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Reader Comments (16)

Posted: Aug 11th 2010 4:23PM (Unverified) said

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My friend had a lot of eye strain when gaming and I watched him play once. He left the lights out in his room and continued to play into the night which meant the only light was coming from his monitor.

I solved his eyestrain by telling him to put a lamp behind him in his office. Now he doesn't have any eyestrain at all since the monitor isn't being a spotlight on his face in a dark room.

Posted: Aug 11th 2010 4:49PM (Unverified) said

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I do this, as well. It's much more comfortable, if for no other reason.
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Posted: Aug 11th 2010 4:26PM Controlled Chaos said

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Good advice, all around.

Personally, I have vision that's bad enough that I could be deemed legally blind in some US states, as well as carpal tunnel in my right wrist. I can definitely relate to issues that keep one from comfortably gaming.

Posted: Aug 11th 2010 8:58PM (Unverified) said

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same here. My eyesight really is awful and it took me quite a long time before I got enough and decided to go with glasses. Driving while trying to dodge blurry people was also a factor, I presume
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Posted: Aug 11th 2010 9:56PM Sabbatai said

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Don't play EVE. As much as I love this game, my eyes hate me for playing it. The UI hasn't been updated in...ever? To make matters worse the UI scale is linked to resolution with no real way to change it outside of 2 font size choices.

You can switch it from "unreadable" to "slightly better but mostly unreadable" for anyone with less than stellar eyesight.

There used to be a "font hack" available but CCP "corrected" this in an update.

I'd really love it if some kind Journalist decided to take the issue to CCP. In the past they used the "hardcore" nature of their game as an excuse for not "changing the UI".

I do not want the UI to change.. I just want to be able to see it.

Posted: Aug 12th 2010 3:43AM (Unverified) said

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i am using small cushion under left elbow after developed carpal tunnel syndrome (which helped far better than my doctor), also proper mouse makes huge difference for your wrist, have desk lamp behind monitor which gives nice glow.

Posted: Aug 12th 2010 4:00AM (Unverified) said

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You'd have better luck with the standard HDTV resolution of 1920x1080. I use a such one instead of a monitor for my parents. Higher resolution matters a very great deal for font readability. It also closer to the common resolutions (1920x1200 is common for 24" monintors) and is probably better supported by games than 1366x768 that is used exclusively for TV sets.

I always use larger font in browsers too, there is simply no good reason not to.

The large improvement is expected to come from the long-waited console MMO, as the platform holders do demand readable fonts. I have no idea how they will actually play, but look forward for UI changes they are bound to bring.

Posted: Aug 12th 2010 9:13AM Beau Hindman said

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I would like to add that it is a HDTV, so I am thinking of getting a VGI - HDTV adapter, to help with some of the crispness.

Sorry, I'm techy, but still figuring out monitors! lol

Thoughts?
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Posted: Aug 12th 2010 8:44AM Beau Hindman said

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The problem with a larger resolution/monitor is cost. Also, I don't use the large setup for writing my articles, I use the better PC that runs at 1680 x 1050.

I like how I can glance from across the room and read what is on the larger setup.

Still, one day maybe I can nab a nice 32' running at those resolutions...then I could sit closer and still have the larger fonts.

Thanks for the comments so far guys!

Posted: Aug 12th 2010 10:26AM (Unverified) said

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A lot of more recent TVs have VGA input, probably hidden by some latch. If you meant DVI-HDMI, these converters are unreasonably expensive.

Besides, there are only two HDMI resolutions: 1280x720 and 1920x1080. So the TV will have to scale the image to it's native 1366x768 and it probably will look even worse.

Posted: Aug 12th 2010 10:48AM Beau Hindman said

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Yeh, I figured I am at the best setup possible for what I have now. Really, it's working out to where I play certain games on my larger monitor setup (for example, SWG looks and runs really nicely) and save the "normal" setup for games that need a beefier PC/nicer monitor.

I think the variety is good for my eyes...it seems to be cutting out most of my issues, when coupled with rest of course.

Ahh...one day we won't have to worry about any of this stuff! :)

Beau
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Posted: Aug 12th 2010 10:50AM Beau Hindman said

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Oh wait..I forgot to ask: if my Xbox runs HDMI on the TV as well, does that mean that the Xbox automatically scales it correctly to match the TV's resolution?

Beau
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Posted: Aug 12th 2010 11:26AM (Unverified) said

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No, the console can't scale it since it send the image over HDMI and the cable doesn't support your resolution. It can only transfer 1280x720 or 1920x1080 (check the console settings - as a PS3 user, I don't know where it is in Xbox menu, but most likely it's the first one). Then the TV itself converts the received signal to the resolution of its matrix.

Fortunately, the console holders are smart enough to demand game developers to use large enough fonts so they remain readable even with some scaling distortions.

Most games only support 1280x720 anyway, and even then, there is quite a number of games that actually uses lower resolution. The most famous example is Halo 3 rendering in 1152x640 and then scaling to 1280x720. So, there is no TV you can play it without minor scaling distortions.

