was last weekend, and I went with a few friends, one of whom was there as a representative from AbleGamers
. I'm not disabled (unless we're counting anxiety disorders- which I'm not, in this instance, although they do count as far as making large parts of life inaccessible), and I'm not actually affiliated with AbleGamers in any way. I did, however, get to have an AbleGamers media pass, as I was there with Mike and helped him get around. This involved a lot of wheel-chair shuffling; my van isn't equipped to handle a motorized wheel chair, and I was the only source of transportation to and from the hotel. You don't really appreciate all those wheelchair accessible ramps until you have to get a wheelchair into a building that only has steps. (The GameX staff was amazing when it came to accommodating us- it was a small convention, and poorly organized, but the people were incredible.)
It's sort of funny how many things get shoved under the banner of "Accessibility Issues." I mean, the things that make a game inaccessible for someone with photosensitive epilepsy won't trouble the gamer who has no hands, and vice versa.
The Nintendo Wii is an incredibly innovative piece of technology, but most of its games are totally inaccessible to people with certain, specific disabilities. And it wouldn't even occur to most people to question this- it's easy to just say, "Well, then those sorts of people just shouldn't play these games." But that's not the right answer. Nintendo should design better controllers.
Blizzard banned a large number of WoW players for using automated scripts- without taking into account the fact that gamers with disabilities were using certain scripts for accessibility reasons.
Most people are unaware of these things, and other incidents like them.
Things to think about. Ableism is one of the less visible -isms, especially online, where it's very easy to assume that everyone is able-bodied (and white and straight and- in fandom- female). The internet is, in many ways, a great equalizer- but it's a form of equalization that does tend to flatten out our differences even as it affords more people the same opportunities.