BBC asks the question: are colourblind gamers left out?

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Friday, 22 April 2011 12:13pm

With one in twenty men and one in two hundred women suffering from some form of colour blindness, a reporter for the BBC has asked the question: are colourblind gamers left out?

The BBC Technology article on gaming for those who are colourblind talks about the difficulties people who are colourblind have when playing mainstream games. Call of Duty Modern Warfare 2 is a prime example of colour being used solely to convey information. In multiplayer mode, teammates are identified by green tags above their heads while enemies have red tags, making it particularly difficult, if not impossible, for people who are colourblind to easily recognise friend from foe.

The use of colour to convey information, prompt a response or distinguish a visual element is not unique to the gaming industry. The issue surrounding colour use and colour contrast are addressed in the Web Content Accessibility Guidelines 2.0, an international standard for making web content accessible for people with a disability.

Gamers looking for accessible game reviews should visit AbleGamers, an active, community-based website that provides information and reviews about mainstream games for disabled gamers. Their accessibility reviews include consideration for colour blindness, as well as the precision needed to play the game, if the game can be played one-handed and captioning for audio content.

Further information about accessible gaming, including other accessible gaming communities, is available on the Media Access Australia website.


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