Designing for Motor Disabilities Video Released

/ October 14, 2018

The featured photo is a close-up of a black Xbox One controller and three game case corners.

Mark Brown over at Game Maker’s Toolkit has released part three in his Designing for Disability video series, with this video focusing on motor disabilities and how to make games more accessible to those with them. If you’ve checked out parts one and two, you’ll find that part three is a welcome addition to the series and continues to provide an alternative, condensed method of getting Ian Hamilton’s Game Accessibility Guidelines across to developers who are interested in making their games playable by wider swaths of gamers, many of whom are normally left out of the fun. I highly doubt that developers generally intend to make their games inaccessible to gamers of many stripes, but most just don’t think about how the lack of remappable buttons or the ability to modify the rumble option can affect a player’s ability to actually play a game, let alone enjoy it.

And most of these guidelines are quality of life increases for abled gamers as well, many of whom may enjoy tweaking their button maps or who just don’t like the rumble, who find the QTEs to be a bore or who don’t want prefer a toggle for firing rather than holding down the button. What many disabled gamers have as necessity, other gamers wouldn’t actually mind having as well, so it’s an overall win. And because they are options, folks can always leave them alone if they just don’t want to use them.

Now, I’m not going to get into the argument about competitive gaming and whether these options provide edges or not, though I do think that making them available to everyone means everyone can use them if they so choose and thus the playing field is level. But that is for game designers to decide on, in the spirit of their own game. Plus, I don’t game competitively so I personally just don’t get it and I’m not going to argue a point that I know nothing about–that’s just asinine. What I will say is that, for the majority of games at the very least, these settings are necessary. And Mark’s videos give great insight, for those of us who prefer a more visual input method, of how these settings can be implemented to make disabled gamer hearts everywhere joyful as they play the new releases.

Keep an eye out, as Mark has a fourth, final part of this series on cognitive disability. It is scheduled to release before the end of the year.

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