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10 Common Misconceptions About Accessibility In Video Games

10. Making A Game Accessible Makes It Too Easy

Blizzard

If you’ve been gaming for a while, you might know about “skill floors” and “skill ceilings”. They refer to the initial barriers to entry (the “floor”) and the overall potential (the “ceiling”).

Take Overwatch, for example - a character like Widowmaker needs extremely high accuracy and game sense in order to get value from, so her skill floor - or her minimum level of ability - is high.

A character like Lucio, however, can have value to his team by merely existing, so his skill floor could be regarded as very low. Players of significantly differing natural aptitude levels can play in the same game of Overwatch, then, and have equal levels of value (despite Widowmaker mains being smelly jobby-jaws).

This is true to reality, too, believe it or not - some people are just intrinsically stronger, faster, more charismatic... and find life really easy.

Other people, though, find even more banal or simplistic tasks a trial. And, when it comes to someone with a disability, those tasks might, in a normal situation, actually turn out to be impossible (without any sort of accessibility intervention).

And that’s all this is - it’s recognising that some individuals have far higher innate barriers in their way than others. That it’s not just about “getting over it” and “enjoying the same difficulty together” - we all have our own privileges, circumstances, and of course... personal skill floors and ceilings.

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Contributor
Contributor

Hiya, you lot! I'm Tommy, a 35-year-old game developer living in Gateshead (not "Newcastle", never say "Newcastle"). I've worked on Cake Bash, Tom Clancy's The Division, Driver San Francisco, Viva Pinata: Trouble in Paradise, Kameo 2 and much more. I enjoy a pun and suffer fools gladly.