I recently had a few exchanges over Twitter with X-Play suggesting they look into how disabled gamers are being shunned by the industry. The person running the Twitter account suggested I e-mail X-Play. I did and thought I’d share my thoughts with them with all of you:
I recently sent a tweet to your twitter account suggesting that you guys do an in depth look at how gaming is starting to shun disabled gamers.
I’m disabled, I have Spinal Muscular Atrophy. It requires I use a wheelchair to get around and limits my mobility. As a result sports weren’t an option as a kid but gaming was. I’ve been gaming since the NES (even have a working original Game Boy) and have owned almost every system over the years but I recent years I find myself having less gaming options.
Yes my limitations have increased as I get older and the disability limitations increase along with age but the gaming community is changing against the disabled gamer as technology is increasing when it should be helping.
Games used to allow you to customize your controller setup making it easier for disabled gamers to put key buttons within easier reach yet nowadays the only games allowing customization of controls are fighters (like SSF4, UMvC3, etc). But gamers like Call of Duty, Assasin’s Creed and others like them say “here’s the controls, don’t like it then don’t play it”. My disability has resulted in me not being able to use the left triggers on controls but can work the right yet in games I mentioned I can’t alter it because programmers feel its not needed and or wanted. Does the aim and fire buttons. HAVE to be left trigger? Hell, forget disabled, if your right handed wouldn’t you prefer the right trigger be key buttons instead of the “useless” buttons like look around or other options?
Plus there’s the biggest offender of disabled gamer discrimination in Microsoft. Kinect, you be the controller. Um, hi I’m disabled with limited movement how can I be the controller for something I can’t physically do for real? Does Kinect recognize a wheelchair? Crutches? Has Microsoft even made disabled Avatars? No they haven’t. I own a 360 and looked, no disabled Avatars.
There are tons if disabled gamers worldwide that are slowly being pushed out of the one thing in this world they could do just as well as healthy gamers. Hell I kicked major ass in a mini Soul Caliber tourney on the GameCube in my home a few years back, and I was drunk. I was top 10 in my Blockbuster Store when they did their gaming competition in the 90s, yet I spend more time looking for games I can play then I do playing them because the industry is forgetting disabled gamers like myself by not putting in customized controls or taking a second to think if what they’ve made can appeal to ALL gamers.
I hope this might intrigue you to look into it and maybe even put some of the game companies on the hot seat on how they take the disabled community into consideration for their games.
I’m also including my number in case you have questions for me or would like more input from me.
Thanks for your time and keep up the great work on X-Play.
Hopefully this will intrigue X-Play or G4TV enough to get gaming companies to remember there are ALL types of gamers out there.