Even without E3, the summer gaming season has brought a bunch of video game showcases from major publishers. But the showcases were lacking in accessibility tools and options, according to accessibility consultant Steve Saylor. Saylor, who consulted on games like The Last of Us 2, said that most of the showcases showed “a lack of effort” that made disabled gamers feel “pushed aside and forgotten.”
In the statement, Saylor notes that most of the showcases had no audio described version, no subtitles, or sometimes, subtitles that were poorly implemented. The one exception he noted was Xbox, which had captions, an ASL version, and an audio described version. He did note that the audio description had some technical issues, but he suggests the important thing is that the effort was made. Saylor did not mention specific showcases that fell short.
As “E3” has ended, I am severely disappointed in the lack of basic accessibility in a large majority of the showcases, events, and announcements so disabled gamers can join in on the excitement.
Disabled gamers were once again pushed aside and forgotten.
We need to do better. pic.twitter.com/9g4X0WXjGC
— Steve Saylor (@stevesaylor) June 15, 2022
“There’s been a lot of conversations over the past few years about wanting to include disabled players as a part of this hobby that we enjoy, but it seems that it’s more lip service than actual efforts made into accessibility,” Saylor said.
In the future, Saylor said, publishers can avoid these pitfalls by hiring disabled people and advocates to give advice and come up with policies that will help make the shows accessible for the broadest possible swath of gamers.
Most of the Not-E3 events have wrapped up, aside from some remaining streams like the FF7 anniversary celebration. Nintendo is also reportedly planning a Nintendo Direct presentation for late June.
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