World of Warcraft: Shadowlands
Looking for another reason to get back into World of Warcraft? Shadowlands, the newest expansion is out now with new dungeons, mounts, and accessibility features. Many of the new accessibility options concern the visuals, although some have to do with customizing keybinds. Motion sickness options are now available as well as new camera customization and cursor control. Gamers have been wanting more options for the mouse cursor for a while now, so it’s good to see Blizzard respond to player feedback this way. Most interesting to me is a new option called “Override Screen Fade” which makes fullscreen flashes fade to black instead. Potentially, this could help gamers with epilepsy and those with visual impairments. There are plenty more options, and you can try them yourself in the Shadowlands expansion out now on PC and Apple products!
Cyberpunk 2077 Update
Gamers have been eagerly awaiting the release of Cyberpunk 2077, and the wait is finally over. The game has been praised for its story and character customization, but there were also some missteps when it came to accessibility. A GameInformer employee had a grand mal seizure while playing Cyberpunk 2077. There was initially a seizure warning buried in the user agreement for the game, but it had very few details about timing or specific moments to watch out for. As of writing this, they have released the 1.04 update with a more permanent fix to help reduce the risk of seizures for those with epilepsy. Thankfully, the affected GameInformer staff member was able to work with the developers, testing different animations and “smoothing out the flashes reducing the frequency and magnitude.” It’s extremely unfortunate that anyone had to have a seizure while playing a video game, but I’m glad things are now being done to help disabled gamers who are thinking of picking up Cyberpunk 2077.
Nintendo Switch Hardware Accessibility
Earlier this year Nintendo released an update allowing for remappable controls on the Switch console. Did you know you can also make and save controller profiles with your own personal specifications? There are many helpful accessibility options included in this update that some gamers may not know about. You can now customize every button on the joy con, even the photo capture button. Something else the update brought was the ability to make your own controller profile under system settings. This feature is really helpful for disabled gamers with fine-motor impairments. Interestingly, the photo capture button was not something the PlayStation 4 allowed to be customized, and controller profiles were something the PlayStation 4 did not offer (although I have heard the PlayStation 5 remedied that issue). Looking forward, I hope to see Nintendo do even more to make their console accessible, but this is a great start.