Technology

Colour-blind aid for World of Warcraft game

Screen grab of colour blindness filters Image copyright Blizzard
Image caption Three types of colour-blindness filters will be offered to players

Blizzard, the games company behind World of Warcraft, has added an interface to assist users who have colour blindness.

It is adding three sets of colour-blind filters, and users will be able to fine tune the mode to take account of their particular visual issues.

The condition affects one in 12 men and one in 200 women, with red-green colour blindness the most common.

But not everyone was convinced that the changes would be helpful.

The new modes will be available in the World of Warcraft patch 6.1 and will include text enhancements to help identify particular weapons.

The patch is currently being tested before general release.

Candy Crush

Image copyright Ian Hamilton
Image caption Candy Crush as viewed by someone with normal vision and (on right) as viewed by someone with colour blindness

Accessibility expert Ian Hamilton, who has created an app to make the London Underground easier to navigate for those with the condition, said the enhancements were not perfect.

"I don't want to knock them. They have gone to the effort of doing something about it, but they are choosing the wrong colours to replace the traditional ones," he told the BBC.

This, he said, could be easily tweaked.

Lots of gaming firms were now beginning to design games with colour-blind players in mind, although there was more that could be done, said Mr Hamilton.

"Candy Crush is a perfect example of how you can design shape as well as colour. Although this is the case for most of the game, it isn't for the later levels when they introduce bombs and eggs. At that stage, they are losing people," said Mr Hamilton.

Colour Blind Awareness founder Kathryn Albany-Ward said: "Games generally do cause a lot of problems, and there are a lot of people in the gaming community putting pressure on the gaming firms to bring in colour-blind friendly modes."

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