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A jarring Tekken 8 colorblind filter is concerning accessibility experts - Best News

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A jarring Tekken 8 colorblind filter is concerning accessibility experts

The developers of Tekken 8 are boosting the upcoming game's accessibility with color blind options, but some experts and users say some of the settings may cause more harm than good. One filter in particular that displays horizontal and vertical black and white lines appears to be causing headaches and vertigo, and may even "hospitalize players (or worse), in the same way as the infamous Pokémon episode," said gaming accessibility specialist Ian Hamilton in a post on X. (We have embedded a still from the game at the bottom of the article. Viewer discretion is advised.)

The various filters were posted by X user @itwhiffed, who said "why is no one talking about the color blind accessibility of Tekken 8." His post thread shows multiple filters for red, green and blue blindness, with different strength settings for each. However, one set of filters also shows characters as vertical and horizontal lines, with different white or black backgrounds.

"Accessibility folks, please stop directly sharing the tweet showing Tekken characters as striped lines," said EA's senior GM for accessibility, James Berg. "The video autoplaying is giving folks migraines. Due to it having parallel lines moving unpredictably, covering much of the screen, I'd expect it's doing worse as well."

He went on to add that "patterns of lines moving on a screen creates a contiguous area of high-frequency flashing, like an invisible strobe… [and] human meat-motors aren't big fans of that." That was verified by some users on X, with one saying the filter "gave me instant vertigo just from a 2-3 second clip that accidentally saw." Tara Wake Voelker, Xbox Game Studios accessibility lead, meanwhile, suggested the Tekken 8 team use EA's photosensitive epilepsy safety testing tool.

Tekken's director Katsuhiro Harada responded to the outcry, saying "a few people, albeit very few, have either misunderstood the accessibility options we are trying, or have only seen the video without actually trying them out in the demo play."

He added that the game features "multiple types of color vision options" for players with color blindness, not just one pattern, and that there is "quite a range of adjustment." He also noted that the feature received positive feedback from many demo play participants.

"The intent here is fantastic — it's great to see Tekken becoming more accessible," said Berg. "Please take the advice from Ian and Tara's posts. We all want to see this succeed." Harada and the Tekken 8 team still have time to do that, as the game is due out on January 26th.

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