Accessibility Jam

If It Were Any Other Media, It Would Be Illegal: Founders of Accessibility Jam on Disabilities in Gaming

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Get Connected Gamer Profile 2Last week, I told you about Accessibility Jam, a three-week game jam focused on spreading the word about how easy it is to make games playable for gamers with special needs. Simple additions like subtitles or difficulty options  can widen a game’s audience and make a big difference in the lives of gamers everywhere.

I was lucky enough to get the chance to interview two of the founders of Accessibility Jam, Ian Hamilton and Jonard La Rosa. Ian works as an accessibility specialist and UX designer, and Jonard is an artist and game creator. Read below to learn more about how their careers have progressed, why their work is important, and what advice they have for parents. Read More

Age of Empires III

We Grew Up Gaming: An Interview With My Little Brother

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Get Connected Gamer Profile 2The other day I sat down with my little brother to reminisce about the two of us gaming together as kids with our sister Annie. We grew up in a gaming household, and whenever we get together video games always come up in conversation: “What’ve you been playing lately? Did you get the new DLC yet? Remember when we used to play…?” We don’t game much together anymore, since we’re all busy in our adult lives, but I’m sure we’ll get back to it eventually. It’s too hard to stay away. Read More

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Interview: Never Wear a Thong to a Knife Fight—and Other Advice From the Parenting Trenches

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Get Connected Gamer Profile 2Did you catch Part I of our interview with Aina Braxton? She’s a stellar mom and Program Coordinator at University of Washington Bothell’s Digital Future Lab. She works in the intersection between technology and social justice, and she’s one of my favorite people in the world.

Last time we talked about how she intentionally started gaming with her 10-year-old son and the ways that gaming brought them together—even though some of the games they play wouldn’t be considered family-appropriate. For Aina, context is key. If she is there to discuss problematic elements of games with her son, she can help him understand them.

For her, there is no “wait till he’s older,” especially in a world where it’s increasingly easier to access information. I wanted to know how she’s getting the message out to other parents, and how she juggles her busy work life with her family life. Read on!

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[Interview] How to Earn Your Kids' Respect: Beat Them at Mortal Kombat.

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Aina Braxton is the Program Coordinator of University of Washington Bothell’s Digital Future Lab, and she is a real-life superhero.

We first met when she began working for the DFL in 2013—now the place would be unrecognizable without her. She helps coordinate students producing multiple digital media projects, all while producing her own projects. The first of these is a collaboration with the University Beyond Bars. Braxton and a student editor curate works of writing from inmates at Monroe State Prison and create digital experiences to display the work.

Issues of technology access are very important to her. On top of all this work, Aina is also an incredible mom who plays video games with her 10-year-old son, Kekoa. I sat down with her to catch up and talk about how she purposefully began playing games to bond with her son—and I learned a lot about her personal history of gaming and how she made M-rated games a family activity.

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