Tag Archives: Gamer

The Second Brick – Thoughts On ACCESSIBLE Gaming

Hey everyone, it’s Kernook here. In case you don’t know, I’m not just a blogger. I’m also streamer on Twitch along with my good friend Kresh. Together, we’re known as “The Demented Ferrets” and we play games several times a week.

Today I want to talk about something that hits very close to home for me; accessibility as it applies to gaming. This is why I thought it prudent to do another “brick post” today.

This time I’m going to give a bit of background on Dyspraxia, what it is, and how it can get in the way at the worst absolute times. Gaming is certainly one of them, hence the post.

Gamers tend to talk about new improvements while disregarding the old, but both have a place. The important little matter of nuance that has been lost in the greater discussion. This is a complicated topic when it comes to gaming, so please bear with me.

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First though, a brief primer on the subject. Dyspraxia is a form of developmental coordination disorder, also known as a “DCD“. I was born with it. It’s fairly common as I understand it. Although, I don’t have any personal friends who have it. That being said, there are plenty of famous people who do speak about it openly.

Daniel Radcliffe is a noteworthy actor that has spoken publicly about the disorder. He is someone I believe most people will have at least some familiarity with, given his role in the Harry Potter series. That’s why I use him as the example, but there are many more.

Now, before I continue, you need to understand that Dyspraxia has a very wide spectrum. Some people with the disorder are very low functioning. For others it would be very hard to tell they have it at all.

The disorder hinders motor skill coordination in children and adults. It may also affect speech. It is a lifelong condition, there are no cures. Dyspraxia is a fairly distinct disorder and it can affect a person in many ways.

Why does this matter? Well, I have Dyspraxia and I’m a gamer. You kind of need to have good motor skills to play a game. It’s how you handle the controller, so it matters to talk about this kind of thing in the gaming community.

Accessibility is a word thrown around a lot in the gaming sphere, and often times with negative connotations involved with it. You can put your knee-jerking to the side though. I’m not here to bash developers. I’m hear to talk about my love of gaming when in relation to the disorder itself.

Accessibility is not the same as making a game easier, or in any way “watered down”. No, that’s just flat out idiocy. What makes a game accessible is merely just a wider range of options presented to the player. Therefore, when I am speaking of accessibility here, I am speaking from my personal lens.

My lens will not be your lens, even if you have Dyspraxia. Our level of severity regarding certain symptoms may be vastly different. The one thing I want to make clear here, is that gaming is not inherently inaccessible, and we need to think of accessibility in gaming differently.

There is no one-size-fits-all approach. The fact that gamers sometimes assume something needs to be added to a game merely to make it accessible at all… well frankly, that just shits all over the discussion in the first place.

It needs to stop, and we need to widen our perspective. Accessibility shouldn’t be a list of “must haves” or “bells and whistles” tacked onto a game as an afterthought. That is not accessibility, that’s being an asshole.

Rather, when we discuss accessibility, we should discuss it’s confines and trappings. Accessibility is always a two way street. Balancing careful planning with a mindfulness to your core player base is the key to success.

An afterthought for the sake of brownie points is never the goal. It should never be the goal. Do not tack on stupid things, just because people scream that they want it. Instead, carefully consider just who your game is made for, first and foremost. Then, after you have that clear idea in mind, think about how you might be able to include others based on that.

Accessibility does not include superglue and a prayer. They should not feel like options slapped onto a game like some sort of deranged clown car. They shouldn’t feel as if they’re bursting out sideways and cockeyed.

For example, when it comes to Dark Souls, I’d say that when it comes to pure gameplay, it is very accessible despite the difficulty. From a point of motor control, I’d say it holds up well. Yes, it’s a hard game. It’s supposed to be.

Just because it’s hard, that doesn’t make it inaccessible inherently in that very specific instance. When you discuss how accessible and game is, it’s all comes down to specific instances.

