Show and Yell

Image of a rat holding a radar listening device in front of a red spiral. Intended to represent previously anti-accessibility game developers starting to prick up their ears. No offence re. the rat - just liked the Banksy picture.I had a really enjoyable evening on Friday at the “Show and Yell” event run by Pixel-Lab. In a packed room, various indie game developers spoke of their passions in gaming and talked about their latest work.

Absolute highlight of the evening for me was when Rob Fearon took to the mic’. He spoke with a soft voice and powerful words. He asked those who gave thought to accessibility in their games to raise their hands. About five hands were proudly raised including my own.

To inspire the majority with their hands down into future action, Rob explained how each of the accessibility features in his game Squid Harder took about ten minutes to add. These include subtitles, consideration for colour-blind players and a one-switch facility.

Robert concluded by pressing home that adding accessibility options does not break a game, nor ruin the experience. As a player, if you don’t want to use the features, no one is forcing you to, but don’t deny them from those who need them. Simple really? Thank you, Rob for having the courage to stand up for what is right in our world of video gaming. I feel like this message is slowly getting though. One day EA, Sony, Microsoft, Nintendo and the likes will hear it and act on it consistantly.

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