The National Institute on Deafness and Other Communication Disorders report that “One in eight people in the United States (13 percent, or 30 million) aged 12 years or older has hearing loss in both ears, based on standard hearing examinations.” If you have hearing loss, it can affect many aspects of your life. Believe it or not, it can even affect your video game-playing experience. We review how to make the most of video games with hearing loss below.
Here we review some of the accessibility features many video games offer that can optimize your experience.
Fortunately, with many video games, visuals are more important than audio. If you can see well, you don’t need sound to tell you whether you’re firing a weapon or driving a vehicle. Many video games also provide awareness indicators, which are visual cues indicating if there are obstacles or opponents in your vicinity.
Subtitles & Captions
A popular accessibility feature most video games offer is pre-written subtitles for NPCs and live captioning for other players. This website provides accessibility reviews, including how well they are subtitled.
Some video games are text-centered and require few or no subtitles. These types of games are more like interactive reading exercises, and many are quite peaceful.
Control of Different Sounds & Volumes
A lot of video games also offer dynamic sound controls. This means if you have trouble hearing dialogue, if there’s a lot of background noise, you can turn the dialogue all the way up and background noise all the way down. This way, you can better follow along with what is said.
Touch feedback, also known as haptic feedback, gives you a real-time physical response as you play your game. Vibrations of varying degrees of intensity simulate how an action in your game may feel in real life, such as a crash or approaching footsteps. With the help of touch feedback, you’ll be able to react quickly to what’s happening without needing to hear what’s going on.
For more information or to schedule an appointment with a hearing expert, call Elevate Audiology today.