By: Imran Chaudhry
Video games are becoming more and more prominent in the everyday life of anyone who uses technology, which today is pretty much everyone. However, one (of the many) places the gaming industry has neglected is providing accessibility to those with disabilities who love games. Console controllers have become more and more similar and follow a uniform design these days across most consoles. Regardless of the console, usually controllers have very small buttons and joysticks. This makes gaming for those with disabilities difficult or even impossible with the mainstream controllers.
However, the industry and the world are changing. Even for mental health, video games can be a great help for sufferers and bring people together. This article over at Gamerant discusses the positive effects of video games for mental health at length. Charities such as SpecialEffect and The AbleGamers Charity are dedicated to bringing games to those who suffer from disabilities that do not allow them to play video games by conventional means.
Whilst these charities are leaps and bounds for the world of gaming, it still isn’t addressed on the level it should be. Now that is about to change, with Microsoft, one of the biggest companies in gaming, releasing their new Xbox Adaptive Controller. In an article by Phil Spencer on the Xbox website he announced the Xbox Adaptive controller, a ‘piece of hardware that we believe will enable and empower even more Xbox One and Windows 10 gamers across the globe’.
In the article Phil Spencer talks about how trying to find a solution to the problem of gamers with limited mobility is usually expensive, hard to find and difficult to set up. Whilst the charities discussed often provide these life changing gaming rigs, they are usually personalised to each person, and hard to reproduce for others. This new controller was developed in partnership with The AbleGamers Charity, The Cerebral Palsy Foundation, Craig Hospital, SpecialEffect and Warfighter Engaged. With two large buttons, a D-pad and many outputs for a variety of partner devices such as joysticks and additional buttons, the Xbox Adaptive controller allows a high level of customisation and personalisation for all. The Xbox Adaptive Controlled will be $99.99USD from the Microsoft Store.
What are your thoughts on the gaming industry and it’s standing with accessibility? Tweet us your thoughts @JenChauMedia.