To Celebrate Global Accessibility Awareness Day, The Xbox Ambassadors Played Halo 5 Without Sight

To Celebrate Global Accessibility Awareness Day, The Xbox Ambassadors Played Halo 5 Without Sight
Credit: Xbox via YouTube

In the gaming community, awareness around gamers that are differently-abled has surged quite a bit. With gaming being a great equalizing hobby where everyone can come together and enjoy the same pastime, it’s a wonderful place for people to become more aware of the reality that others live with.

In celebration of Global Accessibility Awareness Day, the Xbox Ambassadors played Halo 5: Guardians while restricting their site. The roster included a variety of players, including some that were naturally without sight and some that played blind-folded.

Hosted by SightlessKombat, an “accessibility consultant and gamer without sight,” the group played on a custom-built map that helped provide a few enhancements for those that are differently-abled. Primarily utilizing audio queues, the map was built with accessibility in mind.

SightlessKombat was one of the multiple players responsible for the creation of the map, along with several other users. Titled “Medusa,” the map has a geometric layout and sound queues that tell you where you are and if you have an opponent in your sights, as well as directions to where they might be.

Additionally, players were given specific rules: No sight allowed and no using the right analog stick to change directions. Players with sight must blindfold themselves or use some other method.

“By the end of the stream, I felt myself getting much better at navigating the map, finding and avoiding enemies, and competing in general – all without using the sense I personally rely on the most when playing FPS games,” author Mister Taxel writes on the experience.

“I think experiences like this can be really impactful in helping gamers with sight to start thinking about game and sound design with an accessibility-first mindset, and I hope that this blog and video are helpful in that regard.”

We’ve embedded a short snippet of highlights from the stream above, and we strongly suggest you give it a watch. It’s amazing how gamers that are differently-abled find ways through accessibility, and it’s something the average gamer, unfortunately, doesn’t think much about.

By improving accessibility and awareness around the issues therein, gamers are able to share their hobby with as many people as possible. Custom maps like Medusa and the effort shown by SightlessKombat and the many others in the community are a fantastic way to raise awareness and provide more accessibility.

Global Accessibility Awareness Day is always the third Thursday of May and is focused on digital access and inclusion for people with a wide variety of disabilities. While gaming is thankfully far from the only category where accessibility is being focused on, it’s one of the best ways to tie as many people together in a shared interest.