I was recently reading a couple articles about some potential accessibility issues within the video game Bioshock 2. The articles point out color contrast issues with an in-game puzzle, that could leave color blind users out in the cold.
Though I knew I’d regret it, I checked out some of the comments after the posts.
Some random snippets:
what really grinds my gears is how all of a sudden the whole world needs to help people to do stuff they are inherently challenged to do. whats next? an adapter to use a wheelchair on the balance board?
It amazes me how many people with a defect think that the rest of the world should cater to them.
isn’t this like a one armed man moaning about not being able to play golf?
This is more of a problem for people that are blind. I mean, come on, how are they supposed to play this? They should be catering to blind gamers as well. And what about those born without opposable thumbs. It’s not fair that my manatee can’t play play this game either.
I realize that Internet forums and comment threads have and forever will be peppered (or dominated in some cases) by people who live to get a rise out of people. Some are just plain ignorant; others are just trying to rankle by saying outlandish things. I’ve been around the web world long enough to have seen countless examples of both.
Still, there’s still a lot of voices out who just don’t get it or care. Their worlds aren’t “inconvenienced” by blindness, or deafness, or motor skill impairment.
Is it feasible to make every web site or every video game 100% the same experience for the disabled and non-disabled? Of course not. Is it asking too much to add avenues to them that make the experience better? In a lot of cases, of course not.
From adding captions to providing color blind-friendly color contrasting settings to keyboard equivalents, there are many ways to improve the accessibility of video games, without expecting drastic concessions from the developers.
For web sites, we’ve discussed many times how simple changes can go a long way. Effective alt tags, proper tabbing navigation…the list goes on.
It may amaze the one poster that “people with a defect think that the rest of the world should cater to them,” but I’d like to see if he or she would maintain such a cavalier attitude if a disability struck.