The teams at Xbox Game Studios and Playground Games have been going the extra mile in the name of accessibility with Forza Horizon 5. However, they continue to aim higher and the latest result is a first for an Xbox first-party title. On Monday, Playground announced that American Sign Language (ASL) and British Sign Language (BSL) would be added to all of Forza Horizon's 5 in-game cinematics.
Forza Horizon 5's sign language update will be added, free of charge, on Tuesday, March 1. By entering the Settings menu, selecting Accessibility, and checking off the Sign Language Picture-in-Picture option, players can enable a picture-in-picture box for every one of the game's 150 cinematics. Actors from the deaf community will translate each of these cinematics to interpret dialogue for any deaf players.
"There are so many people with disabilities and people who are deaf," Microsoft chief accessibility officer Jenny Lay-Flurrie, herself a deaf person, said on the Microsoft website. "And, there are a lot of closed doors every day. And what I mean by that is that we are consistently and constantly dealing with inequities that exist. The fact that I can just be on the same level playing field as them means I'm not focused on a closed door. I'm not trying to solve for an inequity. I'm being present with my family and there's nothing that's more important to me than that. It's communicating to me as a deaf individual. Play is an important aspect of everyone’s lives, now more than ever as many will continue to be socially isolated given the pandemic."
Forza Horizon 5 is already an excellent package in itself, taking honors for the Shacknews Best Racing Game of 2021. The addition of ASL and BSL support to help ensure more people get to experience this game is a wonderful thing. Keep an eye out this Tuesday for the big update. We'll continue looking out for any further updates from Forza Horizon 5, so keep it here on Shacknews for the latest as it comes in.
Ozzie Mejia posted a new article, Forza Horizon 5 to add sign language accessibility support this week
So at first I t hoguht WTF? They still can read. I can't gauge how important it is to someone who is deaf to see sign language instead of reading text in a game. They do have to read stuff like everyone else all day long, so I'm not sure why it's more difficult in games but if it helps them get along so be it.