Accessibility Options for Popular Online Computer Games

My favorite and frequently used products in my household are Computer Video Games like Blizzard Entertainment’s World of Warcraft, Sony Online Entertainment’s Star Wars Galaxies,Doom3 by Activision etc. After a long and hectic work day, our family always enjoyed playing a good computer game together. When my husband lost his vision due to Glaucoma, the joys we previously experienced playing games together as a family took a nose dive because the majority of the games my husband and I previously enjoyed playing together are not accessibility friendly at all. This was very disappointing for both of us and it made transition for him even more difficult as much of what he enjoyed he could no longer take part in.

Thankfully, other games are still playable for him such as those in Qiu Qiu online today. But how does blind people play computer games?Advances in technology are amazing these days and constantly provide ways to improve our overall quality of life no matter what our physical limitations are. With the limitations that exist for the visually impaired, forms of entertainment in the gaming world should not be one of them. Entertainment and game playing provides stress relief, strengthens relationships, helps us build problem solving skills, boosts creativity and helps build skills. Multi-player online games are especially well suited to adaptive technology or accessible options for the blind because they already include a large number of disabled players in their subscriber base. They have already included some gaming control which provide ease of playability. Popular computer games need more options so that the visually impaired can play with their sighted counterparts on equal ground. Most of these games already employ Text to Speech engines for parts of the gams such as chat or status audio like in Unreal Tournament 3. Basically, the technology is already there, it just needs to be implemented and expanded to improve and allow options for the blind and visually impaired to join in the game.

Dealing with vision loss especially later in life is already a very stressful event. Segregating blind and visually impaired from their sighted counterparts in entertainment options like computer gaming makes adaptation even more difficult. Thanks to businesses like creating games so that the blind and visually impaired can play with their sighted counterparts are slowly becoming a reality. However, there are several games like Blizzard Entertainment’s World of Warcraft , a popular multi player online game that has ten million people online which do not currently provide accessibility options for the blind and visually impaired. As it stands today, readily available and easily implemented text to speech engines have not been implemented as an accessibility option in most popular multi player online games.

Including text to speech engines and speech descriptives so that the visually impaired can navigate and play the game would allow them to enjoy the game playing experience, Since most blind computer users employ text to speech software like JAWS developed by Freedom Scientific so that they can perform full time jobs and take care of personal business, it is proven that the blind and visually impaired are already capable of navigating computer software designed specifically for sighted individuals with ease.