Have you ever stopped to consider the large percentage of gamers who are disabled? Do you think game developers consider this as well? In a recent article at MSNBC, the topic has been discussed as it pertains to the public's awareness of disabled gamers. "It doesn't take a whole lot," says Nissa Ludwig, a disabled gamer who was interviewed for the article. "I think if you save one life by changing an interface, you should get on that."
Mythic's Warhammer Online actually won an award last year for the AbleGamers.com 2008 Accessible Game of the Year for adding color-blind features, flexibility for those with mobile impairments and more. Mythic's Paul Barnett is sympathetic to the cause as he himself is color-blind, dyslexic and hearing-impaired. "Some people are, through no fault of their own, living a restricted physical life - on our world, you can fly, ride, get married, run, jump and swim," Barnett points out. In addition, AbleGamers.com takes a proactive approach to getting the word out on the need for more accessibility in gaming. At GDC this year, the website's founder, Mark C. Barlet, interviewed 81 developers on their views of accessibility for gamers with disabilities. The results may surprise you, with one developer even asking if they were joking and running off. Does this just prove the need for more awareness on the subject, or is the extra cost of additional accessibility features too much for an industry that has suffered enough financial heartbreak recently? Paul Barnett sums it up best with his answer to this question, "People who get the chance to play our world are the most committed gamers out there. If we can attract more people by making an effort in accessibility, then we are going to do it."