Ubisoft’s popular video game, Just Dance, has attracted over 135 million players worldwide, but the question of its accessibility for all gamers has been raised.
The game boasts 500 unique choreographies that players worldwide mimic, but not all are able to participate equally. Seth, a 14-year-old gamer from the Vale of Glamorgan, faced this challenge due to his rare muscle-wasting condition, Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy.
Seth, who is also a member of the Welsh Youth Parliament, was granted the opportunity to visit Ubisoft’s studio in Paris and test the latest version of Just Dance. During his visit, he engaged with the game’s designers and choreographers and offered his insights into creating a new routine specifically designed for wheelchair users.
As a gamer, Seth is passionate about the medium but faces limitations due to his condition, which affects his muscle strength and endurance. Movement-intensive games can be challenging for him, leading to discomfort and difficulty in gameplay.
Recognizing the importance of gaming in his life, Seth explored how tech companies are striving to make games more inclusive for individuals with disabilities. His visit to Ubisoft coincided with the release of the latest version of Just Dance, which features a dance routine performed by a wheelchair user. This groundbreaking addition allows players to follow arm movements while seated, using their phone or console.
Stacey Jenkins, one of Ubisoft’s accessibility design specialists, emphasized the universal joy of dance and the game’s commitment to inclusivity. Just Dance’s effort to accommodate players of all abilities is a positive step toward making gaming a more accessible and enjoyable experience for everyone.