Thoughts from a (girl) Gamer

Tara Voelker's thoughts. A lot about video games, a little about life

AbleGamers Articles


So, what’s happening over here? Well, its a bunch of links. To what you ask? Well let me tell you.  This page links to all of  my articles for AbleGamers, as well as my profile at the AbleGamers Community.

Now what is AbleGamers you ask? Well, its a kick ass non-profit – that’s what.

The AbleGamers Foundation’s mission is to empower the disabled population to enjoy the digital revolution that is taking place in gaming. They’re passionate about gaming, so it was easy to make gaming passionate for everyone. And that wanted to talk to everyone, so in addition to building, the also made  It has all the latest accessibility news and a community for gamers with a disabilities.  It’s awesome. TGG works closely with AG, so hopefully something awesome will come of it.

We highly recommend that you join that community at AbleGamers! Kristi and I did it! Check out out!

Kristianna’s profileTara’s profiles

Tara’s articles (newest posts at the top):

Take the Message to School

To really make a difference in the gaming industry and place accessibility constantly in the mind of game developers, we need to work on pushing accessibility on one group of people in particular: students.

This past weekend, I got to do just that. The International Academy of Design and Technology in Detroit hosts an annual conference called Interfaces. The conference is about promoting game design, graphic design, and digital media industries.

BioShock 2 – Creepy, Scary, and Not Very Disabled Friendly

It’s time to return to the dark Atlantic Ocean floor and visit our favorite, underwater city, Rapture. It’s been eight years and Rapture is looking a little worse for wear. The city is only becoming more dilapidated and the people have continued to play Russian roulette with their own genetic makeup.




Wii Hab – Play Two of these and Call Me in the Morning

Recently, there has been a new trend helping to give the Wii a better name for gamers with disabilities. Facilities across the nation, the Wii is starting to be used as a supplement to occupational and physical therapies. “Wii-hab,” as is has been referred to, is being used to help people suffering from the symptoms of Cerebral Palsy, Parkinson’s, stroke, and even tendon and muscle injuries. Wii-hab is said to help with range of motion, coordination, reflexes, timing and even problem solving.

Play Halo for Haiti

I’m sure that by now you have heard about the tragedy that has occurred in Haiti. Haiti, the poor Carribean nation, is used to minor earthquakes which are common in the area. But none of the 9 million people inhabiting the country were ready for the first major earthquake to strike the country in over 16 years, the strongest to ever rock the country. The size and proximity of the the earthquake to the highly populated city of Port Au Prince has caused widespread causalities and severe structural damage. It’s estimated that over 50% of buildings have been destroyed in the town.

A Free iPhone app with Braille?! Why?

As you’ve probably noticed, the iPhone has an application for everything. Need movie tickets? There’s an app for that. Need a birthday reminder? There’s an app for that. Need to translate Braille into English or visa versa? Well, now there’s an app for that.

Let’s take a minute to think a little more about iBraille. As I said, this app is made to translate Braille into English, or English into Braille. It’s sort of a confusing thought. If you can read something in English and can use the touch screen on the iPhone to input everything… why do you need the Braille?

Infinity Ward Tosses Disabled Gamers Under the Bus… Or Tank

I’m sure that most of you have heard of Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2, the first person shooter released from Infinity Ward last month. It was a huge title, receiving great reviews and selling approximately 4.7 million units in both the United States and the UK in the first 24 hours of its release. But I’m not here to review the game for you, or tell you about it’s new features. I’m here to call your attention to the what it’s lacking – the N0M4D feature.

We talk to the One Handed Terror, Disabled? Whatever!

My apartment is frequently the home of Street Fighter matches. Several of my friends are into competitive fighting games. They work hard to get good, and that means a lot of time in practice mode, and a ton of YouTube tutorials while prepping for a tournament. Therefore, it was not long before the name of Sebastian “One Handed Terror” or “Goodyhand” Jennings- the Street Fighter tutorial making, tournament entering, one-handed, fighting game player was dropped in my home.

AbleGamers speaks to Randy “N0M4D” Fitzgerald

Sometimes in life, you meet someone that became inspirational by doing something simple, something people may be doing every day. Randy “N0M4D” Fitzgerald is one such person. He plays video games. To be precise, he plays video games extremely well, well enough to compete on the pro level. What makes him special and inspirational, is not that he plays video games, its how he plays. Randy has a disability that does not allow him the use of his arms or legs, so he must compete using a special controller that uses the movements of his lips to play.

AbleGamers Chats with Players at Season’s Beating IV

Intro to Season’s Beatings – It took me a little bit to get adjusted to the chaos that was Season’s Beating IV. The building was packed with people, and was huge melting pot of every type of person. As I looked around it seemed that everyone from every walk of life was there. I could spot casual gamers and pro gamers, and nearly everything in between.

Extended Coverage – Interview with Seth Killian from CAPCOM and Tatsunoko vs CAPCOM video.

More interviews – Talking with top Street Fighter players Justin Wong and Daigo Umehara.  BONUS: TARA VS DAIGO VIDEO

Tara’s Accessibility Reviews: *Note* Accessibility Reviews are not the same as general reviews, do not let the score confuse you.

Alan Wake: (Score down, second review for game) 6.3/10

Bioshock: 5.8/10

Bioshock 2 : 5.3/10

Condemned: Criminal Origins: 6.3

Left4Dead 2 : 5.5 / 10

Resident Evil 5: 5.8/10

Silent Hill: Shattered Memories: 6.3/10

Tekken 6: 7/10

Tara’s AbleGamer Blog Entries:

Redemption Tourney :

This last weekend I took some time of work to go to another tourney. It was great. The main games were Street Fighter 4, Street Fighter HD Remix, and Street Fighter 3rd Strike teams. There were also side tourneys of Tekken 6, Guilty Gear and Smash Brothers. Oh, and one more… a tournament for charity.

That’s right! While I was there I managed a side tourney where all the entry money went to AbleGamers and the winner go prizes donated by Billy Mitchell with help from VideoGame Stadium! …

A preview of Season’s Beatings:

I left Champaign, IL around 2 PM to start the nearly five hour drive so that I could attend this year’s Season’s Beatings which took place in Columbus, Ohio.

If you don’t know what Season’s Beatings is, don’t worry. I wouldn’t have known a couple of years if someone had asked me what it was. In fact, before meeting my now roommate Mike (or known in the fighting game community as Aegis Neglector) I didn’t know that there was a competitive fighting game scene- let alone that they have yearly tournaments with huge turn outs. But here I am now, three years later, at the Midwest’s largest fighting game tourney.


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