Disability and Video Games Journalism: A Discourse Analysis of Accessibility and Gaming Culture
discourse analysis, video games, journalism, culture, disability, accessibility
In this article, we conduct a discourse analysis of 60 articles to reveal themes that describe how games journalism reflects and constitutes understandings of disability and accessibility in gaming. First, we map prior research on media’s relationship to disability, as well as approaches to disability in game studies, including the introduction of two primary paradigms for addressing issues of accessibility in gaming. Second, the project reveals six thematic categories that describe how game journalism reflects and constitutes understandings of disability and accessibility in gaming: gamers with disabilities, portraying disability, game design, game controllers, discussing accessibility, and advocacy. Further comparison of the categories reveals four additional themes of discourses, namely, self-congratulations, fetishization, awareness as advocacy, and problem-solving. The article concludes with implications for the games industry, for theory, and for how the field of game studies can investigate disability.
Games and Culture