Southside art gallery BOM is set to become a gamer’s paradise for three months with the introduction of Hacked! Games Re-designed, which will provide audiences of all ages and abilities the chance play a curated selection of inclusive video games and devices.
Running from Friday 13th September until Saturday 21st December, BOM welcomes Microsoft’s new Xbox Adaptive Controller, low-fi hacked alternatives and arcade machines reinvented by artists. Hacked! will present some of the revolutionary devices that offer radically different ways to interact beyond simple fingers and thumbs.
The exhibition explores the DIY hacker movement in video games, where modified controllers, human ingenuity and open source tools are creating new possibilities in game design.
Co-curated by disabled gamer Vivek Gohil, the interactive exhibition showcases indie and mainstream games where accessibility functionality is baked-in. Titles include Blackbox – an arty puzzle game, solvable without touching the screen – one-button game Bubbles the Cat, the falconry platformer Eagle Island, and exquisite visuals of Horizon Zero Dawn.
Vivek, who suffers from muscular dystrophy, has also included mainstream titles such as Spiderman and Forza Horizon 4 in the exhibition, further highlighting examples of accessible design.
The exhibition also showcases the innovative work of organisations such as OneSwitch, an online resource for controller modifications, gaming charity SpecialEffect, and digital instrument makers Human Instruments, who are all pushing boundaries in hardware design.
Commenting on Hacked!, Vivek said: “In the past few years, the gaming industry has realised that making games accessible to every type of player is a vital component of any hardware. Companies like Microsoft and other developers are creating a much more accessible and inclusive space for gamers of all abilities.
“Around 30% of gamers have a disability, so companies cannot afford to alienate a valuable user-base. Inclusion will make gaming accessible so that the beauty of gaming can be appreciated be all without any barriers.”
Elsewhere in the expo, play the DIY hacked fruit machines of Crip Casino, experience the world of autistic artist Edie Jo Murray in a virtual Mood Pinball machine, and browse the musical inventions of Human Instruments – used by conductors to communicate to visually impaired musicians.
For more information on Hacked! and everything else going on at BOM this year, please visit www.bom.org.uk