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TornadoCreator
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Disabled Gaming

by TornadoCreator Wed Sep 14, 2011 7:27 am

I thought it would be interesting to discuss this, but is there anyone here who's had any experience gaming as a disabled person. Obviously some disabilities barely effect gaming, but other things like being deaf for example, could seriously effect the gaming experience for a lot of reasons.

I wanted to bring this up after the thread on difficulty came up because I find I'm facing this issue myself as I said in the thread here - viewtopic.php?f=44&t=33089&start=40

As I've said, I have Ehlers-Danlos Syndrome which is a pretty major disability that effects me in many ways, but specifically it causes severe joint issues. This is one of the reasons I dislike the trend towards motion controls that's so prevelent now, while people like Yahtzee jokes that his skeleton is made of "Jacob's Cream Crackers", mine practially is. As such I've found I prefer games that require tactical and skillful timing of abilities, or thought and planning. More importantly I like games where I barely have to move. If I can literally play an entire game with just my thumbs and right index finger I feel extremely pleased as my fingers have a tendency to dislocate. Some things I can't do reliably include, not being able to press down the analogue sticks as buttons, my thumbs just dislocate from the pressure, grip a controller with my inner palm or index fingers meaning small controllers are painful to use, the NES controller is near impossible, but big controllers are much better, the original Xbox controller feels great as the weight shifts the support onto my outer palm, middle finger and little finger, so I can almost let my hands relax. I can't twist my wrist, so waggle controls are out. Classic style platformers on the Wii are horrible for this, because first the Wii Mote on it's side is too thin and painful for me to hold, I need a plastic attachment to make it bigger, and if there's a move that requires me to shake the controller, my wrists seize and I can't do it... the helicopter power-up in New Super Mario Bros. Wii is useless. Sisaxis in PS3 is much the same, as are accelerometer controls in iPhone or Android games. I lastly can't use the Nintendo DS touch-screen as I can't properly grip the stilus without adding a big rubber grip.

All in all I work around this and I find I can game almost as well as I could when I was a teenager, but it will get worse, it's just something I have to live with. I have however found that getting it off your chest makes it easier, just talking about things like this, especially to others who understand how important gaming is to you, it makes it easier. After all, if you say "I can't put my shoes on without exception effort and I can't do up shirt buttons" people are sympathetic, you say "I can't play video games" then tend to think "Oh well, watch a movie instead", they just don't understand the value gaming holds for some of us. So that's why I wanted to make this thread.

So, does anyone have any experiences with disabilities that effect gaming they'd like to talk about? Do you want to recommend any games that are well designed to help disabled gamers or warn of any games that are red flags for disabled gamers, like games without subtitles options or games that don't allow control mapping. Or perhaps you just want to discuss your own experiences or give a voice of support for others who do, whichever, it's about time I brought up this topic.
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AppleQueso
 

Re: Disabled Gaming

by AppleQueso Wed Sep 14, 2011 7:51 am

I don't really have much to say, I know there's some forums and websites dedicated to this very subject, and I'm sure someone's bound to provide a link or something to one of them.

I guess I can simply say that I hope that advances in medical science can one day make your life (and the lives of others who have your syndrome as well as any others who have these kinds of disabilities) easier.
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BoneSnapDeez
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Re: Disabled Gaming

by BoneSnapDeez Wed Sep 14, 2011 8:04 am

Thanks for sharing your story. Do you like turn-based RPGs? Many can be played as slowly and leisurely as you like. Radiant Historia for the DS is a good modern example (doesn't require the stylus).

I always thought the Agetec ASCII Grip was a great controller for disabled gamers (or any gamers, really), I wish there were modern equivalents:

http://www.amazon.com/Agetec-ASCII-Grip ... 852&sr=8-1

I have no serious disability, but I am pretty seriously colorblind. This was never a problem back in the day (games like Dragon Quest had such an obnoxious color palette so everything was easy to distinguish), but newer games can be hell. Any game that requires color-based puzzles (ie: pushing certain switches in order) is impossible for me unless I use a walkthrough. Off the top of my head, I remember needing walkthroughs for Skies of Arcadia, Secret of Mana, Link's Awakening DX, and Tales of Symphonia (1 & 2) because of color-based challenges. Sometimes walkthroughs can't even help though. I remember I was stumped badly on a Symphonia 2 puzzle and had to beg someone on GameFAQs to lead me through it using cardinal directions (instead of "press the blue switch, the the red switch" it became "press the northeast switch, then the southwest switch", etc).

Don't even get me started on schmups.

I'm also severely speech impaired so I can't take advantage of any multi-player games that use headsets/mikes. Incidentally, I'm generally not into such games (FPS and whatnot), so this generally isn't a problem. I just hope speech isn't REQUIRED for future video games.

I know it's also been stated on RacketBoy, but AbleGamers is a great site:

http://www.ablegamers.com/
AppleQueso
 

Re: Disabled Gaming

by AppleQueso Wed Sep 14, 2011 8:08 am

BoneSnapDeez wrote:I know it's also been stated on RacketBoy, but AbleGamers is a great site:

http://www.ablegamers.com/


That's the site I was thinking of when I mentioned websites dedicated to this subject. Thanks.
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gtmtnbiker
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Re: Disabled Gaming

by gtmtnbiker Wed Sep 14, 2011 8:39 am

TornadoCreator wrote: I lastly can't use the Nintendo DS touch-screen as I can't properly grip the stilus without adding a big rubber grip.


