Erik Breebaart is helper at AmstaKaraad and we’ve interviewed him during the recent gameathon. He accompanies people with a cognitive disability. We’ve asked him how people with a mild to medium cognitive disability use the internet and play games.
“For me as a helper it’s not necessary to help my clients whilst gaming. Gamers also talk with each other about games, for example, when they have problems completing a level or mission. They share for example solutions on how to finish a level.” To find a solution, several gamers use the internet to find a walkthrough for example. “They play a lot of games together. What I’ve noticed is that people with a mild cognitive disability very often take into account the medium disability of their fellow player or opponent.”
Erik notices problems during gaming regarding the use of language and the overview. Long texts are not being read or understood and important clues or instructions are therefore missed which causes gamers to get stuck in the level. “Easier games, like shooters, give less trouble. Strategy games are harder because of the analytical skills a player must have.” For example, when choices need to be made or when a certain action needs to be done.
Erik: “A game like FIFA, when does the gamer need to pass? Or how to set up defense? For cognitive disabled gamers this strategy is hard, making strategic decisions, keeping overview whilst also think some steps ahead.”
Erik also noticed that missions in games like GTA 5 are easily done when they don’t require a lot of tasks. But missions with more and complicated relationships interwoven in the mission are very difficult.
“What makes gaming for people with a cognitive problem difficult, is that it’s more harder for them to understand the game. And next to that, you never know if they reach the same level or understanding as an average gamer.”