Written by | Posted September 8, 2015 – 9:51 pm Descent and Ascent

It didn’t take long to get from Thunder Bluff to the Echo Isles – Ankona took advantage of a wyvern so she could think and plan before getting to her destination. She had information to confirm with the spirits – was Gromnor dead? Was he really in the northern part of the Eastern Kingdoms, somewhere […]

filed under Other stuff
Red light, Green light
comment 4 Written by on September 4, 2008 – 9:32 am

Yesterday DwarfPriest had a very interesting article about disabled gamers and how various games address the needs of what could be as much as 9% (one in 11) of the gaming population.

One of the points she brings up is something that’s rather close to me personally – that being the issue of gamers who are red-green colorblind.  Numbers that I can find suggest that between 5 and 8 percent of men and 0.5% of women have some form of colorblindness – the most prominent of which (99%) are the two forms of red-green colorblindness.

What does that matter to me?  Well, I play sitting next to a red-green colorblind gamer.  Who also happens to be a fantastic tank.  One of the fights that most tanks have to contend with is Netherspite.  (DARGON WITH LAZERS)  Ever notice that of Netherspite’s three beams, one is green and one is red?

When we’re in Karazhan, doing that fight, I frequently get asked which beam is the red one.

Could they just as easily have made one red, one blue, and one yellow?  Probably.  Is it game breaking?  No, not really – other people that I know with this particular visual anomaly have used everything from vent commands to various raid-target icons to keep from having problems.  But its certainly something that I think game designers should be more aware of.

Colorblindness is probably one of the least “impairing” of all the things discussed in DwarfPriest’s article, especially because to most people with the anomaly, life goes on as usual.  But it is something that *does* affect a large number of people (particularly men) – and isn’t too terribly hard to watch out for on large items like boss fights.

For the rest of the internet, there are programs that adjust images – like Daltonizing them – to make the various colors of red and green look different to those people whose eyes can’t differentiate them.  There are also similar programs where you can plug in your website to see what a red-green colorblind person would see, looking at your page.  Keep in mind that there’s a pretty good variation in severity of colorblindness, and some people can see more difference than others, but statistically about 5% of the people that would see a webpage would see it more like the vischeck image than the “normal” one.

Anyway – food for thought on your Thursday morning.

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4 Responses to “Red light, Green light”

  1. I think this is simply not a point that comes up during development brainstorming sessions. I think it’s a perfectly legitimate concern though. Hey–you might even consider mentioning it to the likes of Blizzard. 🙂

  2. Another issue for this specific issue is Gem sockets. Once an item is socketed, it is impossible to tell which slot is which color if one cannot see the colors.

    I had a guild member ask in /g chat how to tell which socket was which color after he had put a gem into it. We all thought he meant that you can only see the gem when you look at the item, so numerous people told him to shift-right-click the item and it will show you the sockets as well as the gems. After about 5 minutes of this, he calmly typed, “yes, but I can’t tell what colors they are, because I’m colorblind. I should have told you guys that earlier.”

  3. I totally agree with this, since I am colorblind myself. The biggest issue I have seen so far, is the default combo point frame, for the life of me, I can not tell how many combo points I have on that thing, guess it’s a good thing I don’t use the default UI or else my poor druid in kitty form would never know when to use my combo point abilities.

    Another large issue I seem to have is that damn Death & Decay in Hyjal, it blends in with the green grass!

    I can see how a large company such as Blizzard wouldn’t put any thought into the subject, seeing as we ARE a minority, and a very small one at that.

    By Xylch on Sep 6, 2008 | Reply
  4. Huh, that’s an interesting issue that I’d never really thought of for gaming. I actually work with a cartographer (guy who makes maps) who is red-green colourblind. He’s just learned what RGB numerical values look “right” for the average person who’ll be looking at the maps and sets the colours that way.

    By Dalbarr on Sep 6, 2008 | Reply

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