Storify: Nintendo and Disabilities

Storify is shutting down in May and has informed users that we have to migrate our content elsewhere if we wish to save it. This is one of my old threads.

*sighs* When would be a good time to talk about Nintendo and ableism?

To start, I'm already very frustrated with Nintendo. Their treatment of Alison Rapp and Zoe Quinn has been dreadful. Please be aware. But I grew up on Nintendo. Some of my earliest memories are of playing Mario on my NES. I had a little child's trampoline. I'd jump on it while I played. I'd jump WITH Mario. This was very important to me, for some reason.

The fondest memory I have of my childhood is a lazy spring day while I played Super Mario 3 and my parents worked in the kitchen nearby. I cried my eyes out for a SNES. Y'all have never seen a kid beg so hard for so long. I mounted a goddamn CAMPAIGN to get that system. My favorite games are still Earthbound, Breath of Fire 2, Final Fantasy "3" (I'm old), Uncharted Waters 2, Mario RPG, Secret of Evermore.

I loved games. I could play them even when I was bed-ridden because of my back. I was excited about my surgery because the children's hospital I was going to had games. ONES I HADN'T PLAYED. I was barely conscious from a several hour surgery I almost didn't wake up from, but asking "where's the games? You promised." They'd wheel these televisions and SNES sets to your hospital bed and let you play. I was too weak to lift the controller. Didn't stop me. Little kid, lying there with hands in lap, IV coming out of my wrist. Playing games with my eyes half-closed from exhaustion.

Games were my escape. I couldn't leave the house some days, but I could rescue a princess. I couldn't jump rope like the other kids, but I could jump as Mario. Games gave me experiences I couldn't otherwise have. Couple years ago, I bought a Nintendo 2DS. I was super excited to play it. Cradled it to my heart. My little red baby. I turned on the 2DS and scrolled through the features. I find out there's stuff that's locked until I've walked a number of steps. 'Coz fatties.

I'm fat. I'm also disabled. I felt like ice water had been dumped over me. It hurt so much more than I can describe with words. I wanted to buy a Wii but never did because half the games aren't compatible with the retro controller. (Or weren't, last I checked.) And Wii Fit and the like just added to the overall fail of No Fatties, No Disableds. Not in their existence, but in their implementation.

Now we got Pokemon Go. *sigh*

I like Pokemon. Played several of the games. Watched the show. I could probably name more of the original set than most my age. I caught Mew in the original games a few years back. Read that you could for real do that and RUSHED to my game. MEW!! I'd LIKE to play Pokemon Go. I'd take pictures from my bed all day as needed. But I gotta go places? Oh. Yeah. That's not possible.

I guess not every game has to be disability compatible, before folks demand a hard line in the sand. But this one so easily could have been? I dunno, maybe you can catch Krabby in your bathtub as well as by the sea. I hope so. But a statement on that would be nice. [Note: You cannot!] I looked but couldn't find one. And it seems like disability accessibility shouldn't be something I have to LOOK for anyway. And I'm still super sore about the 2DS having locked content tied to a pedometer with no way to opt out of that shit. Ouch.

@ash_pana: all they'd have to do is let you change accessibility settings and move the random generator to register home and work (if applicable) as "hotspots". Or individual rooms or areas.

Yes! That would work perfectly! I can't help but feel that a lot of these ableist decisions come from this toxic mentality that games are a competition. If you let Teh Disableds catch pokemon, what will stop able-bodied people from using that setting???!!!!! But, like, who cares?

I'm old enough to remember Nintendo selling Game Cheater cartridges or whatever they were called. So you could input an invincibility code. Why do I need to pay money to input an invincibility code? If I wanna play the game to see the story, why NOT? From a purely capitalist perspective, they ought to WANT me to finish as fast as possible so I'll buy MORE games. My time is their money. From a purely capitalist perspective, spending TIME AND MONEY making the 2DS inaccessible to me COSTS them sales.

Capitalism cannot save us, because businesses make decisions based on fat hatred and disability hatred and weird toxic competition ideals.

If you can watch a Yahtzee video (huge trigger warning for EVERYTHING), he mentions it at 3:17. "The 3DS does come preinstalled with a surprisingly large amount of software, some of which it actually withholds until you've done a few laps of the block, Chunky McGee." @ the 3:30 mark in video.

But I saw NO other reviewer mention this prior to my purchase. Everyday ableism. I appreciate Yahtzee calling out an ablist "feature" that I saw no other discussion on from game reviewers at the time. Thank you and credit to him.


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