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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