Keywords

Video games, gaming, disability, accessibility, user generated content, universal design for learning, world of warcraft, virtual worlds, user interface

Abstract

When discussing games and the experience of gamers those with disabilities are often overlooked. This has left a gap in our understanding of the experience of players with disabilities in virtual game worlds. However there are examples of players with disabilities being very successful in the virtual world video game World of Warcraft, suggesting that there is an opportunity to study the game for usability insight in creating other virtual world environments. This study surveyed World of Warcraft players with disabilities online for insight into how they used interface addons to manage their experience and identity performance in the game. A rubric was also created to study a selection of addons for evidence of the principles of Universal Design for Learning (UDL). The study found that World of Warcraft players with disabilities do not use addons more than able-bodied players, but some of the most popular addons do exhibit many or most of the principles of UDL. UDL principles appear to have emerged organically from addon iterations over time. The study concludes by suggesting that the same approach to user-generated content for the game interface taken by the creators of World of Warcraft, as well as high user investment in the environment, can lead to more accessible virtual world learning environments in the future.

Notes

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Graduation Date

2015

Semester

Spring

Advisor

McDaniel, Rudy

Degree

Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.)

College

College of Arts and Humanities

Degree Program

Texts and Technology

Format

application/pdf

Identifier

CFE0005667

URL

http://purl.fcla.edu/fcla/etd/CFE0005667

Language

English

Release Date

May 2015

Length of Campus-only Access

None

Access Status

Doctoral Dissertation (Open Access)

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