The modern world doesn’t stand still. It is becoming more adaptive, more flexible, and more diverse. And this happens in different spheres, including esports. This form of competition using video games covered at https://cover.gg/players has gained a huge army of followers. And it keeps improving its gaming experience by covering new categories of players.
The Olympic Games have created gaming opportunities for disabled sportsmen. Why can’t esports do the same thing? They have already invited disabled Japanese esports players to join professionally organized competitions. Compared to the massive esports industries in China and South Korea, esports in Japan has just started to take off. So let’s see how the whole initiative works and whether it has any future.
New Means Are Being Developed
Daiki Kato, a Japanese social worker, introduced its initiative under the name of ePara. His plan was to provide disabled gamers with more equal opportunities to participate in the competitive gaming environment. Disabled professional gamers were employed by Kato’s company, where they were offered to develop their skills between tasks such as maintaining the business’s website and monitoring gaming events.
Daiki Kato’s initiative is based on the understanding of disabled players’ needs. Through additional support, they can play video games. This is a big step toward complete inclusion since it helps them become more “normalized” despite physical impairments.
Competitions Are Already in the Development Process
A number of advocacy groups, activists, and social groups is working hard to create more opportunities for disabled people to participate in esports competitions. Trying to expand participation in the often niche hobby of esports, the British eSports Association announced a Rocket League event for alternative provision classes. Due to the growing success of the pilot event, it is expected that regular operations resume as conditions get more reasonable.
The Special Olympic Games has added an esports subsection, considering the proliferation of events like Netmarble’s National eFestival Competitions and the Gunma eSports Festival in Takasaki. Both of them were created with disabled gamers in mind.
Despite all the good intentions, it’s important not to overlook the significance of the community’s own voices in order to provide them with the necessary assistance they’re most comfortable with. “Those with disabilities” include individuals, each of whom has unique experiences and preferences when it comes to attitude. Even though some people are looking for independence, others prefer assistance. Some athletes decide to compete in their own leagues, while others don’t.
Competitors Are Already Here
Are there any disabled esports players that have achieved success? Yes, there are some highly successful disabled eSports players who realized their opportunities in the right way. Shunya Hatakeyama is one of them. Being a professional street fighter with muscular dystrophy, he knows a couple of lethal combinations by using his chin on the controller.
Tuck Griggs, an Overwatch gamer, uses his feet to play the game. Despite this heavy disability, he has reached the top 5% of the best players. He noted how difficult it is to keep a balance throughout the gameplay. But he has succeeded in this. Griggs thinks that both the current eSports league and the future eSports league for disabled people should rely on the standard rules. However, the policies of the tournaments definitely should protect and empower people with impairments.
The real beauty of eSports competitions can be seen through the growing involvement of disabled and non-disabled gamers. Many of them have already demonstrated what they are capable of. When meeting and competing against each other, they stick to the standard set of rules.
In modern realities, it takes a little bit more effort and open-mindedness to make eSports the next big thing for disabled people. Once this initiative gets enough public attention, it won’t be stopped by anyone or anything.