Will surgery or an operation restore my hearing
Ask Anna: Will an operation restore my hearing?
September 27, 2016
tinnitus gene prevention
Study: Gene to ‘turn off’ Tinnitus found
September 29, 2016

Why subtitles are important for deaf gamers

deaf gamer petitions for subtitles

Video games are a second home for me. Ever since I was little I enjoyed immersing myself in a mystical world, taking part in a grand adventure. 

Even more so, I love imagining my character wears hearing aids like me. It’s not something video games mention, ever. I’m free to picture my character wearing whatever color hearing aids I have at the moment.

In my times of isolation, when I felt alone and upset that I had nobody who could relate to my hearing loss, I turned to the virtual world.

Video Game Captions

Modern games usually have voice acting, where actors and actresses voice a particular character. Thankfully, captions usually appear or can be turned on.

But this has fallen through the cracks for some games. Recently, a fellow gamer who goes by the username tigersharkdude on Reddit, expressed disappointment with the lack of subtitles for certain characters’ speech in the popular game Destiny.

tigersharkdude (TSD) has asked Reddit for support in asking Bungie Games, the creators of Destiny, to add captions for all characters, allowing him to play more independently, rather than relying on his friends

I think TSD brought up an great topic. Although the speech that doesn’t have subtitles may not be considered “important” it’s really frustrating to miss out on something a character says. It makes the game lose its involvement factor by making you feel left out.

One of the problems that annoys me the most with modern games is inconsistency. Whether by error or not, sometimes a character says something and no subtitles are provided. Or there’s glitches, where subtitles don’t appear like they should.

Even though not everyone uses or needs the subtitles, I think developers should put more time toward the quality of their captions.

A Possible Solution

My suggestion for video game developers? Use a system similar to Youtube’s “community captions” system.

Youtube’s Community Caption system

Players who notice missing subtitles can submit their own to the developers, creating a fully captioned, fully accessible environment.


What do you think about the availability of captions? Not just in video games, but in movies, T.V., and elsewhere? 

Author Details
I’m Daysia, and I’m 17 years old. I have profound bilateral hearing loss and I wear Phonak Bolero Q50-P hearing aids in both ears. I am pursuing a career in rehabilitative engineering.