As Gus Mastrapa writes in GameLife, Platinum Games's upcoming brawler Bayonetta will feature a mode which allows gamers to play through the entire game using a single button. The title, which will be released for the Xbox 360 and the PS3, is, essentially, a mainstream one-switch game.

While some gamers respond to this news with eye-rolling and masturbation jokes I think integrating single-switch gameplay into a mainstream title is a wonderful idea. Very Easy Automatic Mode is just that—a mode. Players don't have to use this option if the don't want to. But this mode opens the game up to players with motor and intellectual disabilities. While I doubt that Bayonetta will be a system-seller for players with disabilities, I do hope that what Hideki Kamiya and company are doing here encourages other developers to plan for disabled gamers when designing their projects.

Tera Kirk

Tera Kirk

Tera Kirk grew up in a small Nebraska town called Papillion. Although she has a nonverbal learning disability that affects her visual-spatial skills (among other things), she's always loved video games. Her first game system was a Commodore Vic-20, which her mom bought at a garage sale for $20. With this little computer Tera learned to write Mad Libs in BASIC, to play chess and to steal gold from Fort Knox.

But then a friend introduced her to the seedy underworld of the Mario brothers and she spent her saved-up birthday and Christmas money to buy a Nintendo Entertainment System (NES). Her mom didn't like the Nintendo at first, but The Legend of Zelda changed her mind. (When Tera got Zelda II: The Adventure of Link one Christmas, she suspected it was as much for her mother as for her).

Though she graduated from Agnes Scott College in 2002 and recently learned how to find the movie theater restroom by herself, Tera still loves video games. Far from being a brain-rotting waste of time, they've helped her practice spatial skills and discover new passions. Her love of games like Kid Icarus and The Battle of Olympus led to a degree in Classical Languages and Literatures. She thinks games have a place in discussions on disability and other cultural issues, and is excited to work with the like-minded staff at
Tera Kirk

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Barrie Ellis
12 years ago

My gob is smacked! What fantastic news. Thanks for posting this Tera! More please!