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The Outer Worlds

Why The Outer Worlds Has No Color-Blind Mode

Gamers who wondered why action-rpg title The Outer Worlds has no color-blind menu options received their answer today, in the form of a tweet from Obsidian studio design director Josh Sawyer (@jesawyer).

According to Sawyer’s tweet, The Outer Worlds has no color-blind menu options for a simple, straightforward reason: the game is designed to be playable without requiring any color-based information. Indicators, icons, and other means provide redundancy with information players normally discern via color, making an actual color-blind option in and of itself redundant.

Gamers can apparently thank Obsidian director Tim Cain and his team for this accessibility-forward thinking, as Cain himself has a rare form of color-blindness approaching monochromatic vision. For those with this form of color blindness, the world appears in shades of grey. Two more forms of color-blindness are more common, with red-green color blindness the most prolific, affecting eight percent of males and 0.5 percent of females of Northern European ancestry.

Keeping this in mind, one can surmise that a great many gamers are affected by color blindness. While most modern games are built with a color-blind selection in the menu, the options tend to be lackluster in practice, either placing a filter over the entire screen or only shifting the colors of some UI elements. In fact, even some extremely popular games such as Overwatch have color-blind options that can make the game seem more confusing rather than less so. 

To create an entire game with the scope of The Outer Worlds while keeping color-blind players in mind, therefore, is an effort all gamers can applaud. Anything that increases the accessibility of gaming to a wider audience, such as those with color-blindness or physical disability can only be good for the gaming industry and community as a whole.

Gaming Instincts is dedicated to bringing its readers all the latest and greatest news and updates for all of their favorite titles and more. Be sure to follow Gaming Instincts on Facebook and Twitter for more gaming news!

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