Accessibility and Gaming, part 1

I have been getting more into gaming lately. It’s the best thing to do when I’m especially ill because it distracts me from feeling terrible, and it’s just plain fun. Naturally, I think about accessibility in gaming.

I usually play with the sound off because I’m not super into the music on games. When on my PC, I’ll listen to my own music while playing. I have arthritis and some dexterity-driven games are not for me. Very stressful games aren’t for me either. The games below, I played on PC and purchased through Steam.

Stardew Valley: This is a wonderful, low-key game that involves farming, fishing, mining, and scavenging, and occasionally interacting with villagers. You can play at your own pace and sound is not required. I use my mouse left-handed*, and this game is designed for a Right handed mouse. Although I found a page for switching keyboard commands, I couldn’t find a way to switch the mouse buttons. I ended up leaving the mouse button commands alone and still playing Left handed, and switching the keyboard commands to accommodate my right hand being on the keyboard. Fishing is difficult and requires dexterity. However, there’s a mod that makes all fishing easy. I downloaded and installed this mod with the help of some internet tutorials. I played this game a lot and it was very relaxing.

Undertale: I gave up on this game mostly because it requires high dexterity. I admit that the art wasn’t really my style either.

Never Alone: I gave this a try and it was rather stressful, as it involves a lot of running away from polar bears and such. The game play is also sometimes difficult and requires dexterity, and again I was using left handed mouse which didn’t seem natural for the default controls. It’s very beautiful and I might try again someday, but my favorite parts were the “cultural insights” (Northern indigenous people talking about their cultures) which I could probably just watch on YouTube.

*I am not technically left-handed; but I have pain in my right shoulder so made this switch years ago. These days my left hand is my “good hand”.

post is to be continued as I have more games to write about!

Watching the Tonight Show; unexpectedly creeped out

I am off work and resting, and for me this means watching more TV.  I like things I can put on in the background while I’m playing a game or doing chores.  One of the shows I’m watching on Hulu is the Tonight Show with Jimmy Fallon.  Fallon is consistently very funny, cheerful, and good with his guests.  The music from the Roots is wonderful.  His humor is goofy and not mean.  He plays fun games with the guests, such as Pictionary, Catch Phrase, or lip sync battles.

The guests are listed on the Hulu page and announced at the beginning of each show, so there are some guests that I simply skip.  For instance, some Duck Dynasty people were on recently and I just turned the show off before they came on.  I principally know them because of homophobic comments one of the Duck Dynasty guys made a while back, so I am not interested in what they are saying or promoting.  But other times I give people a chance if I don’t know much about them.

So anyway: Tonight I watched an episode where Russell Crowe was the main guest.  He and Fallon sang a goofy song about tar balls in water, and made it a double entendre: don’t go swimming or you’ll get balls in your mouth.  They walked through the audience and suddenly Russell Crowe was rubbing his crotch against some guy’s face.  The audience member was laughing and turning bright red.  But I was creeped out.  I said aloud: “Is Russell Crowe, like, assaulting that guy?”  (No one was here to hear me but the dog).  In contrast, Jimmy Fallon put a microphone up to an audience member and let them sing along to the chorus.  Fallon looked respectful, friendly, and did not touch the audience member.  Crowe looked like a criminal.

There can be a lot of cringe-worthy moments in comedy.  I’ve been watching stand-up lately too, and people make jokes that fall flat or cross the line, and just go you go “ugh, no”.  But this little segment was further over that line because it involved an audience member.  Russell Crowe, you’re a creep.