While people like Ben Heckendorn have done a lot to make games more accessible for handicapped gamers, they still are out of reach for many others. AbleGamers has tried to inform others on the accessibility of mainstream games, and now the CEO of Harmonix has joined their Advisory Board.
Alex Rigopulos, CEO of Harmonix Music Systems, maker of the mega-smash-hit Rock Band series, has joined the Advisory Board of the AbleGamers Foundation. “I am honored to sit on the advisory board for the AbleGamers Foundation and be a part of an organization that is striving to ensure that all people, regardless of abilities, can enjoy the fruits of the video game industry,” said Mr. Rigopulos.
Since 2004, AbleGamers has pushed for greater accessibility for people with disabilities in the digital entertainment space. “I think this is a great sign that the mainstream video game industry is starting to see the value in the communities that the AbleGamers Foundation supports,” said Mark Barlet, President of the AbleGamers Foundation. “AbleGamers is trying to solve the puzzle of how to get disabled gamers and the video game industry talking.”
“Having Mr. Rigopulos is a really solid validation that we, as an organization, are starting to make a difference in the industry,” continued Barlet. “Our advisory board is going to guide us on how to best bridge the gap between the industry juggernauts and the disabled gamers community in mainstream games. Mr. Rigopulos joining the board is another key piece of that puzzle.”
It makes me wonder how they could make Rock Band accessible to everyone, but it’s a step in the right direction.