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Game accessibility quotes of 2017

by Ian Hamilton on 03/08/18 09:18:00 am   Featured Blogs

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The following blog post, unless otherwise noted, was written by a member of Gamasutra’s community.
The thoughts and opinions expressed are those of the writer and not Gamasutra or its parent company.

 

2017 was yet another bumper year for accessibility, with ever more people saying all kinds of inspiring and thought provoking things about accessibility.

Here are a few of my favourites. It’s a long post, but easy going. If you're looking for inspiration, guidance, or even some good accessibility people to follow on twitter, hopefully this list will help.


Why?

“Whenever a game adds an accessibility feature, it feels like it’s made just for me. If a game makes an attempt to reach out to me I am going to remember that for the rest of my life.”
Steve Saylor

“Thank you devs.  As a disabled gamer, your world has given me a feeling of exploration I can't do in real life anymore.  I'll never forget your work.”
@dis_ABLED

“My favorite things this weekend so far was when we set up Rocket League, someone came in and instantly said "I watch this all the time". He was thrilled to actually PLAY instead of just watching. Then the conversation switched to Overwatch and how we can make that happen.”
Craig Kaufman, AbleGamers

“Gaming should be accessible to all. I got my xbox one to help keep my reflexes exercised when I got Parkinson's. It helps”
Sam McClain

“Accessibility to me is about being able to enjoy things my peers enjoy AND it not injuring me or exacerbating physical symptoms of my disabilities”
Cherry Thompson

“Imagine losing one of the few mediums which allow you to escape the daily pains of a very physically exhausting disease. For me, gaming is not merely a way to entertain myself. Gaming is crucial for the survival of my mental state.”
Grant Stoner

"In the US there are 26 million US gamers aged between 50 and 64, and 11 million over 64"
Bob De Schutter, Miami University

“As you get older your reactions slow. Us older people buy a lot of games. Cut us some slack lol”
@only_living_boy

“I never have forgot the feeling of of depriving someone of an experience just because I didn't think to add a button”
Ian Holstead, Ubisoft

“I was very pro-difficulty ”easy mode ruins it!” until I watched a kid with minor hand difficulties physically struggle to play a kids game. Now I try to have difficult modes and the *option* to make things easier to not cause that same sadness in anyone.”
Johan Wendin, Unique Development

“Giving people extraordinary experiences when playing games is our main goal as gamedevs. Blocking some people from being able to have these experiences is wrong and we don't even know we are doing it. It has to be talked about!”
Tibor Repta, Fatbot Games

“The vision for the game is to bring a larger and more diverse community together, who are passionate about cars and racing. We don’t want age, gender or any disabilities getting in the way of that”
Dan Greenawalt, Turn 10.

“Accessibility is pretty rad, yo. More people can enjoy your games!”
Ben Kosmina, Tin Man Games

“Accessibility is dope”
Brian Van Buren, Tomorrow Today Labs

“I maintain that any game designed with accessibility in mind is fundamentally a better game, and makes you a fundamentally better designer.”
Ryan Geiger, savingprincess

“These features make for a better game for ALL players”
Tara Voelker, Mixer

 “Working with @halfcoordinated & approaching design with an accessibility-focused mindset brought about one of the game's coolest features”
Jason Canam, HouseHold Games

“There are a lot of people out there that don’t play the way you do. As a game developer it is important to consider the variety of players, the beautiful mix of people, the individuality of a person.”
Zein Okko, Goodwolf Studio

“I’ve come to accept that accessibility isn’t a thing to be accomplished, but a principle to live by. It is not a checkmark to be made on that proverbial to-do list, but a lens through which we do our best work.”
Alaina Wiens, strategycar

“I'm more proud of the work I did on Uncharted 4 accessibility than I'm proud of anything else I've done in the rest of my career.”
Alex Neonakis, Naughty Dog

“Players are infinitely different and as a creator putting accessibility high on your list always makes your product better.”
Jan Willem Nijman

“Accessibility considerations that seem specific to a small niche, such as screenreader accessibility, in fact make the game better for all players. Because the gaming community around that game becomes more diverse. A blind gamer being able to play is great, but so is being able to play with or against a blind gamer.
Josh Straub, DAGERS

