256: Able - Bodied Gamer

Able - Bodied Gamer

You might be dedicated to playing games, but the amount of effort needed to overcome physical limitations is incredible. Jeff Groves listens to some of the stories of gamers at Ablegamer.com.

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Don't forget mental disabled I am learning disabled and due to how my brain is wired I can not adjust well to drastic changes in control schemes mainly for FP games. Between muscle memory and my brain hard wires how it likes things I am screwed when it takes me a couple months beyond finishing a game to enjoy playing it....

I certainly can understand the frustrations that these gamers face and am frankly impressed by the levels to which they ascend to play favoured games.

Humans really are pretty fascinating creatures!

Hardcore is an understatement for these guys.

On the topic of game pads, there are many homebrew one handed game pads. These need to get more attention and possibly even official endorsement so that people who need them know they are there.

The story of Nomad is pretty epic, he actually managed to get Infinity Ward to create a special configuration for Cod MW and MW2 which allowed him to set ADS as a toggle. It was incredible to see just how far some companies are willing to go to help their customers.

Good read.

Since the players in the article cited configuration as an important aspect of which games they choose to play, does it follow that the PC is their gaming platform of choice?

I can't stand lack of configuration (be it in games, utilities, or websites) and will stop using ones that can't be made to work for me (*glares at iGoogle*) but I'm fully able. I can't imagine the stress disabled players have to go through to play at all.

I whine if I can't configure things for myself. You guys have to go without altogether. I salute your dedication and your perseverance.

Yay I play games with 1 arm, an article I can relate to :-)

Clemenstation:
Good read.

Since the players in the article cited configuration as an important aspect of which games they choose to play, does it follow that the PC is their gaming platform of choice?

not really, I used 2 feet and my right hand to play max payne on pc, however I just used my hand for my 360

Wow, how hardcore are these gamers, good on them.

I enjoyed reading this, it's nice to hear that people with disabilities are still playing thier favourite games.
I hope [more] game developers input options for people with disablities because it's not just gamers who are able-bodied who loves to play video games.

I'm all in favor of allowing people with disabilities to enjoy games, but on the other hand I like difficult games ... For some genres, if I can do it with one hand, it's not hard enough.

How do you design a game so that it's difficult to play even with two hands, but still accessible for people with only one?

Ravek:
I'm all in favor of allowing people with disabilities to enjoy games, but on the other hand I like difficult games ... For some genres, if I can do it with one hand, it's not hard enough.

How do you design a game so that it's difficult to play even with two hands, but still accessible for people with only one?

I agree with you on the "Accessibility" front.

But I disagree on what you use to describe a dificult game, i.e. "one that is hard to play even with two hands"... I don't think one should need a PhD in aerospatial engineering to master a game's controls - games this hard are just gimmicky...

Go back to good ol' NES, grab a copy of Battletoads, and we'll talk. Simple controls, impossible game...

OT : This was a very touching article, with testimonies by brave, tenacious people. I enjoyed every bit of it.

Amazing article. I'm really impressed by the level of dedication of these gamers. Makes the week I spent not playing anything because I cut my thumb seem pretty pathetic in comparison.

Hey, it was a deep cut!

This--THIS is who the hardcore are.

Not defined by their disability, but defined by their drive to play.

We are all hardcore for the things we love.

I know it won't happen, but wouldn't it be great if people would think it might be one of these gutsy folks on the other end of the insulting, abusive comment I am about to flame out before hitting 'Send?'

Signed,
A Disability Retired Marine Gamer (With more buddies like me all the time)

Ravek:
I'm all in favor of allowing people with disabilities to enjoy games, but on the other hand I like difficult games ... For some genres, if I can do it with one hand, it's not hard enough.

How do you design a game so that it's difficult to play even with two hands, but still accessible for people with only one?

That's what difficulty levels are for. Bayonetta, in particular, was inspired. Its Super Easy mode lets you play the game with one hand. Once again, it's all about more options.

As for favorite game console of all time, I think a lot of them prefer the old consoles over anything. The NES, for example, had few buttons and plenty of custom controllers, like the NES Advantage. Computer games are iffier; if you need to hit too many buttons at once, or regularly use the keyboard & the mouse at the same time, it gets difficult. Many of them are also fans of the old DOS games as well, back from the heyday of adventure games.

