Gamers with disabilities
April 29, 2003 1:33 PM   Subscribe

Deaf Gamers is a terrific resource containing electronic game reviews with the hearing-impaired in mind. Digging a little deeper, I found a still-in-work but promising Gamers With Disabilites FAQ hosted by Gone Gold. We all love to play games and the resources contained herein will hopefully help us all play better. Any other resources out there that you'd like to share?
posted by WolfDaddy (6 comments total)
I'm a amusic colorblind gamer. Amusia is the inability to recognize a melody. That's not so bad - I can't play DDR and I never "got" REZ. And one time while playing Xenosaga I got stuck for three hours on a music related puzzle and had to go get a tape recorder - and I think I stopped playing Lufia 2 because of one of those damn puzzles. Worse is the colorblindness. I can't play Puzzlefighter and a lot of Puzzle games, Chrono Chross was hell, "colored sphere" puzzles can only be solved by trial and error... Oh, well, at least I'm not blind. Most games don't use auditory cues like they should - you don't even need to have the sound on for most games, so being deaf doesn't hurt you unless you're playing Metal Gear Solid or Counterstrike.

Generally speaking, if you're blind, you're totally, utterly screwed. Text-speech can make text-based games playable, but I've never met a blind video-game afficiendo. Deafness isn't that big a deal - you miss alarms, you can't hear footsteps... Color-blindness is a total pain because many times designers use color inherently as part of a puzzle, and when all the damn gray blocks look the same, it gets complicated. If you have problems with your hands, video games CAN be played with the feet - just not as well. You also have problems in games like Star Fox adventure and Metal Gear solid where you HAVE to mash the buttons inhumanly fast. Epilepsy is also a crippling factor.

I think the worst disabilities to have gameplay-wise, in order, are blindness, paralysis, and epilepsy. No getting around those three biggies.

If your eyes are bad, or you can't see color, you're definitely going to have problems. Deafness and colorblindness are possibly equal in sheer annoyance when playing RPGs, but I'd rather be colorblind than deaf while playing Counterstrike. OCD actually helps while playing videogames, though - usually the best gamers tend to have OCD.
posted by Veritron at 2:37 PM on April 29, 2003

Site for Blind Gamers. After visiting the deaf gamers site, I visited this site... they have games like "ESP Pinball" and other really intriquing-sounding games for the blind and the visually-impaired. I want to give it a go.
posted by SilentSalamander at 4:08 PM on April 29, 2003

There is very little more frustrating than trying to watch or play something and not being able to due to lack of understanding what's going on. At least with some TV shows, I can do a bit of lip reading here and there if it isn't captioned, but usually just end up turning it off and firing off an angry email. But it's rare the animation is clear enough that i can follow along.

Agree with you, Veriton, about sound not being used 100% on some games, at least ones I recall from before I lost my hearing. But most of the video games that I play are in the RPG or Adventure genre, and I play them for the story more than anything. So not getting any dialogue just makes the whole thing futile. At least this site will save me either the $6 or so that I would spend to rent something, or the more likely $50+ to buy a game that in the end I get nothing out of.
posted by syrcharles at 6:24 PM on April 29, 2003

Colourblindness sucks. I'm currently in the process of ritually disemboweling our lead designer because he's decided to colour key certain puzzles. A lot of people in the industry just don't think about these things. Personally I'm trying to reduce that number, albeit through extreme measures.

My wife used to whip my butt at Puzzle Bobble, entirely because I had to stare at the icons inside the bubbles in order to work out which bubbles went where. Leastwise that was my excuse. Still, at least they had icons in addition to the colours, well, on most levels.
posted by inpHilltr8r at 6:51 PM on April 29, 2003

There may not be a lot of comments on this, but regardless....

[This is Great]
posted by Ufez Jones at 11:18 PM on April 29, 2003

Great and really, really important. Game creators have the opportunity to lead with new interface designs, and the more they can do to build in accessibility, the better.
posted by Songdog at 7:52 AM on April 30, 2003

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