According to the National Institute on Deafness and Other Communication Disorders, “One in eight people in the United States (13 percent, or 30 million) aged 12 years or older has hearing loss in both ears, based on standard hearing examinations.” If you’re among this population, you know that hearing loss can affect many aspects of your life, including your experience with video games. In this post, we review how you can make the most of video games with hearing loss.
Available Accessibility Features
Below are some of the accessibility features many video games offer:
Control of Different Sounds & Volumes
Many video games offer dynamic sound controls, meaning if you have trouble hearing dialogue in the midst of a lot of background noise, you can turn the dialogue all the way up and background noise all the way down, so you can better follow along with what is said.
In many video games, visuals are just as important, if not more, than audio. You don’t necessarily need sound to play effectively as long as you can see well. A lot of video games also provide awareness indicators – visual cues indicating if there are obstacles or opponents in your vicinity.
Subtitles & Captions
Another popular accessibility feature offered by most video games is pre-written subtitles for NPCs and live captioning for other players. There is even a website that provides accessibility reviews, in particular, how well they are subtitled.
Certain video games are text-centered, requiring little or no audio or subtitles. These games are more like interactive reading exercises, and many are rather peaceful. You can find these games at Uncle’s Games in the Redmond Town Center.
Touch feedback, AKA haptic feedback, gives you real-time physical responses as you play your game. Vibrations of various intensities simulate how an action in your game may feel in real life, such as approaching footsteps or a crash. With touch feedback, you can react quickly to what’s happening without needing to hear what’s going on.
To learn more or to schedule an appointment with a hearing expert, call Evergreen Speech and Hearing Clinic today.