Inclusivity continues to be a key talking point in the entertainment industry, which is certainly a result of years, even decades of hard work by those who have been overlooked by mainstream creatives in the past. Now, the entertainment Tagg Magazine covers includes a great many examples of more inclusive media, from the actors and people hired to the direction of stories. Of course, there’s a lot to inclusivity that’s needed in entertainment, but there are at least some fine examples emerging in perhaps the less-inclusive mediums.
Accessing entertainment these days often requires the use of devices, and even with price-accessible smartphones, they’re not always inclusive to everyone – sometimes being too sensitive, for example. Tackling one of the biggest problems in this regard is the company Microsoft. Recently becoming even more popular with Teams, the tech company has made a point of inclusivity in its products in the past, and that has culminated in its specialized controller setups for its video game console, the Xbox.
Also usable with PCs, the Adaptive Controller is primarily for people with limited mobility, and external devices can be added to customize the setup in whatever way is needed. As much of gaming comes down to reactions and dexterity, it’s clear that it’s not an overly inclusive entertainment medium, but the likes of touch screens and this new controller are certainly accessible and important steps towards a more inclusive industry.
Knowing that the Metaverse is on the horizon, many people are excited to see what being in a new virtual world will be like, with people being able to design their own online persona and explore the digital space. For people living with disabilities, virtual reality is already giving some the chance to do even more, which is what WalkinVR aims to achieve. It’s software that allows you to play the best games in VR if you’re of limited mobility in the real world. So, the likes of Fruit Ninja, Beat Saber, Box VR, and Job Simulator are now inclusive in the VR space.
Similarly, the suite FitXR has developed is loaded with total body workouts and has been made in collaboration with the Guinness World Record-holder for being the fastest man on two hands, Zion Clark. Of course, there are some more subtle, but no less important, gains made to help the inclusivity of entertainment, such as viewing tools. The 2019 universal remove from Logitech Harmony, the Express, was one of many remote accessibility options, but one of only a few with voice activation. There are now many more options for people with noise sensitivity, like the products Loop makes.
One of the most baseline forms of inclusivity is to make products that are as accessible as possible. It’s because of price points that so many people of poorer backgrounds have struggled to enjoy the same forms of entertainment as many others. While the home entertainment space of DVDs and DVD players was quite expensive at the time, it has been royally usurped by streaming, while in the high-price land of gaming, which is very expensive as Tom’s Guide shows, mobiles have created accessibility. Not just for making use of the tips Tagg Magazine has for dating, as everyone needs a smartphone, making something mobile-optimized immediately makes it more inclusive. In fact, the developers Samsung has write about the importance of mobile accessibility in helping people living with disabilities, such as by optimizing touchscreen interactions.
It’s this desire to be accessible to all that has so many entertainment companies go big on mobile offerings, with the slot Betway page indicating as much. The games themselves span many different themes, protagonists, and preferences, from Agent Jane Blonde Returns to Maui Mischief and Magic of Sahara, but importantly, all are mobile-optimized. With very simple controls for touchscreen devices, the slots are very accessible. Similarly, the story control app Eko brings the decision-making viewer experience to mobiles. Reviewed as “interactive TV that works,” a simple tap on the screen progresses the story as you wish, opening up the concept to everyone with a mobile – especially as it’s a free app. Price barriers have been an issue for many in the past, but modern entertainment brands are embracing inclusivity through accessibility.
While not quite enough, it’s clear that creatives behind movies and TV shows are making more of a concerted effort to be more inclusive of people from different backgrounds and orientations. The Academy Award winner Coda shows a strong step in the right direction. Still, the biggest – in terms of revenues – entertainment industry in the world is that of gaming. Last year, the list VentureBeat put out of the best-selling games in the United States featured just one game in the top 20 that wasn’t led by a white male – several did have multiple-choice or custom characters, though.
That game was Marvel’s Spider-Man: Miles Morales. This year, Horizon Forbidden West has brought back the much-loved Aloy, with her adventures in the post-apocalyptic, machine animal-laden landscape of western North America, once again proving that you can make a best-selling, critically-acclaimed game with a woman as the only playable character. Later this year, the game Forspoken could well further cement this stance – if it even needed it – which stars Frey Holland, a woman from New York. A welcomed addition earlier this year came in the custom character game Tiny Tina’s Wonderlands. In the customization options, you get to pick your character’s pronouns regardless of how you build the person.
In 2022, we’re already seeing some strong moves by the mainline producers of entertainment to be more accessible and inclusive, with more hopefully on the way.