Jeff Groves realizes his excuses for sucking at games pale in comparison.

Yeah, me too. Darn driven individuals overcoming obstacles for the hobby they love and probably being able to kick my admittedly overweight, but otherwise fully-functional, virtual ass.

Seriously though, these are the "hardcore" in my book. Such dedication in the face of such adversity.

If only we had more of that going for real-world problems, though...

Don't get me wrong, good on them. Just saying there are too many perfectly healthy people not working half as hard to solve bigger problems.

Makes me think of the recent story about the blind gamer who beat the Ocarina of Time.
http://www.escapistmagazine.com/news/view/93541-Blind-Gamer-Tackles-Zelda-Ocarina-of-Time

Now that's dedication. To do that much for what amounts to a hobby... it's mind-blowing. Now I'll feel bad every time I play the controller with my chin because I'm using one of my hands to hold a snack (I'll feel better when I get angry at a videogame for not having subtitles - not disabled, but English is my second language and even the best audio in games still sound like it's coming from the bottom of a well sometimes - so it balances out).

I play a lot of NetHack, and I know that it's a game blind people can play, since it's entirely text based. But whenever I think that, for a blind person, to play it would mean to sit there listening to a 'dot dot dot dot gee dot dot dot dee dot dot at dot percent dot' input for every freaking turn they take and then turn it into a visualization of their surroundings in their heads, I have to think silently for a while.

Impaired players are the ones that are truly hardcore. Anyone who are dedicated to overcoming their limitations, be it in social life, work life, daily life, gaming, etc, are hardcore. It's admirable to say the least. Being a somewhat veteran member of Bungie.net, I've seen my fair share of impaired players, particularly colorblind, that wants Bungie to incorperate more flixibility in their games. The problem with this, aside from memory space, money, and all that bs, is the fact that many of those that are not impaired would exploit the flexibility to better themselves, and potentially ruining the game for everyone else. If you leave a lot of deep flexibility in your gamecode, chances are that that code is also easier to hack, and there are thousands of those out there willing to do so. It's truly a sad world we live in.

Very nice. BTW these issues are interesting not only to disabled people. I for example, work (or otherwise) on the computer all day and my right hand sometimes hurts from using the mouse or tablet pen.

So I'd like to play a game where I don't have to use my right hand. Or some that is easier on the eyes (i.e. not like viewing shit through a coffee filter, like Saints Row 2). Or otherwise. Not all games can be accessible to everyone, but stuff like this helps. Same with subtitles - not just for hearing impaired (http://deafgamers.com/), but also for people who can't make too much noise or can't understand the language that well.

I've never expected that disabled gamers still game despite their handicaps. They are truly dedicated and more serious than I ever imagined.

I could recall that there was one blind gamer who wanted to play Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time and he successfully pulled it off.

I pay particular attention to articles like this ever since I happened upon video's of OneHandedTerror, a fighting game player with an obvious impairment. Awesome stuff.

Also: that blind guy they had playing MK against Japanese fighting game afficionados was way cool. Though I had a feeling he was being put up there more as a trick monkey since none of those guys actually play MK, but hey, I'd love to be able to beat those guys at anything, let alone a fighting game.

Really good article, Jeff!

Mark has proven to be the single most influential person in our industry in making games accessible. The big companies listen to him. The small ones, like ours, listen to him. Changes do get made. Sometimes passion does win.

John Bannick
CTO
7-128 Software

Interestin' shiznit, I've been gamin' with one arm for going on 9 years now, works for me. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hiy39c7zck8

Morty815:
Interestin' shiznit, I've been gamin' with one arm for going on 9 years now, works for me. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hiy39c7zck8

Woah! I just watched that video. Is that for real? I don't even wanna try playing one handed like that. You're one dedicated player <3

Grey Day for Elcia:

Morty815:
Interestin' shiznit, I've been gamin' with one arm for going on 9 years now, works for me. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hiy39c7zck8

Woah! I just watched that video. Is that for real? I don't even wanna try playing one handed like that. You're one dedicated player <3

Why thank you sir/madame you just gave my ego an erection. (too graphic?)

 

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