The game is difficult, but also carefully crafted. You can do battle at a distance, you can plan your attacks. With the multitude of ways that a player can broach fights, I would not say that the gameplay itself is at all “inaccessible” based on motor function. Merely that the game can have a large barrier to entry in other ways.

Under this one lens, it is therefore accessible. However, that is just one lens, and someone may in fact disagree.

Dyspraxia can hinder a person’s ability to participate and function in everyday life. Education, work and gainful employment isn’t always easy for people who have it. A large amount of the time you end up with Dysgraphia or Dyscalculia on top of it. However, that’s an entirely different set of issues, and I won’t be covering those.

What I will say is this. It is imperative that a gamer considers the games they play, and understand the confines of those games. What an accessible MMORPG to me, for example may be different than what you consider to be so.

Final Fantasy XI is a great example of an accessible MMORPG for me. Yes it’s old, and yes it feels a bit dated. That being said, skill in this game relies entirely on knowing what you’re doing. It isn’t exactly a “motor skill” heavy game.

Knowing what the enemies do and how to counteract them is half the battle. There are no quick time events, and there is no jump button. You have no need to handle blinding floor spit aoe’s that you might find in games like WoW, or FFXIV which are also MMORPG’s.

When I thinking of end game raiding, I think of all the mechanics that just turn out to be a pain in the ass. That being said, I call what would be vanilla Rift the pinnacle of end game raiding. The best, and most fun raiding I’ve ever had in a game, for me personally.

This is merely because even if a fight was difficult and AoE’s were tossed all over, I was never just flat out blinded by a boss I was fighting.

For me, the worst offender in this regard is FFXIV. To me, though I do like it, it is very inaccessible as a game in many ways. For me boss battles in FFXIV are not a matter of simply getting good. Sometimes they are a matter of stupidity. Occasionally, I just can’t see what the hell is happening. There is literally too much crap everywhere.

I have golf balls for eyes sometimes, hence the spelling errors that occasionally slip into blog posts. This is also why I tend to use a medium font, and not the “default” that is included in the editing tool.

When I think of a game that isn’t accessible, I think of a game that is stupidly difficult for the sake of it. Or a game that might have had a very small team, and therefore couldn’t hope to factor in gamers such as myself in the first place.

Sometimes artistic choices are enough to make a game somewhat impossible for me to play. Those games have a fan base, and those games don’t include me. This also includes games like Undertale which is primarily black and white, and terrible for me personally.

It took me a year to play and beat the game. This is not to say it isn’t a good game. It is to say the game is not accessible to me as a player. There is absolutely nothing wrong with this. It just hurts my eyes, and the way you play the game doesn’t help.

However it was such a massive hit that I played it merely to have a perspective upon it myself. That it isn’t a good one personally, doesn’t detract from it objectively. That’s a key distinction to make here.

All in all, people with Dyspraxia are not a monolith. There are a huge list of symptoms, and if you care to look at them, do so understanding that is a very fluid disorder. No one will ever have “all” the qualifiers, because the list is just too large.

So, why does this matter? Well, to me gaming matters. Therefore, my heart can only go out to others with motor skill impairments that inhibit them from fully enjoying a gaming experience the way they might like.

When we play games we see “game over” screens more times than an average player. Sometimes, these are just for dumb reasons. Perhaps a boss doesn’t choreograph what it’s doing very well. Perhaps in games that don’t allow you to turn off quick time events, you kiss your butt goodbye on those several times over.

However, if you don’t have some sort of motor impairment you might think we’re just bad gamers, or that we’re just flat out stupid. It’s not that, not really. It’s just that how we experience the game can and will be different from yours, and our ability to play the game reflects that.

This is why I actually love the Resident Evil and Silent Hill series of games. Particularly the ones with tank controls. In my latest review of Resident Evil 2 from 1998, I brought the matter up directly by saying this:

If you think tank controls absolutely suck, you’re in for a bit of bad news. They’re just as clunky as you recall them to be. Now, I’ve never had an issue with tank controls myself. For my personal situation, tank controls actually make the games easier to play, not harder.

