Welcome to Can I Play That?
We have been doing video game accessibility work for a few years now and we’ve noticed a disappointing pattern in the video game writing community:
A new game is released that brings a new standard of accessibility. For a couple weeks there are stories applauding the game’s accessibility innovations and a huge portion of the games community is talking about it. Then the novelty wears off and accessibility largely disappears from mainstream game writing until the Next Big Thing comes out.
What’s more is that too often, it’s not disabled gamers doing the writing. It’s usually our abled allies that get the writing gigs and while they often feature disabled gamers in their pieces, they’re still the ones speaking for us.
Can I Play That? aims to change that.
We want to be the one publication that never lets the accessibility conversation end. And we want disabled gamers to take the lead and be in the spotlight. After all, who better to write about game accessibility than those that rely on and benefit from it?
So, welcome to Can I Play That? where the mic will be given to those often overlooked and the conversation about game accessibility doesn’t end simply because a game has been out for a few weeks. We can’t wait to talk with you.
Can I Play That? was started in 2018 by Susan Banks and Courtney Craven after four years at the now retired Deaf game review site, oneoddgamergirl.net.
We’re always looking for new writers to join our team to cover all areas of game accessibility, even in TTRPGs and board games!
What is Can I Play That?
We are a game accessibility resource for both players and developers. Here you will find in-depth accessibility reviews for games, commentary and opinion pieces from disabled gamers, helpful accessibility guides, and our Community Soapbox feature where you can get to know members of the community.
Who founded Can I Play that?
Can I Play That was founded in 2018 by Susan Banks and Courtney Craven after five years doing Deaf/hard of hearing accessibility reviews at oneoddgamergirl.net.
Who runs Can I Play That?
Courtney Craven and Specious Coda-Bishop are the editors for CIPT now.
Are you taking submissions right now?
Yes! We are always looking for submissions for every one of our verticals.
How do I submit to Can I Play That?
Head on over to the “Submit to Can I Play That” page for details on how to fubmit to us.
What topics can I cover for Can I Play That?
Aside from our in-depth reviews, we also have the article categories, How I Play, Why I Play, and general accessibility and industry commentary. The only thing we do not take submissions for are the Community Soapbox feature (though you are always welcome to suggest someone for this).
Do you pay for submissions?
No. CIPT is funded solely from our Patreon and they keep the lights on. No one receives payment – neither Courtney or Specious receive any payment for running CIPT.
Do you support industry?
We have a variety of guides available for industry on our website as well as an active social media presence where we are always happy to answer whatever accessibility questions we can.
How do you review games?
We have revamped our criteria for how we review video games. This is so that readers who want specific information have it right at their fingertips. This is also an editorial decision, this means that the criteria in which we review games is systematic.
However we do have some specific rules for our reviews and they are:
- Don’t assess features that you don’t rely on. For example, a deaf reviewer would not speculate as to how accessible a game is for blind players, someone doing a cognitive accessibility review may assess the subtitles but only as they rely on them and not speculate as to how helpful they are for a deaf player, etc.
- Remember you are reviewing the accessibility, not the content. We will not publish reviews that give the content a rating. If you love a game, of course you are welcome to say so, but that should not be the focus of your review. Keeping this in mind is also helpful when reviewing a game you don’t particularly like but it has great accessibility.
- Provide feedback concerning how the things that didn’t work for you could be better. We have a lot of developers that read our reviews and our goal is to be educational.
- Don’t trash the developers or studio of a game with poor accessibility. We realize that it’s frustrating to have barriers in a game but your review is not the place to vent your frustration. Explain what failed you and why, explain what could work better for you, and leave it at that.
As a developer what can I do to make my games better?
Listen. Listen to your fanbase, listen to your advocates. Pay for consultants time to review and then consider their feedback. Hire people with different opinions and values than you. Read up on documents like our accessibility guides. Attend events with different developers and player bases. Support your industry by keeping accessibility in mind at the very beginning of designing your game.
A special note concerning Deaf/hoh reviews:
We are rarely in need of these from contributors. The vast majority of major console game releases will be reviewed by me (Courtney) as that’s always been my area of coverage and what I spent five years doing with CIPT’s co-founder and my partner, Susan. After she passed away the Deaf/hoh reviews became a way to remember her and do something in her memory, so they’re a bit personal for me. You’re always welcome to ask if we have plans to review a game, but more often than not, I have plans to review it. (I don’t very often play PC-only games, so those we are always in need of Deaf/hoh reviews of.)