Gaming industry is evolving at a rapid pace. Each year, we see games pushing technical boundaries. With all these improvements, accessibility has been a topic of discussion in the gaming industry a lot. Many notable developers want to make their games as accessible as possible and companies are finding ways to improve their games in the accessibility department.
A recent Electronic Arts patent explains one important improvement the company can bring to improve their games for visually and hearing impaired people.
The present invention introduces an in-game API wrapper to perform identification and transcription of in-game visual and audio data by way of identifiable tags. Identified tags for visual and audio data are sent to an external audio API for transcribing into Morse code. The Morse code transcribing is sent back to the in-game API wrapper for transcription into haptic feedback. Identified tags for available on-screen button selections are transcribed by the in-game API wrap-per into haptic feedback.
Haptic Feedback in gaming not only can be used to create immersive experiences, it can also be used to make the games more accessible as described in this patent. If someone has a visual or hearing issue, interface elements, be it visual or audio can be changed into haptic signals which the user can feel and understand improving his/her overall experience. The patent reads:
Users who are hearing or visually impaired can experience the issue of missing vital information conveyed through a medium they cannot physically perceive or hear. ‘This limitation makes it difficult and unenjoyable for hearing impaired users and visually impaired users to navigate and progress through a game application. As such, a system and method for conveying information to hearing impaired and visually impaired users through haptic feedback is advantageous.
Sony Interactive Entertainment’s Dualsense is a great example of how haptics can play a vital role in our overall gaming experience. As described in the patent, these haptics concepts can also be used in different ways to improve the gaming experience of special people as well.
Gaming industry has grown many-folds in last few years and now almost every household has a gaming platform for entertainment. Introducing better and more accessible games and hardware can help more people enjoy this entertainment media.