Gamer Protests Valve’s Anti-Deaf Policy

Kristina Barber sets up petition for subtitles.

Close to 12% of U.S. citizens alone have severe hearing loss. That equates to about 38 million who can’t hear or can only hear very little, and that is only in the U.S., let alone the rest of the world. As it turns out, many of those people are gamers. However, if you can’t hear the game you are playing, how are you going to follow a game that has any sort of plot without subtitles?

This is the problem Kristina Barber of Manchester, UK, has run into with a multitude of games that she has purchased through Steam. Because of Steam’s current policy of not listing whether a game has subtitles available, there are several times that Kristina has bought a game that is unplayable to her because it doesn’t have subtitles. She is looking to change that.

Kristina has set up a petition on to request that Valve state whether subtitles are included on the Steam listing itself. This would allow those with hearing loss to determine quickly if a game has subtitles, and subsequently, worth buying. Kristina says on the petition,

“Not only would knowing if subtitles are available and in what languages benefit people with a hearing loss / who speak another language but I also believe it would encourage people to purchase and play more games.”

With millions of people suffering from hearing loss, it would be a great thing for Valve to listen to the request. People, regardless of disability, should be allowed to enjoy the games they buy and not feel screwed over something that could be easily fixed. If you would like to support this petition, please head on over to this link.

So, do you think Valve should indicate whether a game listed on Steam has subtitles? Comment below!