The Game Accessibility Conference (GAconf) Awards 2022 took place on Wednesday 1/25 with a stream hosted by Steve Saylor, and a lot of great awards were given out to major and indie studios across 18 categories. The only Star Wars game released last year – LEGO Star Wars: The Skywalker Saga – was nominated in the Deaf/Hard of Hearing category, but lost to God of War Ragnarök.
But this is one of those awards where it really does mean a lot just to be nominated, and I think everyone involved appreciates when the most deserving title takes the award. The real benefit of a ceremony like this is to celebrate the achievements of the gaming industry at large, and to recognize progress being made. Game developers have made huge strides in recent years towards making gaming experiences accessible for many more players, and all of the winning and nominated game teams did amazing work towards that goal.
Skywalking without sound
It was very cool to see Skywalker Saga be recognized as a nominee, and we hope the example it – and the other featured games – sets will be followed by other Star Wars titles (we’ll be watching for details on Jedi: Survivor in the next few months). The latest LEGO Star Wars game has been appreciated in reviews for being entirely playable without sound, while also having adjustable subtitles on by default that are pretty clear be default and that always visibly indicate the speaker. The accessibility options in general are pretty extensive, and the player is prompted to review them immediately on starting up the game.
You can see the whole list of nominees and winners here, and can watch the entire livestream below, or on the IGDA-GASIG channel, where they also included streams with both ASL and BSL and an audio description stream. You can also follow GAconf on Twitter, or check out their Discord if you want to get involved in discussions or learn more about games accessibility.
YouTube channel playABLE games gave it a really positive accessibility review that you can see here: