AbleGamers has announced that BioWare has won the 2009 Mainstream Accessibility Award for Dragon Age: Origins, a game that offers "some of the most astounding accessibility options seen in any game this year."
It's a fact of life that some games have better control schemes that others. For most people, that's as far as it goes; crappy controls are an inconvenience but rarely an actual impediment to playing a game. For disabled gamers, however, it's a different matter entirely and as gaming has grown into a mainstream entertainment medium, concerns about accessibility are becoming increasingly common. Like everything else, some are better than others and for 2009, AbleGamers has decided that the best of the bunch is none other than BioWare's hit RPG Dragon Age: Origins.
The game earned kudos for its multiple levels of subtitles, "extreme mobility options" that allow gamers to effectively play with either the keyboard or the mouse, fonts that help compensate for color impairment and more. It also received praise for being "cognitive friendly," which AbleGamers said is relatively uncommon in most major releases.
"Perhaps the most underrepresented disability in mainstream games, cognitive impaired gamers can pause the action quickly and as often as necessary in the heat of the battle," AbleGamers said. "Orders can be issued during the pause, allowing anyone to keep up with the game no matter the level of cognitive impairment."
"What makes this title so exceptional is the level of options given to the gamer to choose their level of accessibility," it added. "Options are the key component to adding accessibility without harming the overall gameplay of any title. As long as developers like Bioware continue to add accessibility in layers of options that enhance their gaming titles, disabled gamers will continue to be able to play great titles such as Dragon Age: Origins."
"The Dragon Age team is honored to win this award," said Dragon Age: Origins Executive Producer Mark Darrah. "We try to appeal to as broad of an audience as we can and accessibility is certainly part of this effort. It makes me proud to have the game this well received by this community."