Game Accessibility Guidelines and WCAG 2.0 – A Gap Analysis

  • Thomas WestinEmail author
  • JaEun Jemma Ku
  • Jérôme Dupire
  • Ian Hamilton
Conference paper
Part of the Lecture Notes in Computer Science book series (LNCS, volume 10896)


Game accessibility is to remove unnecessary barriers for people with disabilities (PwD), within the limitation of game rules. Canvas in HTML5 and WebGL means that virtually every web browser is a game runtime environment. The problem is that web-based games can only be optimised to follow WCAG within limits of game rules and WCAG may not include what is needed for accessible games. The W3C Silver Taskforce is at the time of this writing preparing the next version of WCAG. This paper compares WCAG 2.0 and a set of current game accessibility guidelines (GAG), to answer: (1) Which similarities and differences can be found between WCAG 2.0 and GAG?; (2) How may these differences inform the W3C Silver Taskforce in the ongoing work to prepare the next version of WCAG?; and (3) How could the optimisation for accessibility in web-based games be performed? 107 GAGs were compared with WCAG 2.0, resulting in 61 survey questions plus comments and demographics, sent to experts and other users of WCAG. Semi-structured interviews were also conducted. Conclusions are that there is a clear gap but WCAG 2.1 bridges a few parts. Furthermore, the study seems relevant for the Silver Taskforce in understanding the demarcation line between apps in general and games and possibly for how extended reality applications could be made more accessible.


Games Accessibility Web Canvas WebGL Guidelines 


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Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing AG, part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • Thomas Westin
    • 1
    Email author
  • JaEun Jemma Ku
    • 2
  • Jérôme Dupire
    • 3
  • Ian Hamilton
    • 4
  1. 1.Department of Computer and Systems ScienceStockholm UniversityStockholmSweden
  2. 2.University of IllinoisUrbanaUSA
  3. 3.CNAMParisFrance
  4. 4.BristolUK

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