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The man making gaming accessible

Chris Robinson on a tv screen
Chris Robinson on a tv screen Image credit: caniplaythat.com

The college club run by Chris Robinson in 2011 gave students the opportunity to fight each other to certain death, his meetings became increasingly popular and a hit around his university.

We should point out the battles were on game consoles and PCs, far be it for us to promote physical violence.

After taking a three-year break Chris launched a new project titled DeafGamersTV, similar to his former initiative although his new venture provided not only gaming opportunities for people with hearing loss but he also branched out speaking to developers on how they could make their games more accessible.

“This was the start of my journey as a gaming accessibility advocate for deaf and hard-of-hearing gamers because I felt that I needed to share my struggles as a deaf gamer and that I needed to speak up about the lack of accessibility in games that should’ve been a normal thing by now,” Robinson told Wired.

“Like for subtitles, we deaf gamers don’t just want simple subtitles, we want to be able to adjust the size, position, font, color, and so many more to our liking so that we can feel comfortable while playing.”

Robinson began to make a name for himself in the gaming profession, it was not long until Ubisoft and Microsoft pinged him invites so they could put their heads together so their games could be played by people with disabilities.

He was also invited to sit in on panels hosted by the likes of TwitchCon and Gaming Accessibility Conference where he could share his knowledge on how developers could programme their work for disabled gamers.

Twitch is still lagging behind when it comes to accessibility, Robinson is urging the platform service to introduce adjustable size and position which would make watching streaming easier for viewers with hearing loss.

His goal is for Twitch to include a feature which translates his signing into speech or text.

“This way I would be able to sign at my camera and chat without making everyone wait until I get to a safe point in the game where I won’t be attacked or whatever,” he explained.

One omission from Twitch which disappoints Robinson is a Disability tag which would bring open-minded people together and build communities where they can watch their favourite streams together.

Hopefully, thanks to Robinson’s influence accessible features such as these will soon be as popular as his meetings back in 2011.

For more information visit the DeafGamersTV on Twitch.