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Redesigning for Accessibility: Design Decisions and Compromises in Educational Game Design


  • Matheus Cezarotto New Mexico State University
  • Pamela Martinez New Mexico State University
  • Barbara Chamberlin New Mexico State University



Educational Games, Design Process, User Needs, Math Snacks


Accessibility in educational media focuses on removing barriers based on learners’ varied needs. In educational games, players’ diverse needs can impact a wide variety of design strategies. This study focuses on the process used by one design team to prioritize accessibility in the redesign of their older educational games, while creating a process to inform development of new games. The study provides a framework for thinking about games and accessibility vis-a-vis educational games, and documents an action research study with the development team of the Math Snacks project. Using a participatory and qualitative approach, researchers provide a description of the team redesign process to address accessibility: how the team reviewed accessibility gaps in their games; made specific design choices in redesigning for accessibility; and determined which actions could make the games more accessible. The work yielded a process other design teams can implement in their review of existing games.

Author Biographies

Matheus Cezarotto, New Mexico State University

I am a Post Doctoral Researcher in the Learning Games Lab at New Mexico State University. I research the lab's games and products, working through grant development, and providing instructional design expertise. I received my doctorate and a master's in Design of Information Systems from the Federal University of Paraná (Brazil). Also, I hold a bachelor’s in Product Design from the Regional University of Blumenau (Brazil). In my master’s thesis and doctoral dissertation, I have researched the motivational preferences of children with dyscalculia in math educational games, as part of their neuropsychological treatment. My professional interests include instructional design, information design, accessibility in games, scientific methodologies, and game-based learning.

Pamela Martinez, New Mexico State University

Dr. Pamela Martinez is Assistant Professor of Learning Technologies with New Mexico State University (NMSU) Innovative Media Research and Extension department and its Learning Games Lab. She earned her doctorate in learning technologies from Pepperdine University. For over twenty years, she has overseen production of multimedia educational tools and scientific visualizations for numerous projects in agriculture, nutrition and obesity prevention, and food safety, including educational animations, websites, mobile apps, and interactive games and virtual labs. She has expertise in affordances of educational technologies and production, including accessibility considerations.

Barbara Chamberlin, New Mexico State University

Dr. Barbara Chamberlin is Professor and Extension Specialist with New Mexico State University (NMSU) Innovative Media, Research and Extension department. She directs the NMSU Learning Games Lab where she oversees research, instructional design, and testing for a variety of online learning tools. Her research activities include formative review of games in development regarding interface and character design, storyline, accessibility and playability of games.





How to Cite

Cezarotto, M., Martinez, P., & Chamberlin, B. (2022). Redesigning for Accessibility: Design Decisions and Compromises in Educational Game Design. International Journal of Serious Games, 9(1), 17–33.