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  • Mia Howie

My Tips for Accessible Gaming

Updated: Mar 26

Many people with disabilities enjoy playing video games.

It can be hard at times to find what works with someone’s disability and what doesn't. I am writing this blog to share with you my personal experiences with accessible gaming. My disability doesn't allow me to have full mobility of my limbs, but I really enjoy playing video games including Sims 4, Minecraft, Fortnite, and even Fall Guys. No matter what games you enjoy playing, here are some tips to make it as accessible as possible.

Try before you buy

My first tip is to always find a way to try the equipment before you buy it. If you see a cool-looking controller or keyboard and mouse combo on the internet and you think it might work for you, find a way to test out the equipment. For example, see if you can find it in-store as a demo or check with your friends if they have the same set-up as you. If, for some reason, you cannot try it and you have to buy it online, make sure to read through the reviews carefully. Most of my gaming equipment came from Amazon, which for me, was a very simple return process… I had to learn this tip the hard way. This resulted in me currently having many different kinds of equipment that do not work for me, which I cannot return.

A young white woman with short, dyed hair smiling at the camera. She is wearing a purple cartigan

Mobile vs. PC vs. console

It took me a while to figure out if it was easier for me to use a mobile device, (like a cell phone or tablet), a PC (with a keyboard and mouse), or a console (such as a PlayStation 4 with a handheld controller). As I wrote about in my last tip, trying all three of these options is very helpful. Personally, I prefer a mobile device and a console. I have found that using a keyboard and mouse is very difficult with my disability, because I have to push a lot of buttons at once while simultaneously moving a mouse. A mobile device is a little easier because I can move the device into whatever location is easiest for me to hold it properly. Over time, I’ve discovered that console gaming is my preferred way to play video games. I bought a specific kind of controller that works for me. It looks like a normal PlayStation controller, but it’s just a bit smaller than the standard Sony offered and fits my grip better. I had to do a lot of research to find what was going to work best, but it was worth it in the end.

Controllers vs. keyboard & mouse

My third tip is to choose your favorite option from the most popular set-ups: a PC with a keyboard and mouse or a console using a controller. As I mentioned earlier, I prefer the controller over the keyboard and mouse. A useful thing that I’ve learned is that just because you play on a console doesn't mean you have to play with a controller and vice-versa; just because you play on a PC doesn't mean you have to play with keyboard and mouse. Many gaming set-ups allow you to change your controls and device to meet your needs. I tried a keyboard and a controller with both when I was trying to figure out whether I would rather use a console or a PC. So even if you get a PC that comes with a keyboard and mouse, most PCs allow you to plug in a controller using a USB port.

My father was the one that gave me most of these tips when I was younger, looking for my own equipment. He is the main reason I enjoy playing video games! I hope these tips help more disabled people enjoy video games too.

Mia Howie is from a small town named Palmyra. Mia enjoys playing video games as well as baking, drawing, and being with friends. In the future Mia wants to go to FLCC College for computer science or web and mobile development.


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