Color Blindness in the Digital Gaming Landscape: Addressing Critical Issues and Research Gaps
Keywords:visual impairments, color blindness, color vision deficiency, accessibility in games, game interactions, gaming experience and game art/visualization
Color blindness is a condition that affects a significant portion of the population, particularly men. It is characterized by difficulty perceiving colors in the same way as people with normal color vision, which can result in confusion when distinguishing between different colors. This can impact various aspects of life, including playing digital games. In computer games, colors are often used to convey important information, such as distinguishing enemies from allies or indicating objectives. A person with color blindness may have difficulty identifying these visual cues, which can make the game less enjoyable and even affect their ability to play the game. Previous research has been conducted on accessiblity but very few of these studies have focused on the intersection of color blindness and digital games. The aim of this study is to examine the relationship between color blindness and game design through a comprehensive literature review, identifying key findings and highlighting any missing components in the existing research. To accomplish this, the sources were classified according to their focus, method, and findings. From examining all of the resources found, the studies in the intersection between color blindness and game design that reviewed, organized into various subject headings for further analysis and understanding. It was explored that the researches organized under certain four main topics as follows: (1) defining guidelines to provide better game experience for color blind individuals, (2) offering alternative methods for detecting color blindness; and (3) examining technologies developed to improve the visual experience of color blind individuals and (4) examining color blindness on gaming performance. Additionally, the majority of the reviewed studies focus on discussing digital games in terms of accessibility, while some studies suggest utilizing games as a testing method and educational tool for individuals with accessibility issues, effectively turning challenges into advantages. On the other hand, they also explore the potential of games in solving problems related to accessibility in gaming. However, there is still many issues to be explored in terms of understanding how color blindness affects the experience of games. There is a research gap in exploring whether color blind individuals experience physical and sensory differences in perceiving digital game visuals, as no study has been conducted to address this aspect. It may address critical issues in understanding the color blindness experience from the perspective of perception and senses of this disadvantaged group.