The Accessibility of Fonts in Games

This free font is called OpenDyslexic. It is designed to be easier to read for many people with Dyslexia. It was created by Aberlardo Gonzalez.

Fonts are an emotive thing. But for some they are critical to a comfortable reading experience. The new YouView TV system has licensed Mencap's FS Me font, designed to be easier for learning disabled people to read (you can buy FS Me here).

The RNIB have long advocated for clear print standards to aid reading for visually impaired people.

Just recently, Aberlardo Gonzalez has freely released a font designed to assist many people with Dyslexia called OpenDyslexic. Which after receiving an e-mail from Techni Myoko saying how great it would be to see this used in games, reminded me of the game "The Pyramid". This Windows XP game enabled you to choose from two-fonts to suit your preference. What a brilliant feature. But how many other games can you think of that offer this?

UPDATE: An alternative font aimed at people with Dyslexia is explained brilliantly in the video below. Known as 'Dyslexie' and available from this is perhaps a more complete solution, but at a price. Many thanks to Ian Hamilton for the link.

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6 Responses to 'The Accessibility of Fonts in Games'

  1. # Blogger

    Forgot to say, found via:  

  2. # Anonymous Ian Hamilton

    It's a particular issue for kids (who to a certain extend are adults with motor/cognitive impairments), typography got lots of attention in Neilsen's seminal 2010 kids usability paper and I've seen the same thing often repeated in playtesting.

    There's so much that can make a difference. Not just typeface, but formatting too, things like line spacing, words per line, background, all caps Vs camel case, these all make a big difference.

    So bearing this in mind, how many times have you seen games with low contrast small size full caps text over a semi-transparent background with complex imagery behind?

    And even worse, how many times have you seen subtitles formatted like that?

    Considering the 15% of the adult population who have a reading age of below 11 years, it's a pretty huge issue. So easy to make a big difference for the better too.  

  3. # Blogger

    Great call, Ian. As you say, especially common with subtitles. I'd not heard the expression "Camel Case" before, but looked it up at Wikipedia. I was under the impression that neither all caps nor "CamelCase" are ideal for ease of reading (and I put my hands up, I'm guilty of some of this for sure).  

  4. # Blogger ih

    Yep sorry looks like I've been mis-using the term, just meant mixed rather than all caps or no caps, CC's words running into each other is definitely bad for readability as hampers word shape recognition. Correct term is 'sentence case'  

  5. # Blogger

    More here on support for the OpenDyslexic font:  

  6. # Blogger

    Splendid post here with more:  

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