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Favorite Games

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  1. So this is something that I have had bubbling inside me and it's time to vent. I know it's somewhat gauche to whine as what is possibly only my fifth post, but perhaps I'll get a sympathetic ear. But as a tl,dr - Modern Gaming is Less Accessable to Visually Impaired Gamers. Also any suggestions on how I can improve my lot, and any other stories of people who've found disability becoming more of an issue in gaming. So I've been at this gaming malarky for a couple of decades now, but even before that (since I was born in fact) I've had quite a severe visual impairment, among other maladies. Without boring you with details my retinas are scarred and I'm myopic, which means small detail is difficult for me to pick up, and I have to get close to things to see them. And I just want to lay out things that have become part of modern gaming that have made enjoying my favourite hobby more difficult than once it was. 1 - Online Passes So everyone hates online passes, yes? Awkward codes that must be typed in using a controller to unlock content. But those codes are so muddily printed in such a confusing font, in what seems like grey ink most of the time. I kid you not I am more often than not forced to take photographs of the little cards that come in my new console games using my phone and zoom in on them. I've even had to resort to uploading them to my PC to be able to see the digits, and when 0 looks like O, j looks like i, G looks like Q or O or 0 or even B. 1 looks like...look, you get the idea. I implore game makers, if you're going to insist on packing these codes in? 14pt Arial Bold please! 2 - Screen Resolution/UI scaling So I run from the console and drop a load of cash on a decent gaming PC, and though online codes are still there one may just copy and paste. But a new problem has reared its head. I crank up the resolution to see the games in all their glory and, to my horror, many games do not allow UI scaling. I've literally had to ask for refunds of games that had no demo and an unusable UI. Strategy games are the worst for this, and I'm a big strategy fan. I can turn the resolution down and sometimes the UI is usable, but then the game will look far worse and I'm wasting all that processing power I spent two months wages on. 3 - Motion Control An entire section of gaming control that requires you to be further than a certain distance from the screen. Move, Kinect and Wii - all useless to me. I suppose I could set their sensors up behind the TV or to the side, but that's hardly ergonomic, and I literally have to be within one or two feet of most screens to see them. Am I just going to have to accept there's going to be a whole group of games I'll never get to play? Am I even missing out? 4 - Head Mounted Displays (Though this may be slightly positive) I pondered a solution to the motion control issue, and then thought about HMDs. But anything available in the commercial space is useless. The phrase "Like sitting eight feet from a 60 inch TV" does not sell something to me. If it said "Like sitting 6 inches from a 19 inch TV" I'd be down. I've even had shop demonstrations of video glasses and they just don't work for me. However, the reports of the Oculus Rift certainly give me hope, with the idea of a screen that takes up my whole field of view, along with 3D. Seeing will be believing. All the way up to the end of the last console generation there was very little keeping me from my games. All the way from the NES up to the PS2 and PC pre 2005 or so was a fine time. But resolutions go higher and the assumption that a person can see lots of small detail or be more than six feet from their screen just does me in. I can assume that people with physical impairments are probably not happy with the motion control developments too. Should I even complain? The disparate, broad nature of physical and mental impairments that can hamper a person's enjoyment of the interactvie medium would make accessibility for everyone almost impossible. But I can't help but feel aggreived that every current innovation in gaming is making it hard for me to enjoy games. What is a reasonable request. Oh, and one shout out to Civilization 5, and the option to disable UI scaling along with a gorgeously usable UI treatment. Bravo Firaxis. Bravo.