Can I Play That? – Courtney Craven

Case study

Can I Play That was founded as a media outlet to highlight the work of people with disabilities in the gaming industry and serve as an information hub for disabled gamers and game developers to learn about game accessibility.

We aim to be the source for all things game accessibility related while we work to improve the inclusion of and representation of people with disabilities in the gaming industry. We provide game reviews focused on various aspects of disability (vision, hearing, motor control, cognitive function, etc.) and thought-provoking educational pieces for game developers and all those interested in learning more about the topic of game accessibility.

Since launching in November of 2018, we have found that the desire to learn more about game accessibility by developers is tremendous and the lack of available information for disabled gamers is severely lacking. For a “niche” media outlet, we average around 1000 visitors to our site per day and receive multiple inquiries every day from people eager to learn more about game accessibility or those just learning about our site for the first time, elated to discover there is a site that tells them, as our name states, if they will be able to play a certain game or not.

Example of the scoring section of a game review. Reviews are broken down by disability and features.

Courtney Craven, co-founder, explained how Can I Play That? came into being:

“It started out of a need for advocacy because my partner and I were new to gaming (she was Deaf, I’m hard of hearing) and we found there were so many games with bad or missing subtitles, some to the point of them being unplayable for us. So we started connecting with other deaf gamers on Twitter and our original blog which focused only on deaf game accessibility really took off. After four years of focusing only on deaf accessibility, we wanted to use our success and our platform to bring awareness to other areas of poor accessibility and that’s how Can I Play That came to be. “

Courtney offered some advice for women and girls interested in working in the industry:

“Networking is probably the most important thing one can do. All of Can I Play That’s success and my own professional success is due to networking and building and sustaining relationships with people working in the industry via Twitter. Can I Play That wouldn’t exist if not for Twitter and the community we were able to build there.

Particularly important in games, because they can still be unfortunately very toxic for anyone that isn’t a cisgender male, is to set boundaries in the community as well.

Look after yourself, your mental health, and make sure that your community and your role within it allows you to always enjoy the work you do because it’s very easy to burn out in the gaming industry.”

We are always looking for disabled writers to pitch pieces for us to publish, both volunteer and paid work (we can currently pay $100 USD for up to two pieces per month). We are staffed entirely by disabled people and because we are self-funded, we have a Patreon page that those interested can support our work through.

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