Category Archives: Accessibility

Blind Gamer Beats Ocarina of Time

Rich McCormick, The Verge:

His final video, uploaded on January 2nd, shows him using the same method to defeat Ganon, the game’s pig-faced final boss. Particularly important in Garrett’s playthrough was the use of the hookshot — a Zelda mainstay that fires a retractable chain — as a form of echolocation. When Garrett fired it against a wall, he’d hear a telltale clang; if he fired it into thin air, it would reach the end of its tether before returning to his hand, spooling backwards with a different noise.

Utterly fascinating. Congratulations, Terry!

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PS4 Adds Console Wide Button Remapping

Ben Kuchera, Polygon:

The screen at the top of this story doesn’t look like much. It’s a simple interface that allows you to swap any one button on the Dual Shock 4 for any other button. It’s a screen that makes gaming a much better place.

“Console wide button remapping is a huge deal for physically impaired gamers. One of the most commonly requested accessibility adaptation AbleGamers receives is for custom controller’s that move buttons to more comfortable positions,” Steve Spohn, COO of the AbleGamers charity; told Polygon.

“If you have limited movement in one arm, only one functioning hand, or even limited digit movement, button positioning is everything. And even more so if you have a neuromuscular disease such as muscular dystrophy where you fatigue more easily depending on what buttons you need to press.”

The push for full customization in button mapping has been going on for years, and some companies are better than others when it comes to offering the feature. What Sony has done is make the conversation obsolete by offering the option at the console level. This is a huge deal for many gamers.

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Space Age Color Blindness Options

@Spaceageapp:

Making sure Space Age is colorblind friendly.

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Awesome accessibility awareness. And top level too. (Tap Options on the title screen and there they are!) That alone earned Big Bucket Software my $3.99.

Space Age: A Cosmic Adventure is currently available for iOS. Looking forward to playing. Also hearing great things about the soundtrack by Cabel Sasser.

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Three Monkeys

Jordan Erica Webber, The Guardian:

In that demo, a sprite called Yoska teaches the player how to use their hearing to hunt a bird and shoot it down with a bow and arrow and fight bandits and goblins with a sword. It sounds like something you’d expect to do in a modern big-budget RPG, which Willey says is intentional: “What we’re really aiming for is an audio game that has a kind of AAA [those with the highest development budgets and levels of promotion] feel about it.”

That should appeal to vision-impaired players such as Harlow, whose experience of “real video games” before he lost his sight has led him to consider many audio games “kind of bad, and just not entertaining”. But Willey and Satizabal both hope sighted players will enjoy the game too, so that they can have a shared experience with those who are vision-impaired.

Sounds extremely interesting and like a great focus for game development. Start any piece with the words Super Mario 64 and you’ll have my attention.

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