Today is a great day to call yourself an Xbox fan. The organization is celebrating Global Accessibility Awareness day by focusing on delivering new features and initiatives for gamers with disabilities. With over 400 Million gamers with disabilities around the world, Xbox is committed to making the gaming experience even more enjoyable for everyone.
Anita Mortaloni is the director of Xbox accessibility also gave a detailed plan on how the organization plans to promote its accessibilities initiative here on the official Xbox website.
The Three Initiatives that Xbox is Focusing on:
- Fostering a welcoming community through listening and support channels: All the toxicity that the gaming community has gotten over the years. This should be a breath of fresh air. Xbox plans to foster a community where everyone can participate and contribute to. This is definitely the first step in the right direction.
- Promoting Accessibility By Design: The organization plans to put more effort into providing resources and support to build better accessibility in gaming.
- Enabling more gamers to play with expanded accessibility features: by continuing to add more accessibility features to ensure that anyone can access and enjoy the same gaming experience as everyone else. Play is important to everyone, and it is through play that we learn and grow. And we should all have that ability to do so.
Gaming at its very core is about enjoying an activity. Whether it is casual or competitive by nature. It has the ability to bring the best out of people and bring them together into a shared community, connected through the same experiences and passion. No one should ever feel excluded in a world that is so interconnected with the help of technology.
So What Are These New Features And Updates?
- Featuring the Xbox Accessibility Insiders League (XAIL) — a simple to use, streamlined way to providing feedback directly to the Xbox engineering and game development teams. Anyone who self-identifies as someone with disabilities. There is also the option for content creators to share their content through the XAIL community through the Xbox insider program. In addition, they also restructured and updated the entire accessibility support landing. The new updates will make it easier for users to customize their gaming experience, request accessibility support, and provide feedback to the team.
- The second big news is that they have launched a new Gaming and Disability Player Experience Guide. Players and users can now check out some of the most common game accessibility barriers experienced by players across a wide spectrum of disabilities. This is a great resource for both players with and without disabilities for future collaborations. This resource will allow players without disabilities to gain a basic understanding and empathize with their fellow gamers.
One Game Is Already Becoming More Accessible
One game, in particular, is already adopting the idea of making their game more accessible — Gear 5.
In addition to its Gear 5 Operation 7 that was released earlier this week, they announced TWO new accessibility features:
- Navigation Ping — Escape Mode: This feature is added to assist visually impaired gamers to navigate through complex environments in Escape Mode. “Audio cues in the game world highlight the path towards the exit and unique audio cues are used if the player needs to interact with something or use cover.”
- Disable Camera Shake: This feature disables any camera shakes for players who have difficulty playing with quick camera movements in the game in difficulties up to Advanced in Horde and Escape mode.
- Target Lock: This new feature will allow players who are new to the shooting scene to have a better chance at aiming and hitting those shots. Let’s hope people do not abuse this one.
There are so many companies and publishers that are recognizing the importance of inclusion and focusing their efforts on making their games more accessible for everyone. For more information, check out their official Global Accessibility Awareness Day website here.