There is a very direct reason for that. Given my Dyspraxia, which is a motor skill disorder, having limited movement allowed me to have better control over the character. I didn’t need to be careful of subtle movement, because the characters only move in very particular ways. When it comes to my thumb being clumsy, the game just didn’t pick that up. This meant I could pay closer attention to my environment, and not what my hands did of their own accord without my noticing. While I love tank controls, I do understand that most people hate them.

For me personally, it’s not a downside. Objectively speaking though, it very well could be. I won’t overlook that just because of my nostalgia or personal situation. “

If you want to read a few of my reviews for the resident evil franchise, you can do so here:

See, this is what I mean by we need to broaden our idea of what accessibility really means. Tank controls actually help me. I’d love if more games have them, and that’s why I love a lot of retro titles. Do I expect them? Absolutely not, but I would very much like to have them.

To me, they would be an accessibility that would improve gameplay.

The point I am trying to make is that this whole accessibility discussion has vastly jumped the shark in many ways. It is true that not all games will be accessible to all people, and it will be impossible to attempt to make it that way.

However, it is also true that using that as a blind excuse is just pure laziness. Nuance matters, and we’re starting to lose that.

Final Thoughts

If you are experiencing trouble as a gamer, I have just one bit of advice. Before you start pounding on the gong of accessibility, take a breath and look at all that gaming has to offer. There will be a game or two that will suit you. There will be a genre that allows you to love gaming.

Once you find those games, you can open your eyes to the other games like it, and the much deeper world that gaming has to offer. Instead of just focusing on the usual complaints, we need to think out of the box. It’s better for everyone, and that’s the whole point of accessibly in the first place. To reach as many people inclusively as possible.

It isn’t just about controller layouts and game overlays. It’s not just about including new add-ons, fonts, colors, keybinds, or multi-lingual subtitles. It’s about the larger scope of the experience we have as gamers.

Sometimes it’s about playing the inaccessible games to understand what needs to change, instead of what we simply want changed.

We need to be discussing ports and revivals of older titles. We need to consider that there are already a wealth of games suited for us that might need to be brought back onto current software. Perhaps some of these titles need to be brought back to life or brought over to other platforms.

Perhaps a gamer can’t play a Mario or Zelda title on a Nintendo Switch, but could play that very same title with a different sort of controller found only on PC, or by a third party company. We need to be discussing this too, and look at all of our options.

We need for developers to be our partners, not our enemies. We need fellow gamers to hear us out before biting our heads off.

These are the sorts of discussions we need to be having. These are the ones that should pervade the larger narrative. When we think of accessibility, need to consider tank controls and other methods of control in general too.

Hopefully you love gaming as much as I do. Hopefully I’ve given you something to chew on. Perhaps the next time the word accessibility comes up in context with gaming, you’ll look out of the box too.

If you’re an aspiring developer, or one from a huge studio, reach out to gamers. Sometimes that alone is enough. Nine times out of ten, we’re okay that a game doesn’t have something, if there’s a good reason not to include it. Knowing why a feature isn’t in a game is sometimes enough for us.

Sometimes just being talked to, so we’re included, is all that we need. Sometimes all we want is to be heard. We don’t want to feel useless, or that we’re just shouting into the void.

Communication is the first step, and it’s one that needs to continue being made, so yeah… do that developers, really. That first step will be an answer to a great many problems. After that, creativity is your foremost tool. Use it, and empower all of us.

This has been Kernook of The Demented Ferrets.

“Where stupidity is at its finest and level grinds are par for the course…”

The Demented Ferrets…

To Our Supporters: Thank You!

With your contributions, you make our efforts possible. Thank you for supporting our content.

Patreon Supporters

At the time of this post there are 3 notable contributors.

Demented Minions: Francis Murphy, Josh Sayer, and Andrew Wheal.

If You Enjoyed This Content…

Please consider following us on this blog. We also have other platforms with content to enjoy. At the time of this post we have a Twitter, Twitch, YouTube.

