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The video game nonprofit that's changing the world [Ep #73]

By Jordan Zakarin

With the exception of that brief moment in the mid-aughts when everyone was waving a white wand up and down and at their screens during games of Wii Fit bowling, video games have always been seen as a sedentary activity. After all, one of the most popular accessories for hardcore gamers is a fancy chair to making hours of sitting in one place more comfortable.

And yet, button-mashing has long been an act of physical privilege, even if it hasn't been seen that way. It requires full control of one's arms, hands, and digits, as well as solid vision and strong hearing. There are tens of millions of people in the United States alone who have physical disabilities that have long precluded them from participating in a pastime that has firmly entrenched itself in the center of American life.

AbleGamers is a nonprofit group built as a response to that vast gulf, working tirelessly to make games more accessible to everyone. They custom-build controllers for people and educate/lobby gaming companies to make their games more responsive to people with a variety of disabilities. Steve Spohn, the COO of the organization and a gamer with disabilities himself, joined The Fandom Files to talk about their work, how he got involved, and which games he's playing right now.

We also hear from a listener irate over YouTube reaction videos and get serenaded by some great Avengers fanfiction!

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