As the popularity of gaming continues to reach new heights, the question of whether gaming is accessible to those with a disability continues to be raised. According to the leading gaming PC Australia retailer, PCByte, accessibility in gaming has come a long way, but it is still a work in progress.
PCByte argues that gaming is just as important to disabled people as it is to the able-bodied. Gaming holds significant entertainment value as well as acting as a social tool through multiplayer and gaming communities.
For many of the estimated 15 per cent of people in the world who live with a disability, there are lots of games that are unplayable. PCByte explains that there are several common game features which exclude disabled gamers. For example, ‘quick time events’ which require button mashing and quick reflexes are difficult for players with cognitive impairments that delay reaction time, while audio cues are lost on players who are deaf or hearing impaired.
PCByte says over the past decade, progress has been made to make gaming more accessible. Some studios have specialist consultants advising on features like adaptive controllers and button remapping, while organisations like AbleGamers and Can I Play This publish reviews with a focus on accessibility for players with various impairments.
The biggest issue when it comes to accessibility though, is that features aimed at making a game more playable for those with a disability have obviously remained an afterthought during development, says PCByte. While including disabled people can be a difficult task for developers, as disabilities affect people in a multitude of ways, there are plenty of resources available for developers who want to put more accessibility options into games.
According to PCByte, including more accessible features in games will not only benefit disabled people. Statistics show the number of gamers using accessibility features like subtitles far exceeds the number of disabled players.
PCByte explains that the best choice for finding accessible games is on a gaming PC as it has several advantages over consoles, including the possibility to add input devices or assistive technology to create the best gaming PC or best gaming laptop set up for a user’s individual needs.
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