## PATCH 1.21 FOR HORIZON FORBIDDEN WEST ADDS THALASSOPHOBIA MODE
The latest update for Horizon Forbidden West, patch 1.21, has been released by Guerrilla Games ahead of the Burning Shores DLC. In addition to some quality-of-life improvements, such as auto item pickup and subtitle size options, the update includes a thalassophobia mode. Thalassophobia, the fear of deep water, can be a significant barrier for some players, but this mode aims to ease symptoms with improved underwater visibility and the ability to breathe indefinitely, regardless of story progression.
## GAMES ARE INCORPORATING ACCESSIBILITY FEATURES BEYOND PHYSICAL ABILITY
Video games are slowly improving their accessibility features, with first-party Sony games leading the way. These options cater to individuals with specific needs, such as high-contrast modes for low vision and audio cue modes for interaction prompts. However, accessibility goes beyond physical ability, and some games are addressing other barriers to entry. For example, Grounded has an arachnophobia mode that transforms spiders into harmless blobs, while Amnesia: Rebirth has an Adventure mode that removes monsters and turns up the lights.
## DESIGNING ACCESSIBILITY FEATURES FOR ALL PLAYERS
Designing accessibility features for everyone can make a game more accessible to a wider audience. Guerrilla’s thalassophobia mode is designed to cater to players with a specific fear, but an inverse mode could make the game even more thrilling for those seeking a challenge. Thinking beyond physical ability when designing game features can result in an even more enjoyable experience for players.
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