Making Games Accessible For All Shapes And Sizes

You may never have stopped to consider how a developer tailors their game to suit the needs of a disabled gamer. You really should, though, it's fascinating stuff.

Valve, developers of Half-Life and Team Fortress, have shared with Gamasutra the lengths to which they go to ensure as many people can enjoy their games as possible. And those lengths are longer than most of you probably ever realised.

Indeed, the developer has its own "experimental psychologist", Mike Ambinder, who told the website that some of the features Valve includes for disabled gamers include:

- closed captioning/subtitles

- colorblind modes

- in-game pausing in single player

- easier difficulty levels

- re-mappable keys/buttons

- open-microphones

- mouse sensitivity settings

- use of both mouse and keyboard and gamepads

OK, so some of those are standard stuff you'd expect from any game, but others — especially closed captioning and colorblind modes — are surely appreciated by gamers who aren't as well catered-for by other titles or studios.

Heck, as a gamer with no afflictions I still appreciate good subtitling, because in the heat of the moment (or as a result of shoddy voice acting), it's often too easy to miss what's being said in a game.

Resetting Accessibility in Games [Gamasutra]