Tom speaks up for accessible gaming

5 March 2021

Former student (and current Supported Living resident) Tom got in touch with BBC Newsbeat earlier this week to share his experience of accessibility in video games.

WESC learner Tom relaxing in his bedroom
WESC Foundation resident Tom relaxing in his bedroom

Tom has a vision impairment (and limited use one hand due to Cerebral Palsy) but enjoys playing on his PS4 like many young people his age.

He sent a voice note to BBC Newsbeat to tell listeners about his experience of The Last of Us Part 2, which was recently announced as a nominee for the 2021 BAFTA Games Awards in a massive 13 categories!

It’s accessibility features include taking players to an accessibility menu the first time they load the game. It also  makes it easy to change the settings someone might need to play the game, including turning on a text-to-speech function and audio cues.

You can listen to the clip using the SoundCloud player:

wescfoundation · BBC Newsbeat Tuesday 2nd March 2021 Tom West

Speaking afterwards, Tom said:

“It’s sometimes difficult to enjoy games on the PS4 with a vision impairment.

“Sports games like Fifa are ok because you can often change the camera settings to magnify what’s going on the screen, but I’ve often found shooter or role-playing strategy games harder.

“You often need to be able to see visual clues in the game to be able to complete it, but The Last of Us Part 2 has changed all of that.”


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