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My latest project: Nerfed Gamer

April 14, 2019Will Leffert

If you've ever wanted to find a review for a game - any game - all you had to do was toss it's name on Google and you'll find countless reviews of major games, as well as ones developed by independent studios.

You'll find information about the story, graphics, gameplay, and all sorts of other details.

What you typically won't find, however, is how accessible the game is to handicapped players. That's why, in the coming months, I will be launching Nerfed Gamer.

Nerfed Gamer will serve as a site dedicated to reviewing games and providing guides targeting an often misunderstood demographic: People with disabilities.

This all came about after I participated in a discussion on IGN's article about Sekiro: Shadows Die Twice & accessibility on IGN's Facebook.

People tend to not realize just what factors into accessibility, and how many gamers are limited based on their own physical disabilities.

Colorblindness is a common one, and thankfully, many games are coming around in that regard. Anthem, my recent obsession, actually has colorblindness settings to help.

That's just one of many common ailments that can prevent gamers from enjoying games.

For me, I was personally looking forward to Sekiro: Shadows Die Twice. I was concerned it would be another Souls-style game, however. Why?

Because I have a difficult time (badump crash) with exceptionally hard games that require fast reaction times.

Its not as simple as just saying "git gud"; in my case, my arthritis severely limits what I can do in games. Sometimes I play with a controller to help; Assassin's Creed: Odyssey was great with a controller. Anthem, being a shooter-style game, just wasn't going to cut it with a controller for me.

So, I have to play with the good ole' mouse & keyboard. Back when I was a kid, that was my weapon of choice for all FPS style games. It still is, depending on the game.

Other times, it is so hard to move the mouse around and hit all the proper key combinations that I may as well not play at all.

I recently picked up a nice vertical mouse, which has helped. What has also helped is taking frequent breaks.

Sekiro, in the vein of ultra-hard games, was inaccessible to me.. Until a mod came out that allows us to tweak it and make it less difficult.

The community, not unsurprisingly, reacted.. Negatively.

People claim adding a difficulty mod (that nobody is being forced to install) negatively impacts the game. That if someone needs it to play, then they shouldn't play at all.

Why?

What harm is it causing them?

What about the countless people, such as myself, who are incapable of enjoying many games (and, therefore, supporting the developers) because they are too difficult?

That's why I'm starting Nerfed Gamer.. So people like myself can learn more about games and whether they are accessible to us.

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