The first solid memory I have of playing games was when I was close to 5 or 6 years old and Christmas day I unwrapped my first console ever, the Super Nintendo with a copy of Super Mario World.
I spent hours and hours playing and my dad literally had to pry my hands from the controller to get me away from it (nostalgia moment). The first taste I had ever had of a video game, and I was completely hooked. That specific day was a significant part of who I am today and why I am studying games development.
But, in all of my time playing games, or more importantly, all of my time studying games development, do you know what has NEVER crossed my mind?
“Disabled people playing games”
I feel rather rude for even having to type the ‘D’ word, I don’t like to categorize people or label them. If you know me well enough, you’d know that I’m a compassionate person. And the fact that this particular aspect had never crossed my mind, it hit me. It hit me hard.
There are currently a billion people who aren’t anatomically correct or who are differently abled. A large number of those people would want to share the same joy of playing games or video games right? I’m not saying that in the history of games no-one has ever catered for any of these aspects. I’m saying that I, as a creative practitioner who is going to make games, has never thought to cater to those people. While I don’t have billions of dollars to make plenty of perfect games for everyone, I have the consciousness. I have the awareness that as an aspiring developer I can further my reach of the people I wish interact to with or cater to, by not only thinking that the people on the opposite end of my creations might not be so well abled like myself. I may also be able to make this apparent to people are who in the same industry.
I’m off to change the world, one smile at a time.
Until next time –
Disability Overview. (2016). Worldbank.org. Retrieved 14 March 2016, from http://www.worldbank.org/en/topic/disability/overview
Super Nintendo. Retrieved from https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Super_Famicom_Box
Dino, G. (2013). Super Mario World Cartridge. Retrieved from http://www.leviathyn.com/2013/05/12/gaming-in-retrospect-iii-super-mario-world-on-snes/
AbleGamers,. (2012). The AbleGamers Foundation – Helping Disabled Gamers Everyday!. Retrieved from https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BM8iNa87-Po