I have been living on this planet for over three decades now. And honestly, I have been gaming for a large part of them. As a disabled person, this has always been a bit of a struggle. Accessibility features haven’t always been prominent in games, although with the advent of the category in the game awards, I am hopeful for the future of video games. There are also features in many games that appear as aesthetic that function as accessibility features, but that’s another post for another day.
Like so many folks, I was stoked for Cyberpunk 2077. And I would be lying if I said I didn’t cry when I realized I couldn’t play it. This is a major video game release. This was a highly hyped game. And it’s a game I can never watch streamed. My copy is currently in the process of being returned. I understand that this game means a lot to so many people. But there will be other games. There will be other games that people can be excited for and invest themself into. There won’t be replacements for the people hurt by this game.
It’s no surprise that the game has flashing lights. It is appalling that there was originally not an adequate warning. It’s even more appalling that this is the same sequence used to induce seizures in a medical setting. Seizures kill. Status Epilepticus and SUDEP are very real dangers that my friends with epilepsy face. I know the game had warnings added. There is still zero excuse for this to be happening. There is zero excuses to be thrown into these scenarios with no way to turn off the features. You can also have a seizure without ever having one before.
Games have let me turn off camera shake (which is a nausea and migraine trigger for me). Games have let me modify flashing lights before. But, this is game isn’t about me. This game isn’t about something that makes me sick. This game is a danger to so many people I love. I deeply appreciate all the folks speaking out against this game. It means a lot to me how many streamers are avoiding streaming this game.
I had hopes for this game. I was excited for this game. But I won’t be playing it. Because there will be so many other games I can enjoy. There will not be other friends to replace those hurt by this game.