Gaming Just Got More Accessible Thanks To One YouTuberBy Kanyi M
Accessibility in video games is in a pretty terrible state right now. Some developers are outright refusing to support gamers with disabilities, while others are simply ignorant as to how much of an issue it is. In all fairness, support for people with disabilities can be a complex and difficult thing to get right. Game controllers that allow disabled players to compete equally with able-bodied gamers are a tricky thing to design and implement. As such, you shouldn’t be surprised that there are only a handful of adaptive gaming controllers available for use in the mainstream marketplace. But there’s one person making great strides in helping fellow gamers.
YouTuber Akaki Kuumeri is 3D printing attachments that can be used with the Play Station 4, Xbox One, and XBox 360 controllers.
He is printing individual pieces: instead of an entire controller, this allows him to modify existing controllers without having to print one-off pieces for each controller model. This also allows people who already have controllers to experiment with changes without wasting materials. These attachments do not damage or alter their host controllers, either, allowing them to be used just like before.
This is a good start towards more accessible gaming, but there’s still room for improvement. For example, there are no options available for gamers who are deaf or hard of hearing, who often can’t tell when enemies are approaching from behind or from another room — putting them at a huge disadvantage that other players don’t have to deal with. Similarly, people with motor control disorders have an even tougher time playing video games because games these days expect you to use multiple buttons at once without fail — a feat nigh impossible for many disabled gamers.
But we have to thank people like Kuumeri for showing us that you don’t need to work in the industry to make a difference!