FIFA 13 named 2012's most accessible game
AbleGamers commends EA for going above and beyond normal accessibility features in naming FIFA 13 the Accessible Mainstream Game of the Year for 2012
When you think of the top video games of 2012, Halo 4 or Assassin’s Creed III might come to mind. But if you’re a disabled gamer, EA’s FIFA 13 might be the one at the top of your list, due to it’s high level of accessibility. In fact, it’s so disability-friendly that last week AbleGamers named it the Accessible Mainstream Game of the Year for 2012.
Among the reasons for FIFA 13 winning this year, wrote AbleGamers Editor-in-Chief Steve Spohn, was the ability to control the game completely with just a mouse, its customizable colors, high contrast and visual cues for audio input. But what really made it accessible above and beyond other games was that FIFA 13 can really be tailored to meet the needs of the disabled.
“FIFA 13 demonstrated amazing accessibility features in the form of settings that can literally slow down the game or give players ‘handicaps’ the same as you would in golf to help level the playing field. That tipped the scales in favor of the soccer sensation,” Spohn told me. He said that the EA developers met some of the highest accessibility guideline standards, from the third tier of Includification, AbleGamers’ guide to accessible game design, “the ultimate ‘wouldn’t it be nice if’ level,” said Spohn.
AbleGamers staff members, as well as site users and game reviewers, have input into the selection process. While all games that came out during the year were considered, a small handful of finalists are selected based on accessibility reviews, which consisted of six games in 2012. Community input is very important to the selection of the winner. “We have formed the most extensive, all-inclusive community filled with very knowledgeable individuals about various disabilities,” said Spohn.
In addition to the winning game, two other games were singled out for honorable mention: XCOM: Enemy Unknown, from 2K Games, and Colour Bind, by independent developer Finn Morgan. XCOM, actually, received a higher rating than FIFA 13 in game accessibility reviews, but still lost out to FIFA because EA went so above and beyond in letting users tailor the game to their abilities.
Colour Bind is the first indie game to reach the final round of AbleGamers selection process and Morgan was cited for his efforts to research and incorporate accessibility features into the game.
Overall, AbleGamers found 2012 to be a “a very encouraging year for game accessibility,” wrote Spohn Let’s hope that in 2013 other developers follow the lead of this year’s winner and finalists and mainstream gaming continues to become more accessible. Congratulations to EA, 2K Games and Finn Morgan on their fine work!
Are you a disabled gamer? Were there other games that you found that stood out for their accessibility? Please share in the comments.