Have you tried the DSi XL with its oversized stylus? I wonder if that is easier to grip for you?

In any case, I recommend the XL for anyone because of the gorgeous larger screens.
TornadoCreator
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Re: Disabled Gaming

by TornadoCreator Wed Sep 14, 2011 11:02 am

BoneSnapDeez wrote:Thanks for sharing your story. Do you like turn-based RPGs? Many can be played as slowly and leisurely as you like. Radiant Historia for the DS is a good modern example (doesn't require the stylus).

Yeah, it's no shocker that it's one of my favourite genres. I love the Final Fantasy series and Lost Odyssey is one of my favourite current gen games. I also really like Breath Of Fire: Dragon Quarter and Pokemon SoulSilver. One thing I hate though, and need an option to switch off is Active Time Battle systems. I'm sure they are well designed and add some extra challenge to the game for most people, but I play RPG's specifically when I'm seizing up and can't move my hands fast. I need to have the enemies wait on my turn so I can actually go though the menus and pick my move in my own time. Luckily most games have the option, but it's unfashionable as it's considered too easy if the game pauses while you select your next attack.

BoneSnapDeez wrote:I have no serious disability, but I am pretty seriously colorblind. This was never a problem back in the day (games like Dragon Quest had such an obnoxious color palette so everything was easy to distinguish), but newer games can be hell. Any game that requires color-based puzzles (ie: pushing certain switches in order) is impossible for me unless I use a walkthrough. Off the top of my head, I remember needing walkthroughs for Skies of Arcadia, Secret of Mana, Link's Awakening DX, and Tales of Symphonia (1 & 2) because of color-based challenges. Sometimes walkthroughs can't even help though. I remember I was stumped badly on a Symphonia 2 puzzle and had to beg someone on GameFAQs to lead me through it using cardinal directions (instead of "press the blue switch, the the red switch" it became "press the northeast switch, then the southwest switch", etc).

Don't even get me started on schmups.

I'm also severely speech impaired so I can't take advantage of any multi-player games that use headsets/mikes. Incidentally, I'm generally not into such games (FPS and whatnot), so this generally isn't a problem. I just hope speech isn't REQUIRED for future video games.


Wow, as silly as this sounds, I'd never considered colour-blindness before as being something that could seriously ruin gaming and I suppose it make sense. If I've never considered it and I'm already aware of disabled gaming, games developers have probably not considered it either. I remember Peggle has a colour-blind mode, but I can't remember any AAA games having any colour-blind options.

Well I hope developers become more aware of such things, colour-blindness effects 16% of the world apparently (just googled), you'd think they'd be more aware really...

gtmtnbiker wrote:
TornadoCreator wrote: I lastly can't use the Nintendo DS touch-screen as I can't properly grip the stilus without adding a big rubber grip.


Have you tried the DSi XL with its oversized stylus? I wonder if that is easier to grip for you?

In any case, I recommend the XL for anyone because of the gorgeous larger screens.


I'd barely notice the difference honestly. Unless the stylus is about an inch thick I'll dislocate my fingers trying to hold it. I can't even hold pens or pencils properly without the same happening unless they're particularly big. I can still write, but only for short periods like signing my name, filling in a short form, writing a single sentence or a phone number down. This paragraph however would be too long for me, and if I tried to write this with a pen my had would seize up.
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Inazuma
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Re: Disabled Gaming

by Inazuma Wed Sep 14, 2011 2:23 pm

@OP

I watched a youtube video about your disorder and learned a lot. I had no idea something like this existed. It must be really horrible to have to live with it.

What caused you to become affected by it in the first place? Besides being the child of a parent who has the disorder, how could someone get it?
TornadoCreator
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Re: Disabled Gaming

by TornadoCreator Wed Sep 14, 2011 3:30 pm

Inazuma wrote:@OP

I watched a youtube video about your disorder and learned a lot. I had no idea something like this existed. It must be really horrible to have to live with it.

What caused you to become affected by it in the first place? Besides being the child of a parent who has the disorder, how could someone get it?


It's a genetic disorder, the only way to get it is to be born with it.

Theoretically you could have the same random mutation and be born with it even if neither of your parents have it. This however is extremely unlikely. That said, it's happened at least once before otherwise the condition would exist.

It's entirely possible that every single person who has Ehlers Danlos Syndrome is related if we go back far enough, probably need to go back hundreds of years though.
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Inazuma
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Re: Disabled Gaming

by Inazuma Wed Sep 14, 2011 3:32 pm

Does anyone else in your family have it?
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dunpeal2064
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Re: Disabled Gaming

by dunpeal2064 Wed Sep 14, 2011 4:21 pm

Not sure if it was mentioned, but a blind person played through all of one of the Oddworld games. There were enough sound effects that he\she could tell where they were, and what was happening.

All he/she needed was a menu explanation
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