Gaming has long been seen by fans as the ultimate meritocracy, an arena where a player's skills and strategies can help bring them to the top. But that doesn’t mean some gamers don't struggle with those skills. And now developers want to make gaming a little easier. Multiple gaming companies are now making a big push to help physically, mentally, and emotionally disabled players thrive in the gaming community.
"Evil Controllers" is one of the world's biggest gaming device companies. They're best known for making controllers for top tier competitive gamers, but now they're branching out, customizing their products for gamers with physical disabilities. "Evil Controllers" president Adam Coe tells us they're now getting multiple orders for controllers built for amputees. Their devices are similar to the XBOX Adaptive Controller released last year - but more customized. The games themselves are also adapting to cater to gamers with special physical needs. "Collapsus" by Wraith Games is coming soon to almost every gaming system. The motion-control capture game has over 40 disability options.
The push to help impaired gamers also includes people with visual impairments as well, like blindness. They can now enjoy games based on sound alone, using the Bose AR Sunglasses. The headset shows no video, instead relying on sound and movement for the games to work. They teamed up with game maker Playcrafting to make a game along the lines of "Monty Python and the Holy Grail" - where you launch unsuspecting bovine toward a Frenchman taunting you from a high castle wall, using only the audio clues and your ears. The owner of Playcrafting also told us he sees a lot of potential for GPS and other more functional uses for the gear.
And for help with the types of disabilities we can't see, try "Destiny’s Sword" by 2Dogs Games. It details the journeys of a group of soldiers in a futuristic war, where - using what Creative Director Ken Hall describes as the "Intuition Engine" - the characters suffer through anxiety, depression, and post-traumatic stress disorder that can seriously hinder gameplay. The catch: your job as a player is not to fix them, but to learn how to effectively help them through their journey.
If you’re interested in learning what games and ideas are next, check out the charity organization AbleGamers (https://ablegamers.org/) for more information.