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Star-tastic BBC switch games

  • By Paul Crichton
  • 19 Feb 07, 11:40 AM

As play is the most important factor in helping young children of all abilities to learn, the BBC have created a series of games that are switch accessible for children with mobility issues.

Children that find a keyboard, mouse or joypad too fiddly can instead use a switch. This is a simpler device with one, two or three buttons.

On the CBeebies website, there are a number of switch games and one that I think is really well done is, "Star-tastic Captain Jake" as even with a single button switch, the player can do quite complicated things.

The game has been designed to help children develop their observational, recognition and creative skills, and requires the player to be able to change the direction of Captain Jake’s spaceship and to make it move.

When playing it with a single button switch, there are two graphics on the screen, one for direction and one for motion. Each is alternately highlighted and active for a number of seconds. By pressing the switch at the right time, the player can change the direction of the spaceship or move it across the screen.

This is a simple yet creative solution – as the best ones often are – in making the game accessible.

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