There are other ways to say it, but plainly, 2020 was a tough year for most people. And for many, their best escape was video games. Thanks to the massive boom in accessibility, even players with physical impairments could find solace in games throughout a pandemic, lockdowns, and social unrest. In a banner year for accessible gaming experiences, there’s one game that stands out for its remarkable quality and thorough accessibility. Marvel’s Spider-Man Miles Morales took everything that was great about its predecessor’s accessibility and advanced it. Insomniac increased subtitle accessibility by adding customizable color palettes, they added a new dimension to combat accessibility through the inclusion of combo-shortcuts, and they directly addressed a problem with the chase sequences that proved an insurmountable barrier for many fine-motor impaired gamers. In brief, they found a way to take the foundation of accessibility they laid with the 2018 release of Marvel’s Spider-Man and reach new heights through innovation.
This perfectly illustrates the iterative nature of accessibility and shows how it can support a developer’s vision, even if that vision has extreme inherent barriers inherent. The impressive thing about Spider-Man Miles Morales is that Insomniac managed to include players with a wide range of ability profiles without compromising the experience for able-bodied players—an experience that was incredibly fun and provided hours upon hours of value. The Diamond Award is not given out simply to the most accessible experience but to the best accessible game of each year, and in our eyes, that’s Miles Morales. We would like to congratulate Insomniac Games on their achievement, and we hope other developers will follow their example when seeking to make their own titles more accessible.