Last night, Sony Interactive Entertainment revealed that it is taking the next step toward global inclusion. The giant tech company announced that CEO Jim Ryan is the latest to join a coalition of high profile CEOs advocating the inclusion of disabled persons throughout the industry. This was the brainchild of Disability:IN, a leading non-profit resource for business disability inclusion worldwide. Specifically, this is part of the charity’s “Are you IN” campaign.
This is surely a welcome move in a medium that is too often lampooned for, frankly immature behaviour and trolling. With a bit of luck, it might begin to dispel stubborn myths of old. Inclusion of all persons into the happy fold of gamers we are proud to inhabit is close to our heart. Those familiar with the gruelling 24 streams we misguidedly undertake from time to time will know this well. We climb that masochistic mountain not in an all out effort of self flagellation, no. We do it in complete support of Special Effect. It’s an awesome charity that makes gaming possible for those previously unable to partake. It is fantastic news that Sony have taken up this most worthy of mantles, and we hope others will follow in its stead.
Connecting the World though the Power of Play
The bulk of the commitment, and what this means is divulged in SIE’s CEO Letter n Disability Inclusion. It’s mission, now it seems it to connect all of the world though the power of play. Jim Ryan had this to say about the move,
“At Sony Interactive Entertainment, we strive to create products and experiences accessible to people of all abilities. Our commitment to supporting an inclusive environment for our community of players, developers, employees, and partners is core to our business and builds the foundation for our mission: to connect the world through the power of play. We are proud to join Disability:IN to help workplaces become more inclusive, accessible, and equitable to all.”
As part of the initiative, every CEO that joins commits to leveraging the Disability Equality Index (DEI). This is a comprehensive benchmarking tool for disability inclusion. Disability:IN and the American Association of People with Disabilities founded the initiative. Disability:IN it should be said, are more than happy with the move from SIE,
“We’re very proud of Jim Ryan for his global leadership in making Sony Interactive Entertainment inclusive of people with disabilities and asking other leaders to do the same. Sony’s commitment to making technology platforms accessible to customers with disabilities has opened up gaming to millions of people. Jim Ryan joins more than 50 CEOs who are prioritising disability inclusion across their enterprise to create employment, ignite innovation, and deliver positive social impact.”Jill Houghton, President and CEO, Disability:IN
Overcoming Limitations of Age, Physical Conditions and Environment
In Sony’s self proclaimed mission to “strive for a future where everyone shares the moment, overcoming the limitations of age, physical conditions, and environment,” this is indeed an important milestone. For too long the industry has been plagued with an ageing stigma of exclusion and elitism. Then again, give a 12 year old an AK47, and a microphone and phrases like “tea-bagging” were all but inevitable. But things surely have moved on. Those who played Mario in his glorious NES debut now move begrudgingly through their 40s. Isn’t it about time the old labels matured, too? We hope this move from Sony will encourage, if not catalyse this overdue overhaul in gaming zeitgeist.
Source; Sony Interactive Entertainment
“Video games are great. I should know, I’ve played some.”
Olly S, July 2020