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Things I learned as a Disabled Gamer

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Greetings readers,

Welcome back to the blog!

I’m aware that I haven’t been posting or writing consistently, that’s why I’m here with today’s blog to provide a (good) reason for it, and to announce—I am a disabled video gamer now!!!

I’ve never been a gamer. Did I ever play video games? Sure, but never this consistently. One type of games I enjoyed a lot when I was younger was rhythm games. Other than that, I played some random games on my phone occasionally. I also had a PlayStation portable (PSP) gaming console (saying this somehow makes me feel old, haha), but I got the console for a specific reason, to play a specific game on it, and now, I play an updated version of that game on my Nintendo Switch.

Video gaming has been known to be a good thing for disabled people, to combat isolation, since some disabled people are bed or home bound, so they may lack social interactions with others due to disability or illness. Gaming also creates a kind of community building, too. However, this is not to say that there aren’t challenges to play video games as a disabled person. And this is where I’ll talk about that next—things I’ve learned through my gaming experiences, as a disabled and legally blind gamer.

First of all, not to blame any gaming company or anything but, the games that I’ve been playing consistently for the last 3-6 months, specifically, Genshin Impact (which is a massive open world action RPG), and Animal Crossing (which is a social simulation game on Nintendo Switch), are not really blind/visually impaired friendly). But, for someone like me, who still have limited eye sight despite being legally blind, I can still play those games. I can’t speak for folks with other disabilities, and if you are disabled and a gamer, and have played any video games, feel free to share which are accessible or not in the comments.

Secondly, as a disabled gamer, I need a lot of help from non-disabled especially sighted (and more experienced) gamers. And I won’t deny, I have had a lot of help from folks playing the same games as I do. And that’s OK. I seriously doubted myself before jumping into playing a massive open world game like Genshin. And, there were moments I just really wanted to quit, but I’m glad I didn’t!

Thirdly, one of the reasons why I’ve been so quiet on the blog or on social media is because, I have not found a way to link disability, gaming and my activism work together. For some time, I didn’t know what to say about that. Also, I feel like as an adult, people (non adult gamers)will judge you if you play video games, as wasting time or not doing more important things. But I found gaming has given me some feelings of accomplishment, no matter how small it is. Also rest assured, I’m not leaving from being an activist. Sometimes it’s just hard to connect the dots and other times, let’s be real, I’ve been really enjoying gaming a lot, and I just want to have fun, maybe too much fun at times.

Also, I wanted to point out, I wish I had jumped into the (disabled) gaming community sooner than I did, at least into gaming itself; because, after I started gaming, I read several published writings about the connection between video games and disability, and how disabled people found community and made lifelong friendships through gaming. Even though I’m still new to the community, and new to gaming in general, I’m happy that found this new hobby. Gaming has been helping me a lot, to keep me safe and away from some of the negative and ugly things happening in real life and on social media, some of these things could really mess with one’s mental health, and it kind of did to me, especially during COVID. So now, I focus on gaming rather than on all the negative stuff.

So where do I want to go from here? Well, several things: I will continue to be a gamer, and an activist. I want to hear from and know more disabled gamers. I have started doing YouTube a little bit, it’s a joint channel between me, a disabled and visually impaired gamer and a non-disabled and sighted gamer. Maybe in the future, I’ll blog or share the YouTube channel on the blog or on The Invisible Vision Project’s socials. For now, allow me to stay behind the scenes and I’ll eventually figure out how to share them more publicly in the future!

So… that’s pretty much it for today’s blog. After concluding this blog, I shall dive into my gaming world again, but just before I do that, I want to say, feel free to share or comment your thoughts about disability and gaming, whether you play video games or (perhaps) did reading this blog post make you think of start playing video games? Would like to hear thoughts from gamers and non gamers alike!

By: The Invisible Vision Project



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