This is not a recent video (at least it was more than a year ago), but I was very fascinated to watch someone with vision impairment (as the result of cancer) playing a fighting game by listening to the sound effects. Actually, his name is Sven but probably better known as Blind Warrior Sven by his followers on social media.
If you are interested you can watch the relevant parts of the interview of Sven (but you should watch how he plays against a very accomplished opponent first) where he explains how he learnt to play from sound.
He explains that the most difficult part of learning how to play is when there are certain moves that the opponent makes where the sound is indistinguishable, which means that he is required to make a guess (hopefully an educated one) about what the opponent is doing and responding to it.
This has made me to think about accessibility issues when designing for games, and whether these elements are taken into account to ensure that people with specific 'disabilities' or physical impairments are still able to play and enjoy the game if they choose to do so.
Some of the points I have considered include:
- Making events perceivable in visual, audio and tactile forms
- Making response or input speed to events equal in visual, audio or tactile
- Creating distinct or unique signatures in visual, audio and tactile events
What other examples have you seen and applied in PC, console and mobile games?
UPDATE #1: Microsoft has developed and shared some guidelines that help improve accessibility in game design
UPDATE #2: An article from focusing specifically on accessibility in game design for the web, and looks to be from the same people as the A11y accessibility group.