The esports industry has become more inclusive over the years, and still works to expand even further.
One of the advantages of esports is how inclusiveness and diversity are a part of it. When you’re shooting in the eye of a Fortnite storm or building a house in Minecraft, gender, nationality, and physical strength don’t matter. As such, there are many gamers with disabilities who enjoy playing and competing in various sports. As gamers, we can think of an “ability” as a special character skill such as casting magic or a stealth attack. But the term takes on a different meaning for 10 percent of the world’s population, or about 650 million people because they are disabled- especially if they are gamers.
The numbers speak for themselves. An Information Solutions Group survey in 2008 showed that one in five gamers is disabled. AbleGamers, an organization that supports disabled gamers, says that there are approximately 33 million gamers with disabilities in the US alone.
Casual and social video gaming continues to grow. Games not only provide a virtual reality that allows them to experience the world in new ways but. For someone who is unable to participate in social activities outside their home, video games are a way to combat feelings of isolation. To be clear, gamers don’t always want to play by themselves.
About 67 per cent of parents play video games with their children at least once a week. If one of the parents or the child is disabled, they will certainly look for games that they can play together. The truth is that accessibility to video games can be relatively inexpensive as well as easy to implement. Accessibility features generally complement the game, benefiting a diverse group of gamers.
From companies making adaptive devices for disabled gamers, to the general acceptance of people with disabilities, the industry has opened many doors to make it even more accessible. Some might say that participating in esports hurts people with disabilities, but the industry has leveled the playing field by giving everyone an equal chance.