Wheelchair
Lasertag

In partnership with Courage League, a special needs gym for children with physical and mental disabilities, I designed a lasertag game that could be used by a person of almost any ability. The goals were to bring a level of play between children that was currently at a disconnect. When kids in wheelchairs tried to interact with kids running around, the games were stagnant and not as immersive or fun. With a game designed exclusively for wheelchairs this was possible. 

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Experience Design

Arduino Prototyping

Universal Design

Challenges

What I saw at Courage League

Children in wheelchairs having a tough time playing with other children in a natural and easy way. Often kids in wheelchairs would have to be given the ball by someone else, which was frustrating and nixed any competitive feeling

What if there was a game that didn't favor physical ability?

This is possible with electric wheelchairs

Courage leage has 4 wheelchairs. They only require one hand to fully operate. 

Each machine is identical, nobody has an advantage over anyone else. A game that only uses the electric wheelchairs would be fair for anybody, regardless of ability level.

 

In collaboration with Courage League, we came up with a game that had action, rewarded wheelchair dexterity, and brought a new experience to kids who have limited mobility: wheelchair lasertag

Gameplay

 

1.
Attach lasertag equipment

 

2.
Organize kids, choose teams, ready up

 

3.
Play until a team is eliminated

Positioning and Vulnerability

This game rewards positioning. Players can "block" shots by angling their wheelchair and vulnerable spots out of the line of fire.

Moving behind this player was successfull because the attacker was able to get a line of sight on the targets vulnerable areas. 

Affordances

Caregivers

Ages: 16-45

Disabled children need assistance getting in and out of their wheelchairs, but also leaders and teachers to run games and enable them to gain confidence and have a good experience.

 

Children

Ages 5-16

The kids at courage league had both physical and mental disabilities. The children in electric wheelchairs mostly had physical disabilities and used electric wheelchairs to move quickly and play with other kids while on the ground. They would need assistance moving in and out of their day-to-day wheelchairs with the help of caregivers. 

AffordancesAffordances

Ambidextrous Electronics

The hardware needs to adapt to both sides of the wheelchair because many kids didn't have full control over both hands.

All someone needs is control of one hand to play on an adaptable system. 

Status Indicators

Using light, sound, and vibrations, the guns clearly indicate to the players what mode they are in. Having multiple modes of feedback wherever possible was a priority, to reduce confusion.

Team Switch

Team color is toggled with a switch on the laser tag control module

Ready Up

The ready button locks in the team choice and flashes green. Players have a short time to position themselves before system becomes active

Hit!

Their gun is disabled, they are immune, and their blaster flashes red for 3 seconds. The speaker makes an alert and the joystick vibrates.

Form Details