Posted: Aug 13th 2010 12:19PM Valdamar said

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Back in August 2009 my right hand just stopped functioning overnight - completely - and I'm right-handed! That really put a crimp in my gaming (not to mention losing me my job!).

I've spent a lot of the last year teaching myself how to play games left-handed - albeit using my right-handed X8 mouse, heh, cos I didn't want to buy a left-handed mouse and possibly admit to myself this neural condition was permanent with no hope of recovery.

It's meant that I've spent an awful lot of time playing RTS games and not much else - I could play Civ4/Colonization, the Settlers games, Blood Bowl, and even Dawn of War 1-2 fine with one hand in single player - a few months ago I even got quite decent at playing Torchlight one-handed and Morrowind too. I couldn't play FPS or MMORPG games like I played before, though - not at all - they needed mouse + keyboard, not mouse or keyboard, or alternating between the two.

Nor could I continue playing City of Heroes to the extent I did before - sure, my best friend was very accommodating and when we duo'd, with me playing archetypes that didn't need to move around much in combat (Controller and a little bit of Mastermind - as Blasters, melee ATs and my beloved VEATs were right out!), he was happy doing most of the work while I contributed what I could and leeched xp, but I wasn't happy being a dead weight in the duo - with MMOs these days I feel there certainly is a pressure to perform up to par, even with friends. Though while I couldn't play properly I would still log in to check market stuff, chat to friends, read feedback on my Dev Choice arc, etc. so there were options.

It's ironic, but if I'd been playing an old style MMO like EverQuest where the combat was a bit more static and slow-paced then I probably could have played one-handed - after all in 1999-2002 I used to play two characters at the same time in EQ! So I think some MMOs - the ones with slower and more static combat - are probably a lot easier for some disabled folks to play than some of the more action-packed MMOs with lots of movement during combat.

Fortunately I had an operation on the nerves in my arm at the end of April this year and although the post-operative healing and rehabilitation is very slow, there are signs that I should make a full recovery eventually - to the point where I've started playing slightly more "hectic" games again recently - Borderlands mostly, some Mount & Blade: Warband too (and I'm rather eager to play Arkham Asylum that I bought on Steam, along with another dozen or so games I bought dirt-cheap in their summer sale for when my arm was better).

The only reason Borderlands has been playable so soon is because it lets you remap/rebind pretty much everything key-wise, just like most MMOs do, even mouse functions - so while I cannot use the mouse right-handed with my old claw grip (yet) I have been able to manage a palm grip, and because clicking mouse buttons was sending pain along my arm's nerves I remapped both mouse buttons to the keyboard for my left hand to worry about. Borderlands is also an incredibly easy FPS, challenge-wise, so that helps - and my best friend is still very accommodating when we play it co-op and makes allowances if I need a break.

When Going Rogue launches next week I expect I'll be throwing myself back into City of Heroes and seeing how the arm holds up - if it can survive co-op FPS action then I'm sure I'll be fine - especially as I know CoH will let me remap anything as I see fit. So I think games allowing you to remap/rebind all commands and also being able to customise the UI as fully as possible is probably very important to disabled people.

This last year has certainly has made me think about how disabled people play games, though, as I have basically been disabled. Admittedly I had thought about the issue before too, because my younger brother has cerebral palsy and has been in a wheelchair for the past 33 years - he plays games on his PSP and his PS2, but his eye-hand coordination is so poor that he can't really do that well in modern console games, so he gets bored of them quickly as he cannot progress - they're just too difficult for him. He also finds it very difficult to use a keyboard and mouse with precision and speed, so PC gaming is pretty much right out.

In fact I find it quite ironic that my brother and his disabled friends find PCs far too complex to use, when there are lots of turn-based strategy games on PC that they could likely manage to play with practice, while they find games consoles much easier to use but find that most console games are too fast paced, requiring quicker reactions and better coordination than they possess.

Even though I generally prefer action-heavy games I do mourn the demise of turn-based games in today's videogame market, especially in the RPG and RTS sectors, because they would be ideal for my brother and for most of his friends who have various physical disabilities and in some cases mental disabilities too. Turn-based games give them time to think and move without pressure or hectic events happening that they cannot react to.

While I personally want MMOs to have more action-based combat, preferably FPS-based, if my brother was at all interested in MMOs I suspect he would want the opposite - a return to the days of simple static combat like EverQuest had.

Anyway I've typed far too much (I should probably start a blog, heh), but I thought this was a very good article and it really resonated with me, so I wanted to chip in with my own experiences.

Posted: Aug 13th 2010 12:26PM Beau Hindman said

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Feel free to type as much as you like! That's what I like to see. Thanks for the comments, too. Another thing that Ablegamers taught me was that disabled players are very good at improvising, something that I have learned how to do as well. Like I pointed out, it's important to remember that, at the very least, aging will put us all in these circumstances one day.

That's why it's important for developers to keep up with all types of players.

Good to hear that you are getting some use back! I hope it gets better.

Beau
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Posted: Aug 14th 2010 9:18AM Valdamar said

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Cheers, Beau, and yeah we're all getting older so even the best twitch gamers will be glad of the slower paced games one day.

Thanks for your comment.
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