealing with trying to fit in, overcoming self confidence issues, and trying to discover who I was. Bladder exstrophy comes with a myriad of complications and I’m lucky to be alive today. I won’t go into all the details, but if you would like to find out more please feel free to see: Association for Bladder Exstrophy
I started Gastrogamer, because I remembered what it felt like to be a young kid in the hospital. You wondered when and if you were going to be able to go home. If you were like me, you got to know the hospital and doctors on a personal level. I got to meet kids with varying conditions, and grew to see the variations of play we were all able to experience. Video games were a new medium that I saw I could escape to when I was feeling self conscious or lacking self esteem. It got me thinking about how these other kids might embrace and escape from their current conditions.
I didn’t discover that I wanted to be a game designer until 2009, but games have always been a crucial component of my life. They have helped me, and others like myself, overcome the struggles that we deal with on a daily basis. Why then should we live in a world where accessibility is not on the forefront of game design? I want the world to know though, that I feel for those who don’t have the confidence to pursue their dreams because they feel different.
The reason I even started this blog was so that I could find a way to promote inspiration, hope, and bring families together by giving them fun through gaming. I’m an aspiring game designer that has dealt with my own struggles all of my life, and now I’m just coming to terms with acceptance and love of it. I’ve had 26 surgeries in my lifetime. I know the difficult times of hardship others with disabilities go through. I want to ease that hardship though, with the means of fun. My goals in life are to use my life experiences to help give gamers, both disabled and able bodied, the opportunity to experience games, fun, enjoyment, and communication together.
I’m a complete and total nerd who enjoys all things nerd culture, whether it’s comic books to video games. I’ve got some experience within it all. I hope that you all enjoy my blog as it goes forward. I hope that as articles go up, we can work together to shape a gaming society that incorporates all players – not just the mainstream culture. I want to change the way the gaming universe looks at how games can be used. I want to show how they can be fun and life changing, and how they can improve aspects of life for those who can’t help themselves.
I look forward to seeing all of these things come to fruition, and I pray that you all will come with me on this journey. You have my thanks for even reading this. Gastrogamer is a place where all people, disabled or able-bodied, can learn about one another, learn about how to help the gaming world and the disabled community, and support those programs that will help those who truly need it.
Here’s to new games and new technology, which will shape the future of our combined enjoyment of games, and hope for solutions in our lives.
– Chad K.
Hello, how are you? Thank you so much for visiting my blog and liking my Art Game. You are welcome to join us. It is fun. i am so inspired of what you have just written about you. This is your gift to the world to give them inspiration of hope. God bless you and I wish you the best in life and all the happiness that you hope for 🙂
Thank you so much for saying that, honestly, that makes my whole day feel better just knowing that someone recognizes my goal in life to spread joy and happiness to all people. I truly love your blog as well! I’m sure I’ll be visiting from time to time to play the game and to also keep up on posts.
You have so much inspiring content on there!
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Yo chad! Sorry to mess up your ‘about’ comments section, but I couldn’t think of a better place to put this hehe.
You’ve been ‘tagged’. If you wanna answer the questions, it’s up to you but if you think it’s dumb don’t worry about it 🙂
Hey Chad, I’m doing some app reviewing and want to include accessibility as one of the review categories. Do you know of any checklists for accessibility criteria? Something simple to use? Thanks!
Hey Karen! So sorry that I’m just now getting back to you! So you’re looking for a sort of listing of accessibility concerns to focus on? I think I can do that. I typically use the format that AbleGamers.com has shown me in the past few months, unless of course I’m writing an article that’s specialized to a specific area of accessibility. Here’s the advice I can offer, these are the areas I focus on usually when analyzing a game:
1. Precision –
Here you want to focus on if the app/game in question requires precise movements of any kind. Does the product require a user to have quick reflexes, fast hands to put in inputs, etc. Does the product require multiple inputs or two hands to process something? This will help you determine if the product will be accessible for motion-impaired consumers.
2. One-handed –
This is pretty much self explanatory. Does the product require multiple hands to use? If so, could it be possible to use if a user were able to accommodate some form of touch to facilitate the second hand? [ I’ve seen gamers who’ve used they’re chin for button inputs. ] Single input/touch screen inputs make the one-handed market easier, but don’t provide much ‘on the go’ methods for the user. One-handed individuals will still have to stop to lay the touchscreen down to use it.
3. Deaf –
This is a major concern usually, because many people have some form of hearing impairment at some point in their lives. It’s more than just text subtitles for spoken words like you see on a TV screen. Deaf individuals are also concerned about ambient sounds. Are there more sounds going on than just text? Are there going to be things off screen going on that the user needs to know about? These are called ambient sounds and they’re often vital for full deaf enjoyment.
4. Subtitles –
A subsidiary of deaf concerns, subtitles are often a vital part of deaf consumer enjoyment. If you’re concerned that an app or product may affect a deaf user, look to see where subtitles are implemented. Are they all inclusive? Do they detail any directions that the user would need to know to complete tasks? Are they large enough and easy to read? etc.
5. Colorblind –
Visual impairments are something to focus on, but one that may not be well noted is colorblindness. I’ve met quite a few gamers who actually have colorblind deficiencies. They have a hard time determining certain color tones. How your layouts of your apps or games look will determine the usability of the product. One of the major ones I’ve seen are contrasting and complimentary colors. Reds and Greens are difficult if in close proximity. Here’s an article that I feel covers the issue in far better detail than I can:
Hope this list helps Karen! Let me know if you need any more help!
Hi, I’ve nominated you for an award: http://wallcatgames.wordpress.com/2012/08/28/one-lovely-blog-award/
Hey Wallcat! I took a month off for summer and I’m flattered that you would nominate my blog for such an award. It means a lot that it means so much to readers that it would be worth such an acknowledgement. I hope in the coming months I can continue to provide readers with valuable information and game design methodologies going forward.
Thanks again! I love your blog as well!