While you can read an in-detail breakdown of all accessibility settings in the game, what The Last of Us 2 creators did extremely well was not succumbing to the idea of ‘accessibility modes’.
“‘We want to be able to dig into the menus, fine-tune things, adjust things, really get into the nitty-gritty of what these options mean.'”
Making all of the accessibility settings fully customizable and open to fine-tuning by the player allowed everyone to find the perfect combination of options for their individual access needs. It removed barriers for many who wouldn’t be able to experience the game at all otherwise, but also allowed others to just make their gameplay experience more comfortable.
If Naughty Dog made the game high contrast for all the players and called it a day, it would probably not be dubbed ‘the most accessible game ever.’
There is no one size fits all when it comes to accessibility. Instead of choosing who to prioritize and counting tradeoffs for certain choices like universal high contrast mode, the obvious solution would be to let the user choose.
Similar approach can be taken with any accessibility work at a large scale. There is no blanket ‘accessibility mode’ or ‘accessibility setting’ (save for basic compliance) that will fit everyone’s needs. Giving the user full control to set up what works best for them is always the better choice.
During my stint as WordPress lead developer, I was in the “Decisions, Not Options” camp . There are merits to the philosophy, but it can be taken to inaccessible ends.
There will always be conflicting accommodations. Customization is key, especially at scale.
This is a great example of how some access needs routinely get centered over others within "accessible" processes!— Alex Haagaard (they/them) (@alexhaagaard) August 11, 2021
High contrast is notoriously NOT accessible for many photosensitive & chronically pained folks. https://t.co/c1AQNkMvC0
Another thing: part of why certain digital access needs get ignored like this has to do with the way we as a society don't consider pain or discomfort or energetic expenditure as legitimate access concerns. https://t.co/Oavj0Lxa6s— Alex Haagaard (they/them) (@alexhaagaard) August 12, 2021