The majority of mainstream computer games are “very playable” to “completely accessible” for gamers with an auditory disability, especially older video games which don’t make extensive use of sound. The game Bridge Constructor for example can be played without the need to hear anything.
Closed captioning is a way of subtitling every spoken/heared voices and/or sounds in-game. In this way the gamer with an auditory disability can follow every kind of audio. But everything is way more easy when there is just no spoken audio at all. Farming Simulator 2015 is such an example. With no voice-over, the only thing you’ll hear is a running lawn mower or sounds of a running tractor.
Back in the day
Zork: Grand Inquisator was released in October of 1997. It is considered to be the first video game to feature closed- captioning. In “normal” play, Zork: Grand Inquisitor has a black bar at the bottom of the screen. When the closed captions are turned on, they appear in this black bar where they reproduce the dialog and the sound effects. Color distinguishes the different sounds. With Zork: Grand Inquisitor developer Activision set an example which, unfortunately, took seven years to be followed.
Most games are quite easy to play, but as a gamer with an auditory disability you will stay far away from audiogames such as rubber ducky, especially developed for the blind. For those with hearing, you can find out for yourself what games are easy to play without audio when you can just turn the audio off. If you’re still playing and not lost after 15 minutes the rest of the game will be a piece of cake. If you find any games besides audiogames that are not playable without audio, please let us know!