Home Tekken 8’s colorblind mode is causing vertigo and migraines for some, despite best intentions

Tekken 8’s colorblind mode is causing vertigo and migraines for some, despite best intentions

As accessibility in games gets ever better, genres such as fighting games have proved to be a more difficult nut to crack for the programmers looking to widen their audiences to include everybody possible.

Superfast gameplay and blurs of colors and effects do not lend themselves well to being modified to make them more accessible to those with visual impairments. Some previous games within the genre have been modded to help and we have recently seen Street Fighter 6 introduce audio information for blind players, highlighting stats such as remaining health, distance from the opponent, and so on.

Tekken 8, when it arrives, will have fully baked-in modes and options for those with visual impairments such as colorblindness, with one mode removing color completely and applying a black-and-white striped filter across the fighters to easily separate them from the background.

So far, so noble. Until multiple players of the demo, or even those watching game footage started to complain that the mode was inducing migraines.

Ars Technica reports that game-accessibility lead at EA, Morgan Baker posted on X, “Please stop tagging me in the Tekken 8 “colorblind” stripe filters. It’s already induced an aura migraine for me and I can’t afford to get another one right now, or worse. Appreciate y’all.”

The issue seems to be focused on the striped filter mainly, and Tekken 8 does offer further colorblind options that seem to work more as intended.

Why is Tekken 8 causing migraines for some people?

Aura migraines are also known as ‘classic migraines’ and include symptoms such as vision changes and flashes of light.

Xbox Accessibility Project Manager James Berg urged people on X to stop sharing the tweet showing the effect, saying, “Accessibility folks, please stop directly sharing the tweet showing Tekken characters as striped lines.

The video auto-playing is giving folks migraines. Due to it having parallel lines moving unpredictably, covering much of the screen, I’d expect it’s doing worse as well.”

He continued in a further post, “For folks unaware of why – patterns of lines moving on a screen creates a contiguous area of high-frequency flashing, like an invisible strobe. Human meat-motors aren’t big fans of that. Everyone has some tolerance for it, but go too far & bad things ensue.”

Tekken 8 Director Katsuhiro Harada responded, also on X, “We have “multiple types of color vision options” for players with different color vision, not just one pattern. In addition to that, there is also a brightness adjustment for effects and an overall brightness adjustment, and with those, there is quite a range of adjustments. On top of that, we have never claimed or publicized that these options cover all players’ color vision (although it has been talked about by a favorable community as a result).

These color vision options are a rare part of the fighting game genre, but they are still being researched and we intend to expand on them in the future. Currently, we have received positive feedback from many demo play participants, but we understand that this option does NOT address the color vision of ALL players in the world.”

Perhaps not exactly the most understanding of responses. We are not going to link to the video for obvious reasons, but if you suffer from visual impairments, migraines, and other similar symptoms, care should be taken if you intend to play Tekken 8 with this mode activated.

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The ReadWrite Editorial policy involves closely monitoring the tech industry for major developments, new product launches, AI breakthroughs, video game releases and other newsworthy events. Editors assign relevant stories to staff writers or freelance contributors with expertise in each particular topic area. Before publication, articles go through a rigorous round of editing for accuracy, clarity, and to ensure adherence to ReadWrite's style guidelines.

Paul McNally
Gaming Editor

Paul McNally has been around consoles and computers since his parents bought him a Mattel Intellivision in 1980. He has been a prominent games journalist since the 1990s, spending over a decade as editor of popular print-based video games and computer magazines, including a market-leading PlayStation title published by IDG Media. Having spent time as Head of Communications at a professional sports club and working for high-profile charities such as the National Literacy Trust, he returned as Managing Editor in charge of large US-based technology websites in 2020. Paul has written high-end gaming content for GamePro, Official Australian PlayStation Magazine,…

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