October 24, 2021

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The gaming world window is not (yet) open to everyone

Danielle Corciolo is sitting tied up in front of a playstation and playing with her fingers. The characters of The Last Of Us II appear on the screen. With the help of helpful features that always point him in the right direction, alternate control options, and various audio and video aids, he plays the 35-hour game in just two weeks. It is the first video game to be fully accessible as a blind person.

Despite this groundbreaking game, there are still many barriers for people with disabilities in the gaming world. recently posted study According to the study, 2% of the US population cannot play video games due to poor access options. Live out loud in Switzerland Federal Statistics Office About 1.7 million people with disabilities, who are also difficult to participate in the fun of the game.

Daniel Corciolo is a passionate player. (Source: zVg)

3D games with all their obstacles

Daniele Corciolo, the 35-year-old access counselor, has been legally blind since birth. With his vision of only 1.5 percent, he can still see colors, shadows, and outlines.

For him, games are a haven away from the real world. With Forza Motorsport 7, for example, he can drive a car he wouldn’t otherwise be able to do. “I grew up with sighted people and games were always an issue,” he says. “I’ve always tried it myself with my friends and somehow looked for opportunities to get involved and be a part of it.” But the games are getting more and more complex. Today it is no longer structured like “Pac-Man” or other arcade games, but it has become more complex with the passage of time and new technologies. It is almost impossible to find the right path in 3D environments. For Corciulo, commercial games are not about what he wants to play, but what he can ever play.

With over 60 accessibility settings

In June 2020, California game manufacturer Naughty Dog released “The Last of Us II”. It has already been hailed as “the most accessible game of all time” by many affected players, such as the blind gamer. Steve Saylor formulates. So far it is the only game fully playable by blind people. “You can never go in the wrong direction,” explains Daniel Corciolo. “There were different, explicit settings that were missing in other commercial games.” with more than 60 settings For accessibility, it can be played by people with mobility impairments, blind, hard of hearing and deaf people. The efforts of the game manufacturer have paid off: Naughty Dog has been able to do a lot with the game Awards Winning themselves, including the “Innovation in Accessibility” award.

Daniele Corciulo im Let’s Play von “The Last of Us II” mit SRF. (Source: SRF)

The video game was by far the most amazing experience for Curchuluo. “It was really my first game that I was able to play from the ground up. After 35 years, I was finally able to play a game that everyone knows.”

Participation in social and cultural life

People play for different reasons and motives: for example, to escape from the real world or to experience a story. However, what is most important is participation in society and culture. The social aspect of games in particular is important for people with disabilities, as is the case with the game developer Ian Hamilton to explain. Corciolo sees it the same way. He especially wants to be able to talk to others about games and exchange ideas. However, he has not yet been able to do this because he is busy with sound games, for example, that sighted people do not know. “People with disabilities have always been seen as ‘special cases.’ But disability is part of being human. I also need commercial games, just like everyone else.”

lack of awareness

According to Corciulo, it is important to consider and include accessibility early in the game development process. This can only be achieved with sufficient knowledge and above all with awareness from the very beginning. “Developers should integrate accessibility into the core process and think about how to make the video game more accessible to people with disabilities.” Some of the settings are a bit more complicated. But there are also many things that are relatively easy to access: for example, more audio settings.

Lack of awareness is a huge problem that needs to be addressed. On the politics side, too, more has to come. Daniel Corciolo defends finance. Not just for accessibility in games, but in general for accessibility in everyday life for people with disabilities. “Until more things are made available to society in general. However, in the end, games and fun are also part of a fulfilling life.”

Daniele Corciolo also faces many obstacles online. Many online services are not without drawbacks. You can read more about it here.

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