Understanding the experience of gamers with disabilities

    Gamers with disabilities often face difficulties due to accessibility issues encountered in games, despite some good resources for developers that are designed to enable people with disabilities to effectively participate in the gameplay.

    PlayStation 3 controller lying on a wooden surface

    We asked gamers to share their thoughts, experiences and opinions on the use of subtitles in games, ideas for improving game accessibility, as well as stories about players with disabilities.

    “I found that single player in almost all video games currently contains subtitles that greatly help me enjoy the game and understand the gameplay,” said Gabriel Callaghan, a deaf gamer who shared his experience with subtitles in games. “I can have a cochlear implant (a medical device, a prosthesis that can compensate for hearing loss for some patients with severe or severe sensorineural hearing loss - approx. Transl.), Which allows me to hear, but my hearing level is still not good enough, to clearly understand the speech in the game in full. Thus, the subtitles allow me to understand the story and the dialogues quite clearly, and they were never intrusive. ”

    Brent Rogers, also a deaf gamer, when he was asked to express his opinion on the use of subtitles and assistive technologies in the game, stated that “All that I personally ever needed from the game was the ability to turn it on and off subtitles for dialogue and signatures for game goals, while the possibility of voice chat is considered useless for us [deaf gamers]. We should be able, where the PlayStation camera can be used, to sign each other in the game. It is not necessary to use headsets with microphones, it is necessary for the game manufacturer to provide the opportunity to use the camera and make it available in every game, especially in a universal way.

    While there are several formalized standards for inclusion in games, the AbleGamers Foundation provides guidance on game accessibility guidelines - Includification. The guidelines are divided by disabilities such as mobility, hearing, vision and cognitive impairment and were created to ensure that access can be realized without any impact on gameplay. For example, in the field of impaired mobility, principles include the availability of alternative configurations and reassignment of keys, in the field of hearing impairment, they focus on hidden support for subtitles, in the field of visual impairment, include high contrast mode and enemy marking, but the principles regarding accessibility for people with cognitive impairment focus on providing difficulty levels and gaming aids. Dr. Scott Hollier of Media Access Australia recently wrote an article entitled "Affordable gaming: is there any help there? "(Eng. Accessible gaming: is there any help out there?), in which he stated that" in fact, you don’t just have to accept that the game cannot have functions for people with disabilities built into it as additional settings. ”

    Additional feedback regarding your gaming experience is welcome. More detailed information on gaming resources, On-line communities and basic gaming capabilities can be found on our available games page .

    (Original “ Understanding the experience of gamers with disabilities ” ).

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