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  • Game Design Challenge: Hands-Free Gaming

    - Danny Cowan
  •'s Game Design Challenge is an exercise in becoming a game developer, asking you to look at games in a new way -- from the perspective of a game creator, producer, marketer, businessperson, and so forth.

    Every other Wednesday we'll present you with a challenge about developing video games. You'll have two weeks to brainstorm a brilliant solution (see below for how to submit your answers). After the two week submission period elapses, the best answers and the names of those who submitted them will be posted.

    The Challenge

    Design a game that uses a hands-free method of control input.

    Assignment Details

    As gaming pursues new audiences, accessibility is a growing concern. For some, however, traditional controller input is simply not an option. Physical disability prevents many gamers from enjoying a number of controller-specific experiences.

    Nintendo led the charge for accessible gaming in the days of the Nintendo Entertainment System with the Hands-Free Controller, which allowed physically disabled gamers to control on-screen action using a chin-mounted joystick and a tube that mapped button input to sips and puffs of air. Currently, however, few options exist for modern consoles -- even camera-based peripherals like the Kinect offer few options for those with disabilities.

    Can you create a game with accessibility in mind? As part of Game Career Guide's latest Game Design Challenge, your job is to design a game that does not require the use of one's hands.

    For the sake of this contest, you do not necessarily need to design a new controller. Think of streamlined gaming concepts that require simple inputs to control, and then work on your concept from there. It may also help to consider alternate uses of existing controllers -- Nintendo's Hands-Free Controller used the player's chin for movement, for example, and plenty of potential interactions exist beyond hand and thumb input. Good luck!

    To Submit

    Work on your ideas, figure out your strategy for coming up with a solution, and ask questions on the forums. When your submission is complete, send it to with the subject line "Game Design Challenge: Hands-Free Gaming". Please type your answer directly in the email body -- do not submit .pdf or Word documents.

    Submissions should be no more than 500 words and may contain up to three images. Be sure to include your full name and school affiliation or job title.

    Entries must be submitted by Wednesday, September 18.

    Results will be posted Tuesday, September 24.

    Disclaimer: is not responsible for similarities between the content submitted to the Game Design Challenge and any existing or future products or intellectual property.


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