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How To Make a Brick – The First Brick

Note: My cousin was biologically female, assigned at birth. But, but cousin also subverted gender normality mentally in every way humanly possible. The line between a non-binary identity crossed heavily with a male one. My cousin most often identified as male. Therefore, I will be using the pronouns he/him for the entirety of this blog post.

Okay smart-ass, how do you make a brick…?

Something my cousin asked in a moment of stupidity…

“Okay smart-ass, how do you make a brick…?”

That was the question asked nearly a decade ago on a summer day. I was whittling the slow hours away out on my cousin’s front deck. Cigarette in hand and a cold glass of some flavored water collecting condensation in the sun. We were talking about everything and nothing. Stupid questions and even stupider answers flowing from our mouths. Everything we said was vitriolic, but also in good humor.

It was just our way, and it was a typical day for us. I recall that day fondly.

My cousin’s life was prolific in the normalcy of it all. A hand-full of problems, and no real way to fix any of them. He was incredibly smart, but, he was also a drug addict. He went to therapy often, going through shrinks like a household goes through toilet paper. He spent his many years taking prescription medication, using them, until they began using him. Just another vice among a great many.

He never quite got his fix…

Why does all that matter now? Well, my cousin’s dead. He died in 2019 of an overdose. Duster cans acting a means of getting high that didn’t justify the end. In spite of this, that was the outcome we had all come to expect. It was going to happen eventually, because addiction is a beast all of it’s own. Monstrous in how it eats the soul from the inside out. It’s almost like a plague, really.

Being an outsider looking in on that struggle, it’s hard to fathom. The highs come with lows, and when mental illness get mixed in, lines blur. You ask yourself questions trying to piece together the magnitude of it all. You try to understand-often failing to do so– and sometimes there are just no answers in sight.

That’s how it was for me. I had so many questions, but so few answers.

I’d ask myself, what part of it is the illness? What part is the drugs? Where is the soul beneath all of that? How do you cure the things that can’t be?

Some people can claw their way to successful management of their addictions. It never leaves, once an addict always an addict. Yet, some people can control that beast. Unfortunately, my cousin never could. Maybe in a way, it was just easier not to…

I can’t help but think of all the missed opportunities, failed chances, and everything he left behind. A muddled story to be sure, but one that played an irreplaceable part in my life. It would be a disservice to even think otherwise.

We had always said we’d write a book together. We never did. We should have. With all time we wasted with our thumbs up our asses, we could have. It’s that last point that really gets me.

We could have done it.

Like so many things, we never got around to it. Instead, all I have are the memories of the things we’d said we do.

I look back at the missed opportunity. I wish we had made those chronicles of our lives. I wish we’d written that family history. It was just as imperfect as any other, but ours anyway. Special because it was ours. Now, it’ll never be written. My cousin was eighteen years my senior, but, history has way of repeating. My cousin was a looking glass for me.

Still is, I suppose.

Like my cousin, lines of gender blur for me. I am also biologically female. In my head, I am 100% not female. I don’t believe myself to think inherently like a woman. I don’t give a rat’s ass about the concept of inherently feminine traits or masculine traits, it doesn’t matter.

I’d never call myself non-binary, because to be that title would never fit. Then again, I can only help but feel that the spectrum of gender as it is fails humanity in so many ways.

I think we put too much significance in gender. The Performativity of it. In many ways it’s all pomp and circumstance.

That being said, I take my identity a step farther than my cousin ever did. I wear binders, he didn’t. I pack, he didn’t. Even so, in my eyes he was no less a person, and no lesser a man. Effeminate qualities do not chain down a soul.

Like him, I find myself at the mercy of the mirror every day. Taking quick showers because I don’t wish to see myself without clothing. I’m by no means obese, but biologically women tend to have more body fat than men. To me, breasts are no more than blubber with a nipple on them. A pain in the ass, and just as unsightly as rolls of excess fat that cling no matter what you do.

