Accessibility in Xbox games for the visually impaired | OT |

Hello everyone, my name is Mark. Some of you may already know me on the XboxEra forums, although I’m really more of a lurker so maybe not. I’m 37 years old, I live in Cardiff (UK) and I’ve been playing video games for the past 30-something years. I’m also visually impaired.

This is due to my being an albino.

I’ve simply linked to what that is because the NHS website explains it more clearly and concisely than I ever could. Basically, though, it dramatically affects not only my day-to-day and working life, but also my ability to engage in my favourite pastime.

As much as I enjoy gaming, I’ve noticed that it’s gotten far harder as I’ve gotten older. Nowadays, I have to really research a game before I go to buy it because, more and more in recent years I’m finding games essentially unplayable due to things like tiny text, poorly thought out UI’s or a lack of accessibility options built-in. Not all games are guilty of this; in fact, some are downright impressive in their effort to make playing them as accessible as possible… but we’re not all the way there yet. Furthermore, footage on gaming sites and YouTube rarely factors in visually impaired gamers: sure, I can see that the default text and UI is illegible to me, but accessibility options (or lack thereof) are rarely mentioned or shown, nor what impact do they have on the game.

This is what has spurred me to create a YouTube channel, which I’ll link to at the end of this post. I’ve only been going a few weeks and the channel’s a little rough and ready at the moment. It’s essentially an Xbox Series X, a £45 microphone and a borrowed laptop, plus I’m also on autism spectrum so speaking at length is something that I’m still sort of figuring out… but it’s my aim to provide visually impaired gamers with footage of new(ish) Xbox games that they can watch and hopefully get an understanding of what options (if any) are available to make playing easier for them.

However, this isn’t a post simply to promote myself. I want this thread to be somewhere in which Xbox fans - especially those with visual impairments - to discuss these sorts of issues, share recommendations of games that are ideal for visually impaired gamers, anecdotes or resources to help those gamers not only in their hobby, but also their day-to-day lives.

As I write this, I have to go to work so I’m sort of squeezing this post in, but I’ll return tomorrow with some (hopefully) useful links and information. In the meantime, you can find my YouTube channel here

Thanks everyone. :grinning: