With the growth of the gaming industry, it becomes more important for developers to include accessibility features in their video games. However, a lack of accessibility in games has left the accessibility to the modding community. Which, has been relatively easy to implement on PC, but very difficult to implement on locked-down consoles. As such, the modding community are calling on game developers to both focus more on accessible gaming, and open up platforms so they can implement their own mods on console hardware.
A console’s operating system, like a PlayStation, makes it more difficult for users to apply modifications (mods) to the games they are playing. Whereas a personal computer (PC), allows its users to edit and alter features in the game and this can help in inserting more accessibility features.
Currently, only a limited selection of games offer accessibility features on consoles. Gamers with disability have to search for third party mods. In addition, gamers will also need to buy third party equipment, such as custom controllers, which can be expensive. This should not be the case.
An article in Eurogamer by Ben Bayliss discussed the issues with accessibility modders and stated that “while mods can make a game more accessible, it is important that studios don’t rely on third-party mods. They must ensure games are being developed with accessibility in mind.” Mr Bayliss who is Deaf and uses hearing aids, is advocating for accessibility in video games as a game journalist.
Some items that are covered in Mr Baliss’s article are:
- Cuphead assist mods
- Stardew Valley screen reader mod
- Hade’s blind and visually impaired mod
- The importance of studios not relying on third-party mods
- Software design is the key to eliminating accessibility difficulty
- Gods of War PC version launched January 2022
- Related links and resources
- The affordability of accessible games
Read Ben Balyss’s article: Older PlayStation games heading to PC is a win for accessibility.
Check out Rhiannon Bevan’s article in The Gamer: Valorant called out by disabled players for purposely not allowing touchpads. This highlights some of the issues experienced by gamers with disability.