I first thought this might be too much a divergence from my typical posts. I quickly realized it very much *isn’t*. Promise. So, stick with me if you can. There may be someone in your life who can benefit in terms of accessibility. I sure have.
I’ve been wanting to post about this for a while. But to start, I have never really been a video game guy. I have always been intrigued by that world if not a tad jealous of the kinship and community of it. But…honestly, I use my Xbox as a DVD player and sold my Wii in 2009 cause I had Godzilla’d all I could in Rampage. Now…do I remember being a Frogger champ? Yup. Do I remember drooling over the original Nintendo at Sears and saving my ‘lil coins to buy it? Yup. And I’ve been picky about video games ever since.
Still there? Good…So, last Christmas, Santa got a bug up his rear to get two ‘rando kids in Michigan a Nintendo Switch. He’d put it off cause, well…he’s just never been a video game guy. And wasn’t sure what to expect…another fad gaming system. Maybe.
I’ll tell you this…games reliant on sound effects or any audio cues are no good to me. I can’t play them. I sit out. Then, these two part Switch controllers, they vibrated. Okay. So? That’s not new. But. I realized throughout that week of Christmas the immense level of technology involved in what they’ve done here. And not one bit of it requires hearing. Or depends upon it. It’s all sensory. It is all tactile. And the options for adjustments according to need are vast.
For example, if an object crosses the screen, the vibration passes from one joy-con to the next. At the corresponding angle. An explosion resonates differently than a gorilla landing on the ground. A punch feels different than something popping open or alerting you of your arrival to an object that you can’t see. Things that rely on audio cues otherwise. If something starts close on the screen and shoots away, so goes the vibration intensity, and in the same direction through your hands which it does on the screen. It cues you differently for differently weighted objects and length of action. Certain characters may have their own vibrational cue entirely. It’s all nearly impossible to explain until you experience it across several games. And I’ve come to rely on it for help playing these games. Games I don’t have to sit out on.
And then we purchased it…The Silver Tuna. Just Dance 2019. 400 routines to songs across every genre you can name in four levels of difficulty. I pictured much sisterly yahoo giggle time doing girlyish goofball dance moves together. And, indeed, there was. Until the inevitable happened. Teen is not home and Baby is “DYING” to dance. And she’s not wrong…it is no fun alone.
When we used our Kinect, these types of games clocked every part of your body. While an amazing technology, if an appendage was in the wrong spot, you didn’t get any points, as it were. And the interest waned quickly. But I noticed something when we first started up Just Dance. In essence, these routines were registering only the movements of your right hand where you hold the controller. That was the only criteria being measured. For “points”. Then I noticed something about the Switch that brought tears to my eyes. They have designed this system around the ideals of accessibility and inclusion.
This game in itself, was made with everyone in mind. For anyone of any level of mobility, hearing or not, to take part in and enjoy with others. So that no one is left out. Nobody gets left behind. And that’s quite enough to make me a fan.
Nintendo, you’ve come a long way, Baby. Maybe the Switch has turned me into a video game guy after all.
I’m going to leave it at that for the day cause this is making me weepy. But, to cheer myself up, I’ll leave some vids of my favorite bits to do with my daughter. Have a great weekend, friends. Mine is chock full of choir rehearsals slash concerts and a backlog of study time 😣. Be well!
This was the first one I was hornswoggled into doing…simple enough, right?
This was another. And I am *always* Slimer, dammit.
I am not ashamed to say my brother and I loved this song as kids. I giraffed willingly! My daughter always chooses the butt shakin’ lemur.
Last but *definitely* not least…MY absolute favorite. He was on the cover and I searched for his song as soon as we started playing. How on earth can you NOT be happy and laugh while following this guy?? Enjoy!