Chuck Bergen is giving today’s keynote address at Game Accessibility Day, an all-day workshop that’s part of Games for Health 2010 in Boston. Chuck is famous in the disability gaming world for selling a football video game, one that’s very similar to Madden NFL, to Electronic Arts — the world’s largest game maker.
‘My Football Game’ is a CD-based game that can be played by gamers with physical and cognitive disabilities on a PC desktop or laptop with a Windows XP or Vista operating system. The game is compatible with a USB XBOX 360 game controller, a keyboard and most USB adaptive devices. Bergen designed the game and released it last year through his company VTree.
“’My Football Game’ proves that you can make a game for the special needs community that looks and feels like a traditional game,” says Mark Barlet, founder of AbleGamers.com, a website that ranks video games for accessibility. “The game does everything right, from the design of the box to the features that it has built in.”
Features include 20 customizable playing speeds to allow nearly everyone to play the game, regardless of disability. There’s also a skill drills feature that allows the gamer to practice running, passing, tackling, and kicking at a comfortable speed to improve their skills before moving into full game competition, providing positive feedback and instructions along the way.
Bergen, a software developer by trade, became interested in accessibility when he attended a theme park with his family many years ago and was puzzled at the lack of accessibility on the rides. When one ride operator called out to the crowd: “Will ANYONE give up their seat so the disabled kid can ride?” — Bergen knew he found his calling in making accessible video games.
‘My Football Game’ is $39.95. VTree will be coming out with ‘My Golf Game’ soon, and it looks amazing.