If you have had the opportunity to play Uncharted 4: A Thief’s End, you may have noticed the extra section dedicated to accessibility options. In a recent video, Naughty Dog showed the extensive time and detail they put into making their games more accessible to those of us who are disabled and have a hard time playing the games we love.
Thanks to the editor-in-chief of DAGERS (Disabled Accessibility for Gaming Entertainment Rating System) Josh Straub reaching and starting a dialogue to discuss what Naughty Dog studios did in order to ensure that disabled gamers could complete the game. Already a fan of the Uncharted series, Straub became frustrated when he couldn’t complete Uncharted 2 due to a button-mashing sequence.
Although, in Uncharted 4, there is still button-mashing for moving objects and a few cinematic scenes, gamers who need or like to be able to hold down a button instead of mashing. It will also make using the melee system more user-friendly also.
“Growing up, my options for entertainment were limited,” says D.A.G.E.R. editor-in-chief and former Game Informer intern Josh Straub. “What developers need to realize is that these games do more than just entertaining the disabled. First of all, they provide an escape from sort of the doldrums of being disabled. And second of all, they provide a social space where, instead of being judged by physical appearance, we’re purely judged by the actions that we do and the things that we produce in the game.”
Gaming is used as an escape from reality for most disabled gamers. It’s a chance to pretend to be someone you’re not and to leave the confines of being disabled.
Straub explains what’s it’s like to be able to immerse himself into the games: “When I turn on a game like Uncharted, I’m not, you know, confined to a wheelchair. I’m a swashbuckling, ne’er-do-well treasure hunter like Nathan Drake. That period of escape is why accessibility is so crucial, because the more games that offer that, the more people with disabilities will be able to escape and have better lives.”
Uncharted 4‘s voyeur into being more accessible and inclusive to all gamers is only the beginning. Hopefully, more developers will take note and jump on the bandwagon.