Accessibility in video games: a systematic review

  • Juan Aguado-DelgadoEmail author
  • José-María Gutiérrez-Martínez
  • José R. Hilera
  • Luis de-Marcos
  • Salvador Otón
Review Paper


Video games are software products with several purposes that are growing in strength and weight in society. However, there is one noticeable problem about them; in most cases, their developers most often do not take into consideration people with disabilities when they are creating video game applications. People with disabilities are thus partially or completely excluded from their use. Prior to any additional work, it is required to have an updated state of the art about this topic. This paper shows the results of a systematic literature review conducted to define the current status of video games accessibility. The type of review is broader than usual, so it is a systematic mapping study (a specific class of systematic review). Besides elaborating the state of the art (qualitative information), we identified and analyzed related works (45 relevant studies) to provide quantitative information of the performed search (including graphs and tables), such as the number of articles found by phases, their sources, their research type, the research questions answered, the kind of disability addressed, and the type and year of publications. None of the studied initiatives can guarantee universally accessible video game applications. Our proposal is to create an integral software engineering methodology that considers accessibility guidelines, techniques, strategies, human factors, etc. in the video game software development process.


Video games Accessibility Human–computer interface Systematic mapping study Systematic literature review Interdisciplinary projects 



The authors would like to thank the EC-funded project ESVI-AL (ALFA III program), the PMI and TIFyC research groups at the University of Alcalá (UAH) and the Master’s Programme in Software Engineering for the Web, of the University of Alcalá (UAH). In addition, the authors are thankful for the funding of the research process to the ESVI-AL observatory and the access to the search resources to the UAH, without which it would have been impossible to consult the bibliography and reach the knowledge acquired during the review. Finally, we would like to also thank Euan Short for his invaluable help in the paper translation process.


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag GmbH Germany, part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Computer Science, Superior Polytechnic SchoolUniversity of AlcaláAlcalá de HenaresSpain

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