Inaccessible Gaming Part 2: Mechanics

Last time I talked about how video games have an accessibility issue on the hardware level, sometimes even before any purchases have been made. However, that is only one of the issues surrounding video games not being accessible. This time I will discuss how video games’ systems and mechanics are inaccessible, especially for people just entering into the hobby. Unlike other media, the skill required to consume video games has increased as the medium has aged. While some of this ties into last week’s article — controllers gaining more buttons, touch pads, gyrometers, multiple joysticks — I’m mostly going to be looking at the increasing difficulty of navigating and interpolating the information and mechanics and how developers can address these concerns. Continue reading

Inaccessible Gaming Part 1: Hardware

It seems there has always been talk about finding ways for gaming to break out of its own little box. We used to discuss about how to get gaming into the mainstream but I think those days are over. Some of our largest games are costing more to make, and earning more in a launch weekend, than summer blockbuster films. Television advertisements for video games can be seen running between ads for Suave and McDonald’s during commercial breaks on network channels. It is becoming more and more difficult to find someone who doesn’t play video games, even if it is the widely popular Candy Crush on a mobile phone. Yet, despite all of this breakthrough into pop culture, there is still a huge schism between the idea of “Video Games” and culture. What is it that film, music, and prose have accomplished that video games have not achieved yet? Accessibility. Continue reading