Hey, Vikings! Have you heard about all the delays in hotly anticipated big name video game releases? Final Fantasy VII, Cyberpunk 2077—the stars are no longer aligned for timely releases! And we were so so good this time, even. Alas, that’s the way it goes I suppose. I could go on and on about waiting and waiting for releases (Dragon Age, Elder Scrolls) but that doesn’t make releases happen sooner! Anyway…
Did you know that there is a movement to make video games more inclusive and accessible? Websites such as accessible.games have worked to create guides for best practices, and major console creators such as Microsoft have released accessible, adaptive controllers. Making a concerted effort to include all gamers regardless of ability should be a top-level concern for studios, producers and other devs. This process isn’t just limited to game-specific technologies, even virtual reality tech needs a little bit of help when it comes to accessibility.
If you want to play video games, there’s no better place than the Viking Gameroom, by the way. Located in the basement of Smith Memorial Student Union, the Gameroom has a variety of rentables for your gaming enjoyment. There’s also a fighting game club called, you guessed it, the Fighting Game Club. Portland State’s competitive gaming scene is fairly robust, and Vanguard has covered players in years past. Tournaments around Smash Brothers, Tekken and other fighting games have always been huge so it’s no surprise to see such contests at PSU.
Have you heard that Final Fantasy XIV is the top massively multiplayer online role-playing game in the ranking list in my head? I’m a bit biased; I love FFXIV. I play on Behemoth and Coeurl. Accessibility in this game is fantastic, including colorblindness settings and various methods of sound and subtitle enhancement. A colorblindness setting might not seem important, but color is a major tool for displaying information in video games: life/health bars, warning icons and even the names above friend and foe.
Moving on, have you heard that PSU’s Campus Rec Center is celebrating 10 years of offering a place to work out with classmates? It’s true! As a part of this celebration, Campus Rec is offering a deal on personal training until the end of the month of February and an indoor triathlon on Feb. 27. Meanwhile, Outdoor Programs at Campus Rec continue to offer more chances to get out into the wild this term, including an upcoming trip to Smith Rock in Central Oregon.
Campus Rec also has an amazing inclusive recreation program. Try hand-operated cardio, or request velcro straps to help you with certain weight training equipment or hop in the pool gently with a lift. LGBTQ+ rec programs and those for women and veterans are organized under inclusive rec. Wheelchair sports are also scheduled regularly, with open inclusive sports hours held each week.
Finally, here’s a reminder that taking some time away from work and study is important for well-being. Ohio State University points out that leisure time has mental health benefits, including decreased depression. Harvard Medical School suggests that activities like gardening, golfing and other moderate fitness activities are powerful in combating risk of heart disease.