At times: We're all disabled. We're all enabled.

A young boy uses a box to play Donkey Kong

Enabled by a box to play a game of Donkey Kong. Inaccessible otherwise.

Taito Space Invaders with box to make the game playable by shorter people.

It's interesting to see the term "gamer" being redefined, in part by the tentacular shite-storm of gamer-gate. It's now quite a loaded term with negative connotations for some gaming types.

For 10+ years the game accessibility movement have commonly used the terms enabled and disabled gamers. Or gamers with disabilities by some (although to me that's attaching the "disability" to the individual, rather than pointing the finger at the design barriers presented by the game/game platform). What would be more appropriate now? People disabled by gaming barriers. Not all that catchy is it? Disabled Players. Maybe better.

It's true though, that everyone is a disabled person at times. If there's a barrier preventing you from doing something you want to do, then you're disabled (from doing that thing). Remove the barriers and you're enabled. I'm not talking about medical definitions of disability. I'm not a doctor.

I remember being six or seven in 1979 being too short to see the bottom of the screen on an upright Space Invaders machine. In that respect I was disabled. It wasn't uncommon though to find a milk or beer crate next to arcade games for people like me. That "assistive technology" removed the barrier for me, and stopped me being disabled in that way.


0 Responses to 'At times: We're all disabled. We're all enabled.'

Post a Comment



Click to view my TWITTER feed.

Google Language Translation