Reconfigure the giant red button
Many of us take playing games for granted, but there are people who struggle daily and their voices must be heard. For example, I have several friends who are deaf gamers and they lament when a game has no subtitles. The industry does tackle disability issues on occasion, Infinity Ward recently announced that the upcoming Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3 will have a color blind assist mode. The latest game to cotton on to disability awareness is Portal 2 with the announcement that button reconfiguration will be introduced in a future update.
The story behind why Valve have decided to introduce button custom mapping is an interesting one, as it hints at the power of the community voice. Chuck Bittner is a gamer who struggles to reach all the buttons on a control pad so he set up an online petition to several developers and publishers asking them for the option to remap buttons in their games. Valve heard the 74,000+ voices on this list so far and is doing just this.
Adding options such as subtitles, color blind assist modes and button remapping should be encouraged across the games industry. These options can be hidden away in the menus so that the majority of people can choose to ignore them, but other gamers who rely on them will be able to play co-op on a more even level. Anyway, who out there has not wanted to switch the subtitles on because the house is too noisy, or wanted to invert the Y axis on their friend's controller so that it messes with their head?