Gaming is something that we often take for granted. When we first started the idea of Cloudwhale, we quickly learned about the impact that accessible video games can have when dealing with a disability.
Our story started roughly six months ago when we were first introduced to Jeroen, who was born with cerebral palsy. Two switches mounted into the headrest of a wheelchair gave Jeroen the ability to control a speech computer and through his father, a retired game developer, access to a small variety of video games.
The video games that Jeroen had access to were set up in a clever way: using two buttons linked to switches in his headrest. This meant that Jeroen had full control over his system and games, giving him the ability to independently play games that he wanted to play.
Despite all this, the games were made with older computers in mind. Old programs meant errors and if anything broke, there was nothing to back him up, leaving Jeroen waiting for his caretakers to notice. In the effort that Jeroen had to put into playing video games, we saw an opportunity: creating a piece of software that allowed for independent access to video games, turning it into our belief that independence should be just as important as accessibility when playing video games.
In the past six months, we’ve set out to create the Cloudwhale platform: an online platform where we can easily publish video games catered to people’s inability to play, with the aim to make video games accessible to everyone affected by a disability.