Assuring that video games are accessible to those with varying disabilities is a bit of an unsolved dilemma that is still plaguing the industry today. Sure, there are some games such as MLB The Show and Bayonetta that offer modes – intended for those with physical disabilities such as Cerebral Palsy – where one button quite literally does everything, but many other development studios haven’t really taken that extra step forward to ensure that all gamers are on an even playing field.
So, it’s with happiness today that I am reporting on another development studio coming to this realization, and putting forth a little extra effort in ensuring that they can reach the widest audience possible. That studio is Gearbox, and while they haven’t made Borderlands 2 more physically accessible, they have tackled an equally important issue: making their game vastly more approachable to those that are color blind.
That’s a commendable addition, as anyone that has played a Borderlands game knows that bright colors assault your vision left and right. Furthermore, the strength and elemental powers of weapons are denoted by colored text, with each color representing a different stage on the hierarchy. Gearbox says that this patch will make color differences more identifiable, and add text inside each weapon description box that simply tells you which color class it belongs too.
Admittedly, this patch feels as if it has come too late in the game. Developers should think of these things during development, or around launch when the title is most relevant. However, as a disabled gamer myself – although I have little difficulty playing games personally – it’s still exciting that more developers are taking notice of these prevalent issues. No one should be denied the thrill of playing video games over pesky disabilities.
What do you think about Gearbox patching a color blind mode into Borderlands 2? Comment below!