If you didn’t know it already, I suffer from chronic pain. I literally have lived the past 11 years in constant, never-ending pain, only getting relief once when I was in the ER for a kidney stone and was given Dilaudid.
The chief point of pain for me is my severe arthritis that affects nearly my entire body.
Why am I talking about this on a site dedicated to a specific niche of gaming? Because the types of games that get covered here tend to be more accessible to people like me who have limited mobility due to pain.
Sniper, stealth and tactical games tend to rely on slower, more methodical movements. Slowly creeping your way behind your foe. Watching your target from afar before taking the shot. Planning the movements of your team. Each of these actions require less exertion than other games that rely on twitch reflexes, fast combos, and rapid mouse movement.
That’s why you’ll almost never see me covering a game like Call of Duty, or the latest battle royale/MOBA. While I certainly have my own opinions on those types of games, I also avoid them because of my physical limitations.
I’m not alone. There are countless gamers who suffer from disabilities in the world, and we all find games we enjoy. We try out new input devices (I personally use a vertical mouse and low-profile Cherry MX keys on my keyboard), look for games with accessibility settings and difficulty sliders, and more.
That’s why I created the mobile navigation style I did for GGN; people like me tend to have limited reach on phones, and since I walk with a cane, I’m frequently using my phone one-handed, too.
Multiplayer is almost always a non-starter for me. I’m not able to compete with most gamers due to my physical limitations; I compensate as much as I can by studying game mechanics, but I’ll still never be able to quick-scope with the rest of em’.
So, the next time you’re playing with someone who may not be as quick as you, think twice before you say “git gud”. Some of us are literally doing the best we are physically able to, and while accessibility in games has come a long way, it still has far to go.
September is Pain Awareness Month; take some time to think about what gamers who suffer from chronic pain deal with every day, and if you’re a developer who’d like your game evaluated from a limited mobility perspective, reach out to us! If you’re a gamer who suffers from limited mobility and would like to share your story about stealth/sniper/tactical gameplay, we’d be interested – submit that here!