We need to chat.
There is a huge dilemma in the gaming industry where accessibility is considered an after-thought. From employee’s being forced to work past their required hours or risk job loss, to failure to add alternate skin tones in games.
Accessibility is about making the world, which includes video games, available to everyone. Even if they don’t look how you perceive them to look.
Let’s take for example The Sims 4, which has a great community doesn’t even offer ramps or a wheelchair. There is really no accessible options, and while no one wants to be reminded of their disability, it would be nice to see. Also, ramps would just be an easy thing to add anyway, it’s a triangle. Add it to build mode.
The truth is, things like this are often overlooked because the developers and those working on the games, aren’t the ones dealing with chronic illness or disabilities. They’re usually an able-bodied male who can work over 40 hours a week. These types of people aren’t the average gamer.
There are so many different people in this world that seeing more representation in games that covers this would be amazing. The US Census for 2017 released this info-graphic on what people have or experience.
Being open to adding in these small changes can make a world of a difference. One game that I appreciate for including the difficulties of life would be Wolfenstein. While it’s story is fictional, and a bit over the top, it shows how hard it is to get around. Not many other games do this sort of detail work.
Making spaces, both digitally and in reality accessible shouldn’t be an after-thought. It should be available.
In part 2 of this short series, I’ll go into ways to make accessibility a reality.