Motion Control: No Handicap Players Allowed

-Eric Lee Lewis

Recently I saw one of the saddest things I have ever seen in my life and being a gamer, this made it worse. I was at my local GameStop and saw some children playing Kinect Adventures in the store. Now, this isn’t a joke at all about the fact that somebody was playing Kinect Adventures. The thing that made this sad was the fact that their brother, a wheelchair-bound 10 year old named Brian, could not play with them. He obviously loved what he saw but I quickly saw him becoming discouraged about the fact that he couldn’t play with them. I quickly walked out of the store to leave. Not only just to leave though. I had to leave because this genuinely pulled on my heart strings and I couldn’t bare to cry and make Brian or his family feel horrible.

Motion control has become much more prevalent in the past few years and seems to be where the gaming industry wants to go. But what about our wheelchair-bound friends? How is the Kinect going to integrate the ability for them to play? Does Microsoft even care to work toward allowing a point of entry for this fanbase that they are alienating?

Some motion control games don’t require movement of the full body. This is the way that motion control gaming should be. 

It is proven at this point that gamers still prefer to play with a controller. While some companies try to tell us that this is old and archaic, motion-controlled gaming still doesn’t work properly.

Not long ago an article floated around the internet about a one-handed gamer that relearned how to play games all over again. While this is indeed a success story, Kinect games that require kicks and jumps don’t allow their handicapped players to play with others in the same fashion. 

If the industry has its way, especially with rumors of the Kinect 2.0 on the Xbox 720, gaming will move to a motion-controlled entity. My point isn’t that I want motion control to go away. My point is that I think there should be a setting so that our handicapped friends and family can play along.

Imagine this; A family gets Fake Game Runner: Kinect and it says “fun for the whole family!” Instantly the parental unit brings it home and figures out that their handicapped offspring can’t play because he/she can’t actually get up and run. Luckily they find a setting called “sit mode”. This mode allows the player to instead stay seated and move their arms as they would while running. Maybe this mode would change the game into a paddle boat race instead. This would allow for that true “family fun experience”. 

The moral of the story is that videogames should never alienate a section of their audience, whether that section is a big or small amount of people. There just needs to be a way to integrate connectivity with any player. Hell, use my idea that I talked about before. 

Do you know anybody that has been alienated by motion gaming?