I’ve made peace with the fact that I will never have the body I’d like. I’ve decided that a body is just a vessel that houses a soul. That the vessel itself need not reflect the soul in the slightest. That despite our best wishes, for some of us it’s never going to. I feel that we must reach beyond those confines in different ways for some semblance of comfort.

This idea is akin to many memes we see across the internet. Much like a house cat with the ferocity of a lion. Or a dog that stands with all the majesty of a wolf.

I turned 31 in September of 2020. It was a bit bitter for me because I thought I’d be someplace further in my life than what I am now. It’s strange, because my cousin used to say that about his own life more often than not.

The older I get, the more I find myself thinking about it during the quiet dawns and late sleepless nights.

I love to write, even if I’m not very good at it. Sometimes I tell myself that it’s just another passion that’ll never go anywhere. Jack of all trades, master of none.

Late in 2020, my friend Kreshenne and I formed “The Demented Ferrets” in a single hope that we’d be able to escape some of the mundanity that life had to offer.

We have a Twitch, YouTube, and this blog as far as content creation is concerned. We play games, I write on the blog, and life moves forward.

Now, will we get anywhere with this seemingly asinine idea? Well that’s anybody’s guess.

But then again, I don’t want to have another monumental regret, either. I don’t want to spend later years in my life asking “what if?” endlessly as I am often prone to do.

I’m not a perfect person, my shit stinks, just the same as everyone else. I look at my flaws and they cripple me sometimes. They overwhelm me. I don’t know where this blog will take me, if anywhere. I don’t know if Kreshenne and I can really make something of our platforms or not.

I don’t want insane fame. I don’t want countless fortune. I just want to pay the bills with things I love to do, and Kreshenne is the same way…

So, sections of this blog will just be my thoughts, my insights. However meaningless that proves to be for anyone else doesn’t matter. This post is a selfish thing, but humans are selfish creatures.

If I don’t put my thoughts down brick by brick, maybe I never will. They say it takes 8,176 bricks to make the average home. If that’s true, I wonder how many I’ve laid down in my life so far.

How many more it will take before I feel like I’ve accomplished something meaningful?

I don’t know that answer. Maybe I never will.

This blog is a collection of my passions, my failings, and everything else I can think of. Imperfect in so many ways, because I’m flawed to a fault. In some ways, I don’t believe that’s a grave sin. Rather, I feel like that’s the way it should be…

So among all of the anime content, gaming content, and RWBY content that will doubtlessly flood all of “The Demented Ferrets” platforms as time goes on, I want to be selfish. I want this one thing for me. To place down these bricks, bit by bit.

I realize it’s not the standard fare that most would come to expect. I understand completely that I’m probably just shouting into a void, and so few people will ever read these sorts of posts.

Either way, this is the first brick. One that I should have laid down along with my cousin when we had the chance to write a book together.

That’s gone, but this new opportunity is one that I won’t allow to pass me by.

This has been Kernook of the Demented Ferrets…

“Where stupidity is at its finest and level grinds are par for the course…”

The Demented Ferrets…

To Our Supporters: Thank You!

With your contributions, you make our efforts possible. Thank you for supporting our content.

Patreon Supporters

At the time of this post there are 3 notable contributors.

Demented Minions: Francis Murphy, Josh Sayer, and Andrew Wheal.


If You Enjoyed This Content…

Please consider following us on this blog. We also have other platforms with content to enjoy. At the time of this post we have a Twitter, Twitch, YouTube.

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Welcome To Our New Blog

Hello everyone, it’s Kernook here. I’m probably going to be the one writing the majority of the content on the blog. Kreshenne has skills best suited to other places.

That being said I hope you enjoy what you find here. I’m sure there will be a few typos and spelling errors along the way, but hopefully it won’t be too bad.

With that out of the way, let me begin begin today by giving you five quick facts about us and telling you what we do.

