Part of what makes video games great is the medium’s ability to appeal to a variety of audiences. Hardcore gamers can spend 200 hours trying to collect everything in The Legend Of Zelda: Breath Of The Wild, or you can give an iPad to a 5-year-old and watch them pop bubbles or whatever kids do in iPad games. Still, it’s impossible to please everybody, and unfortunately, some gamers are underserved.
For instance, you might imagine that blind or otherwise visually impaired players have a hard time interacting with most games in a meaningful way. Japanese fifth grader Hibiki Sakai is a huge fan of the Rhythm Heaven series, since he’s blind and the gameplay is based on responding to audio cues. The thankful youngster decided to write a letter to Nintendo, and the interaction was all sorts of aww ( via Kotaku).
— けんたろー (@kentarock1020) May 17, 2017
“That’s the only game I can enjoy with everyone else, and I’ve never lost to anyone,” he wrote. “I’ve gotten perfect scores on the Game Boy Advance version, the DS version, the Wii version, and the 3DS version.” In response to his letter, Nintendo wrote back (with one copy of their response in written Japanese and another in braille) and thanked Sakai for his support and saying they’ll continue making games that everybody can enjoy.
As some Kotaku commenters noted, the Switch is very approachable for visually impaired players, saying that the HD Rumble feature has a lot of potential to help blind players keep up with their sighted peers. They also mentioned 1-2 Switch, since the minigames in don’t require a lot of looking at the screen and are more sound- and input-based.
Besides Rhythm Heaven and 1-2 Switch, what other games could be fun for visually impaired players? Give your suggestions in the comments below!
Featured image: Nintendo/YouTube