In today’s blog post, we’ll take a look at two stories showing how, despite the obstacles they face in life, two groups of hard-of-hearing gamers still made their mark on the world. First, we’ll talk about Courtney and Susan, who started a gaming accessibility review platform, and then we’ll introduce you to Jason and BAM Optical Raiders for a heartwarming story of hard work bringing success.
Our first story starts a while ago when Susan took the first Destiny game out for a spin. While she enjoyed the first hour or so, she soon came upon a mission that was pretty much impossible for her to handle. No, that’s not because she’s a girl and girls suck at gaming - it’s actually because she’s deaf. The mission wanted her to listen closely to where the enemies are while her visuals are disabled, and due to her deafness, this proved to be an insurmountable obstacle, preventing her from enjoying the full $60-worth of content and gaming.
While searching online for ways to bypass this problem, she discovered there is very little to no information about Destiny’s accessibility, and she concluded the team behind the game didn’t pay attention to this issue.
This was the starting point of a gaming review blog which you can find at oneoddgamergirl.com, which Susan and her friend Courtney started to teach the world about accessibility in games, and what it means for the gamers that are hard-of-hearing. The structure is simple - Susan comes in and plays a game for a while, noting down hard parts and issues she had with the gameplay. Then Courtney helps out by replaying the same parts, and then they assess whether the issues stem from a lack of accessibility or Susan needs to go back and practice a bit more before trying again.
To quote Susan, “My parents, when they saw me happy for the first time in my life, encouraged me more to play my favorite game. Gradually I snapped out of the depression that I was suffering from for a very long time. I started participating in the local gaming events and used to win every single one of them. My levels started rising and today I am a professional gamer who has almost forgotten about her deadly and sad past. So ps4 gamer girls, take your stand. The games are calling you.”
Just like the first one, our second story will start with Destiny, only this time it’s Destiny 2 that helped our heroes evolve. The setting is the Spire of Stairs, one of the most difficult missions in MMORPG gaming ever, and the protagonists are BAM Optical Raiders, a clan of deaf gamers who were able to overcome all difficulties - both in and out of the game - to triumph over the hunk of incessant anger that is Val Ca'uor.
Jason, the leader and founder of the clan, mentioned it took them more than 20 attempts, over four weeks, before they were able to succeed. Obviously, given Destiny 2’s lack of accessibility features, it would be pretty much impossible for them to do what they did without some sort of external aid, and that’s where Jarvis 99-40 comes into play.
Jarvis 99-40 is a special, and simple, web app whose purpose is to help deaf gamers to communicate. It was created by Jason’s friends Maverick and Jamie, who understood that some of the Destiny 2’s missions and raids are almost impossible to overcome without constant voice communication, as players need to keep track of a lot of different things on their screen.
In essence, Jarvis functions like a mash-up of Pictionary and Discord. The players join a server together and are then able to exchange various visual cues with each other as they progress through the game. The cues can be a target or a square symbol, a word or a phrase such as “Kill Adds”, or “Plates”, which then give the players instructions on where to move or what to do.
BAM Optical Raiders worked hard on establishing their system and making it work perfectly for everybody. They are a serious clan who understood the obstacles that stood in their way and did everything in their power to succeed, finally reaping the rewards of their hard work. Theirs is a truly inspiring story for gamers around the world!
If there’s something we learned from these two stories, it’s to never quit doing what makes you happy, no matter how hard or even impossible it may seem. All you need to do is reach out to your friends and family for support, and draw all your inspiration and energy from the faith and the love of the people around you. The people we met today are changing the world for the better by not giving up and doing their best, and AirDrop Gaming applauds and supports their efforts!
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