Five Quick Facts

  1. Kreshenne lives in the UK and Kernook lives in the US. There is a five hour timezone difference between us.
  2. We’ve known each other for about 17 years. We first met over the MMORPG Final Fantasy XI. We’ve been friends ever since.
  3. We chose the name “The Demented Ferrets” because of our gaming history. In most of the MMORPG’s we’ve played there has always been a guild/linkshell/free-company/or other group with that name or some variation on it.
  4. Kernook has habit of breaking things and getting lost in games. Kresh has a habit of fixing whatever Kernook broke and being the navigator. Together we make plenty of havoc.
  5. We have been talking about building an online community for years. However, late in 2020 we finally took the steps to make it happen.

What We Do

As content creators we plan to spread across many platforms. Twitch and YouTube will be our main sources of content, but we have this blog too. You can find us on these platforms:

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TwitchLive streamsTuesday: 9:00 PM – 12 AM (GMT)
Wednesday: 9:00 PM – 12:00 AM (GMT)
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YouTubeAnime/Game/Movie reviews. Deep dives/analysis of RWBY.Videos upload Monday, Wednesday, and Friday at 12:00 PM (GMT)
TwitterAnnouncements, Random tweetsWhenever a live stream begins or content releases. Doesn’t have a set schedule.
Our BlogAll kinds of written media including anime, games, RWBY and more.Posts are published every Monday, Wednesday, and Friday at 12:00 PM (GMT)

Why We Do It

We like to play games, we like to make videos, but most of all, we like to have fun. As a dynamic duo, Kreshenne and Kernook strive to have a good time and create content that others enjoy.

If you want to help us do that, you can! All you have to do is “like”, “follow” and “subscribe” to our platforms. If there’s a piece of content you really enjoy, go ahead and share the link to it with others. Helping us to get noticed is an important way that you can help us.

If You Like What We Do…

If you want to help us grow our platforms, you can! All you have to do is “like”, “follow” and “subscribe” to our platforms. If there’s a piece of content you really enjoy, go ahead and share the link to it with others. Helping us to get noticed is an important way that you can help us.

Want to support us with your hard earned money? That’s awesome too. I’ll even make it easy for you.

Our Patreon

As of right now, “The Demented Ferret” Patreon page has seven tiers.

Becoming a Patron at any tier will grant you access to our discord server.

With several tiers available, you can choose the one that’s best for you.

As of this post, we have 3 patrons, and earn roughly $13 a month from our Patreon page.

Final Thoughts

I think that’s about all I have to say for now. Hopefully with all of the links provided you’ll find content to your liking. In tomorrow’s post I’m going to detail the types of written content you’re going to see on this blog going forward. I hope to see you there.

Please don’t forget to subscribe to the blog and our other platforms. Have any questions or comments? Be sure to leave them below.

Remember, you can help us by sharing this post with your friends and family too. If you know someone who likes anime and gaming content, be sure to share this with them. Thanks, and with that I’ll leave it off here.

This has been Kernook, from The Demented Ferrets. See you next time.

“Where stupidity is at its finest and level grinds are par for the course…”

The Demented Ferrets…

To Our Supporters: Thank You!

With your contributions, you make our efforts possible. Thank you for supporting our content. At the time of this post we have three supporters.


Demented Minions: Francis Murphy, Josh Sayer, and Andrew Wheal.


If You Enjoyed This Content…

Please consider following us on this blog. We also have other platforms with content to enjoy. At the time of this post we have a Twitter, Twitch, YouTube.

PLATFORMCONTENTSCHEDULE
TwitchLive streamsTuesday: 9:00 PM – 12 AM (GMT)
Wednesday: 9:00 PM – 12:00 AM (GMT)
Saturday: 12:00 PM – 3:00 PM (GMT)
YouTubeAnime/Game/Movie reviews. Deep dives/analysis of RWBY.Videos upload Monday, Wednesday, and Friday at 12:00 PM (GMT)
TwitterAnnouncements, Random tweetsWhenever a live stream begins or content releases. Doesn’t have a set schedule.
Our BlogAll kinds of written media including anime, games, RWBY and more.Posts are published every Monday, Wednesday, and Friday at 12:00 PM (GMT)

There are plenty of ways to support us. To find out more, click the button below.