“That’s my favorite thing about Nier: Automata. Knowing that it’s accessible to all sorts of players means there’ll be plenty of people to revel with me in this equal parts charming and macabre world that Yoko Taro and PlatinumGames have built.”
Mike Fahey, Kotaku

"Nearly all our metacritic reviews mention colourblind mode. I'm confident our entire rating was boosted by it"
Henry Hoffman, Fiddlesticks

“Physical and mental health don’t come with difficulty sliders. I don’t think there’s anything wrong with giving a bit more consideration to those who are already playing life on ‘Expert’.”
Olivia Falk, GameRant


Principles

“Human variation is not a defect. Differences in abilities/perceptions are just that - differences. Accessibility means inclusion for all.”
Karen Stevens, EA Sports

“There is no such thing as an average — if you design for the average, you design for no one”
Bryce Johnson, Xbox

"Give gamers control of their gaming experience"
Lauren White, Xbox

“Not all games are for everyone, but so many games could be for more people.”
Rami Ismail, Vlambeer

"People were like 'I don't think it could be made accessible'. But what do you know about what we would need?"
Brandon Cole

“Keep an open mind and don't fall prey to assumptions. Conduct tests with a diverse audience.”
Chris O’Brien, AMI

"Your team needs to start from a core accessibility knowledge base. Have cool person come in to give a talk"
Siobhan Thomas, London South Bank University

“I always make sure to point out good accessibility in games by tagging the devs, it's important they know we care, so they keep us in mind when they're implementing new features.”
@nuurbs

“We may feel bad for not having been able to do more at release. But positive feedback from gamers gives us the strength to keep pushing on our next game. And ammo to convince others it matters. It's VERY important.”
David Tisserand, Ubisoft

“Most don't design to exclude - they just don't know what they don't know...”
Michael Osborn, Red F Design

"When you put a barrier in front of someone you need to know why, and that you're doing it on purpose"
Josh Straub, DAGERS

"Don't let inability to do everything you would want to stop you from moving forward with what you are able to do"
Alex Neonakis, Naughty Dog

"Start small and have a big impact"
Tom Lorusso, Xbox

“Consider this – everybody who adds accessibility late in their current game might add it in early in their next one”
Michelle Martin, MetalPop Games

“The more AAA studios that start implementing accessibility features, the more common the practice will become. accessibility shouldn't just be a "feature", it should be a requirement for a "good game"”
Eli Campbell

"We often forget this - every time something good happens, you should take a moment to celebrate that success"
Siobhan Thomas, London South Bank University


Specific accessibility issues

“Mobile games can you please caption your cutscenes? You'll meet basic a11y standards & the chances of me turning the volume on in public is ~0%”
Frankie Libbon

"Don't forget to subtitle trailers, early access programmes, and beta builds. They make lasting impressions"
Kari Hattner, Hangar 13

“Omfg a sign language talking video game mouse yesyesyesyesyes”
Anisa Sanusi, Hutch Games

“REALLY cool to see that the new Hatsune Miku game lets you earn trophies with No-Fail mode activated! Awesome accessibility option SEGA.”
AJ Ryan

 “I honestly believe we need to  change the way games do difficulty / game modes to something like:

  • I'm here for the story
  • I'm here for challenge
  • I'm here for a second & harder playthrough
  • I'm here to take photos
  • I want to play with the settings and I'm okay if that breaks things”

John Kane, Gritfish

“Difficulty isn't a blockade, it's meant to evoke a particular emotional response. If the difficulty is much higher due to intersecting disabilities, the design will fail in its goal. Players decide the value of any accomplishment. There's no canonical value. It's better to think of difficulty as a system than a quantity. A system that is designed to provide a level of resistance to each player's efforts that they will find satisfying.”
Andrew Traviss, Golden Gear Games

“Being able to switch difficulty modes mid-game is what has allowed me to experience some excellent stories that I otherwise would not have been able to”
@AnorakTheClever

“There's no such thing as too easy for some players.”
Barrie Ellis, OneSwitch

 “I have horrible simulation sickness and share this pain both as a developer and player of 3D games. Accessibility research is slowly teaching me new tricks to address issues like this.”
Alex Bethke, DrunkenMonkeyStyle

