In comparison to other pastimes like visiting the cinema or reading a book, video gaming is still in its infancy. However, it is still one of the largest industries in the world and one that is constantly growing and evolving. Offering a staggering array of games across a number of genres, it has something for everyone.
The main problem that those with low mobility, or indeed any other form of disability, have with video games is that the controllers can be rather difficult to hold. Their shape and size have been made for those with more dexterity. This is a gap in the market that some companies have chosen to fill rather than ignore, continually working on new technology that will better help those with disabilities of any for to play their games and the benefits that gaming could bring.
What can video games offer
We often talk about the increase in independence that someone with low mobility can retain when they choose live in care over a more traditional care environment. Being independent also means ensuring that a person enjoys a full and varied life, one where they can “talk” to like minded people, interact with others and keep themselves as active as possible. Whilst you may not think of video gaming as being an activity that allows a person to be active, it certainly keeps the brain active. It also keeps the person’s body moving in order to use the controls of a game so that they do not lose any of that manual dexterity that is so important.
With chat rooms attached to many of the video games that are now available there are also plenty of opportunities to engage in conversations. There are not the same perceptions of people in this way as might be encountered face-to-face where people might be judged on their age or how they look. Everyone is just a video game enthusiast; the only difference is whether they are a good player or active in the gaming community.
Whilst a live in carer can offer companionship for someone with low mobility, being able to find a common interest with others in this way and keep the brain active is a great thing. The longer individuals can retain strong cognitive faculties the more likely it is that they will be able to continue to live in their own homes with the assistance of a live in carer.
What does the future look like
Whilst it is certain that gaming may not be for everyone, the video games industry as a whole realises the value of this relatively untapped market of individuals with low mobility and other forms of disability can be. The seeds of change have already begun to be spread and they are making huge investments in order to ensure that everyone regardless of age or physical ability is able to join in and play video games. This brand-new technology includes everything from prosthetics to customisable devices that are easier to hold. All this can make gaming more accessible because being as inclusive as possible really is the way forward.