The Clearing House Real-TIme Payments Tracker June 2024 Banner

AI Unlocks New Era of Video Gaming Accessibility

In the fast-paced world of video games, artificial intelligence (AI) is emerging as a surprising ally in the quest for greater accessibility. By automating and personalizing features that make gaming more inclusive, AI is opening up immersive virtual worlds to players with disabilities like never before.

At Google’s recent annual developer conference, I/O 2024, several announcements showcased a trend in tech innovation. Among the highlights was a collaboration between Google and SuperGaming to improve gaming accessibility for the over 3 billion Android devices worldwide.

Project Gameface is an open-source, hands-free gamingmouse’ that allows users to control a computer’s cursor with head movements and facial gestures. 

From generating closed captions and audio descriptions to enabling voice controls and dynamically adjusting gameplay, AI-powered tools are being championed by major studios and advocacy groups united in their mission to dismantle long-standing barriers.

While still in its early stages, the use of AI to enhance gaming accessibility holds immense promise, not just for making the medium more inclusive but also for tapping into a vast and underserved market. As technology advances, experts predict that AI will continue to revolutionize how games are designed and played, ushering in a new era of accessibility.

“AI in game development can automate routine tasks, freeing developers to focus on creative endeavors and developing tools that support a wider range of players during gameplay,” Jason Chung, clinical assistant professor and director of the Esports and Gaming Initiative at New York University, told PYMNTS. AI tools can also help level the playing field for gamers with mobility or vision issues.”

Chung highlighted several examples of how AI is enhancing accessibility in gaming. These include interpreting voice commands or eye-tracking inputs, creating personalized experiences, and using AI chatbots to address issues that current interactive methods like controllers might not fully address.

“Generative AI enables the creation of more immersive worlds by tailoring NPC [non-player character] actions and responses to the player’s needs and play style,” Chung said. He pointed to industry leaders like Nvidia showcasing such technology at CES 2024.

Growing Market

The video games market is projected to reach $282.3 billion in 2024. It is expected to grow at an annual rate of 8.76% between 2024 and 2027, resulting in a projected market volume of $363.2 billion by 2027. By 2027, the number of video game users is expected to reach 1.472 billion.

Looking ahead, Chung believes AI will continue to revolutionize gaming accessibility.AI-driven real-time translation for multiplayer games could make gaming more accessible to a global audience, breaking down language barriers and fostering a more inclusive gaming community,” he predicted. 

Adaptive AI systems, which modify gameplay in real-time based on a player’s unique needs and abilities, will provide tailored support and challenges.”

Beyond these innovations, Chung noted that AI continues improving traditional gaming aspects like graphics upscaling.The integration of AI in gaming is not just enhancing the gaming experience but is also making it more inclusive and accessible for everyone,” he said. 

As technology continues to evolve, we can expect even more groundbreaking advancements that hopefully will ensure all players, regardless of their abilities, can participate in and enjoy the gaming world.”

“AI emerges as a pivotal tool in fostering inclusivity within the gaming community,” Dorota Wróbel, chief R&D officer at G2A.com, a marketplace for digital entertainment, told PYMNTS.

By harnessing AI algorithms, developers can tailor gaming experiences to accommodate a diverse range of players. From customizable difficulty levels to adaptive controls and assistive features, AI-driven innovations ensure that gaming is more accessible and enjoyable for individuals with varying abilities and preferences.”

Real-World Examples

AI is not just a theoretical concept in the gaming industry; it’s a practical tool. Wróbel highlighted real-world examples of AI in action, such as Ubisoft and Nvidia incorporating generative AI to create lifelike and immersive NPCs and Xbox’s AI-powered chatbot, which is in development. These initiatives demonstrate the tangible benefits of AI in gaming and its potential to transform the way games are discovered and experienced.

Wróbel also pointed out that mainstream and indie games are exploring the use of AI to analyze player behavior and adjust gameplay accordingly, offering personalized experiences for each user. 

Platforms like G2A.com integrate AI algorithms to provide tailored game recommendations and accessibility options, reflecting a broader industry trend toward increasing inclusivity,” she said.

Looking to the future, Wróbel expressed optimism about the potential of AI in revolutionizing gaming accessibility on a global scale.

As AI technologies continue to evolve, we can anticipate more sophisticated solutions that cater to the diverse needs of players worldwide,” she stated.From real-time language translation to AI-generated content tailored to individual preferences, the future of gaming accessibility is brimming with possibilities.”

For all PYMNTS AI coverage, subscribe to the daily AI Newsletter.