“I also love when games have auto aim options. My hands can be very shaky and it's incredibly hard to aim correctly”
@Pocketlin

"A third of our players played with camera assist turned on. That feature has gotten our foot in the door."
Em Schatz, Naughty Dog

“I have hand issues and I hate when the "solution" is just easy mode instead of customization so I don't have to mash. for me it's literally as simple as "let me hold down the button instead of mashing".  It's amazing how many games don't have that. Mashing makes me require ice packs.”
Liana Kerzner

 “’You can't remap the controls.’ #MakeMeAngryIn5Words”
Grant Stoner

“There's a lot of games that I'd really like to play, but I can't remap any of the controls, & I can't move my hands the way they want me to.”
Misha Fletcher

“Developers of all that are video games, I beseech you! PLEASE! Let us have more options to remap the buttons from inside the game!”
@relkin109

“Gosh what I wouldn't give for every development team to make remapable controls a fundamental part of every. single. game.”
Cherry Thompson

“Easiest way for a game to immediately get on my bad side? Have nonstandard controls and then fail to offer button remapping. Developers: LET ME REMAP BUTTONS.”
Brad Gallaway, Gamecritics

“Tile color settings (for colorblind players) and gamepad support (for disabled players w/ custom controllers) were both added to help CROSSNIQ be more accessible, and now they're two of the most used features! Accessibility makes your game BETTER!”
Max Kreiger, CROSSNIQ+

 “I am colorblind and I tried the modes, but they dont seem to work for me and I dont feel like experimenting around with them. I just wish I could select the colors manually.”
Narwhale111

“To game devs that think colorblind mode isn't important: I just showed my roommates that it exists and one teared up and the other is running around exclaiming the things she can now see in one of her favorite games.”
Amy Napkins, AbleGamers

"The cost of retrofitting for colorblindness was huge, not thinking about it early quadrupled the work"
Tara Voelker, re: Turtle Rock

“As someone who can't use ingame text chat most of the time, and certainly not while playing wish more developers thought about accessibility. Lost track of all the times people have gotten really pissed at me for not responding to chat messages I never even noticed.”
@RenderB

“I’ve been mute since I was 12, and I found out online gaming is a great outlet, but I want a game where I can really interact with people without being shot while typing”
Anonymous

“The fact most VR games don't let you rebind controls makes them entirely unplayable for me. That one change would fix most of them.”
@Nuurbs

 “I'll be missing most of this gen VR experiences, because I can’t use the controllers.”
Janos Honkonen

“This is #VR. Don't try for hyperreality, make something better than reality.”
Brian Van Buren, Tomorrow Today Labs

“Blind gamers exist and should be supported.”
Karen Stevens, EA Sports

“One of the best ways to make a game accessible to low/zero vision players is having strong content that people recognize at a moment’s notice.  One of the primary audio pillars for Killer Instinct was to make sure that people could tell which characters were fighting each other even if they were not in the same room.”
Zachary Quarles, Microsoft Studios

“Just discovered that IO Interactive has included 5 subtitle sizes in Hitman!! Absolutely made my day”
Mark Friend, PlayStation

“I wanna kick back on the couch and play, not sit on my ottoman 2 feet away from a large screen tv. Can't be good for our eyes.”
@PKaotic

“A large font/ui option makes the difference between games I can enjoy, and games I can't play at all.”
@RenderB


A few big names to finish on...

“We want to make sure that the games and consoles we make are accessible to any kind of player”
Phil Spencer, Xbox

“On the anniversary of the Americans with Disabilities Act, Xbox celebrates all gamers”
Mike Ybarra, Xbox

“It was very inspirational to hear Josh talk about accessibility in games, what impact we developers can have on the lives of many people”
Shuhei Yoshida, PlayStation

“We’re so proud to have so many amazing players around the world, and we’re humbled to know that for a few, games can offer a much-needed vessel for improving their daily lives.”
Electronic Arts UK

“Today, all Kim Kardashian Game UK revenue will go towards helping disabled gamers”
Kim Kardashian West


Republished from ian-hamilton.com/blog

 


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