2014 SXSW Interactive Session Spotlight: Includification - More Gamers with Accessibility

Written by Hugh Forrest | Thursday, Jan 9, 2014

Mark Barlet talks accessible gaming at SXSW Interactive 2014

With more than 800 sessions over the space of five days, the 2014 SXSW Interactive Festival showcases a huge variety of content of interest to the international community of digital creatives. Today’s installment of the Session Spotlight examines “Includification - More Gamers with Accessibility”, which is a solo presentation led by Mark Barlet (@ablegamers). Based in Harpers Ferry, West Virginia, Barlet is the leader of Able Gamers.

SXSW: Please give us more information about what people can expect when they attend your “Includification - More Gamers with Accessibility” session at the 2014 SXSW Interactive Festival.
Barlet: We will discuss why you should think of the needs of people with disabilities in your game, and what they need the developer to do to let them play.

SXSW: Why you are qualified to talk on this particular session?
Barlet: I am the founder and president of the AbleGamers Foundation. I am one of the founders of the topic of game accessibility in practical application.

SXSW: Why should SXSW registrants attend this session?
Barlet: Because people with disabilities is one of the largest segments of the population, and yet most game developers are not thinking of their needs when making a game. With so many hours of games looking for players, you need to include everyone.

SXSW: In your opinion, why is speaking at SXSW Interactive a big deal?
Barlet: The cost to attend has the effect of being people that are serious about their area of expertise. The level of engagement is just higher than other events.

SXSW: What do you think will be the biggest trend / talking point at the 2014 SXSW Interactive Festival and why?
Barlet: Wearable computing

SXSW: Not necessarily related to your speaking topic at SXSW, what is your favorite book from the last year and why?
Barlet: Going Clear: Scientology, Hollywood, and the Prison of Belief. It was just a fascinating look at a very strange topic.

SXSW: Tell us something about yourself that is not in your official biography.
Barlet: I was a clinical microbiologist in the Air Force.

SXSW: What is your dream job and why?
Barlet: My dream is to run AbleGamers as a full time job.

Watch this website for more installments of the 2014 SXSW Interactive Session Spotlight. Click here for the complete list of programming for March in Austin. Register now to attend “Includification - More Gamers with Accessibility” and other programming at SXSW Interactive 2014. Hurry, registration prices increase at the end of the day on Friday, January 10.