A while back I read an interesting post about games made for the blind. I suggest you go ahead and read it, don’t worry I’ll wait. This sounds like a boon for the blind and visual impaired, but I think that these kinds of cues could be useful for sighted players as well.

Let’s jump back in technology a bit to board games. Some board games use color coding for some of their aspects. Good games also include symbols in addition to colors. I have a color-blind friend who would always get frustrated with the former class of games and this would limit our options of what to play. Sometimes with colors with enough contrast he’d be able to tell the difference and be able to play but would be a bit slower. Even with high contrast the symbols helped speed up his recognition of what was going on. The thing is, it sped us up too. Recognizing what goes where is easier and more intuitive with symbols and colors to both guide us.
Sometimes accessability can even save planets.

A simple addition to make the game possible for the color-blind made it more accessable for us all. I think the sound cues for the blind gamers in the original article could also help enhance an experience for sighted gamers. With all the hiding the UI craze going around why not use other senses to transmit data as well?(with it still accessible in other ways, we don’t want to transform one accessability problem into another).

Can you think of any ways features for accessability for a group you don’t belong in made something easier for you to use too? Share with us in the comments!

About Anthony Thomas

I am a Georgia Tech Alum living in Philadelphia. I am a software engineer by trade and am trying to start a game company in my free time.

  • RSS
  • Google Buzz
  • Twitter
  • Facebook
  • StumbleUpon
  • James

    When I was a kid, my mother used to watch television for the blind, since the movies that were shown were movies that weren’t playing on any other channel.

    I really liked them, since having someone describe what was going on in every scene and what the setting was helped me pick up on things that I watched the same movies without the descriptions.

    Of course, doing so in games may be limited to certain genres, but it would be interesting to see something similar done in gaming.