Over the past few decades, video games have evolved from a simple hobby to one of the largest and most profitable businesses on the planet. Games already move more money than the film and music industries combined, but even so, the media as a whole still needs to evolve considerably in several areas, especially in accessibility.
It’s easy to stop thinking about it when you live a life without limitations, but there are thousands of video game enthusiasts around the world who experience the most diverse problems when trying to enjoy their favorite games. Undoubtedly, video games still have a long way to go in their search for a fairer and more equal media for PCDs (people with disabilities), often deprived of their most basic resources and rights.
On December 15, 2020, GloboPlay’s eFront, aired a special edition of the program dedicated to giving greater visibility to PCDs and discussing their inclusion in the medium of video games. Our report was only possible thanks to the pioneering spirit of eFront and the help of Cláudia Carla, who we thank for the support.
Gabriel Poli, a fan of PlayStation consoles and visually impaired, is one of those people who daily encounter challenges when trying to play video games, even when he just wanted to use tools already accessible in other regions. Gabriel noted that national versions of Sony video games do not have a screen reader in Portuguese, for example.
It is a very simple resource that helps blind or low vision players to hear the texts that are displayed on the screen. “We really have to fight for more accessibility in things because, the way everything is going, it becomes increasingly difficult to play video games”, lamented Gabriel.
“A screen reader is something that is present in everything that is mobile nowadays and it is thanks to this that I am able to read people’s messages. On a console, which is a monstrous business, you should have a screen reader too! On the Xbox, Microsoft took the Windows narrator and put it there, but as I like the PlayStation, I think we should have this freedom to choose which console to play on. On PlayStation you have to change the language of the console to be able to touch a reader that barely works, does not read half of the settings, and when you read it is all in English! You have to change the entire language of the system. It looks like Sony’s laziness. ”