Even without E3, the summer gaming season has brought plenty of video game showcases from major publishers. But the storefronts lacked 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 storefronts displayed “a lack of effort” that made disabled gamers feel “left out and forgotten”.
In the release, Saylor notes that most exhibits did not have an audio description version, no subtitles, or sometimes poorly implemented subtitles. The one exception he noted was Xbox, which had subtitles, an ASL version, and an audio description version. He did note that the audio description had some technical issues, but he suggests that the important thing is that the effort was made. Saylor didn’t mention specific storefronts that fell short.
As “E3” has come to an end, I am very disappointed in the lack of basic accessibility in the vast majority of exhibits, events and announcements so that disabled gamers can join in the excitement.
Disabled players were once again pushed aside and forgotten.
We need to do better. pic.twitter.com/9g4X0WXjGC
—Steve Saylor (@stevesaylor) June 15, 2022
“There has been a lot of talk in recent years about wanting to include disabled gamers as part of this hobby that we enjoy, but it seems to be more of a rhetoric than a real accessibility effort,” Saylor said.
In the future, Saylor said, publishers can avoid these pitfalls by hiring disabled people and advocates to provide advice and propose policies that will help make shows accessible to the widest possible range of gamers.
Most of the Not-E3 events have concluded apart from a few remaining streams such as the FF7 anniversary celebration. Nintendo is also reportedly planning a Nintendo Direct presentation for the end of June.
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