The term “blind playthrough” is a term that is used a lot in gaming, especially when it comes to content creators that might be playing a game for the first time. While the phrase is pretty commonplace within gaming and content creation, it’s something which has caused controversy in the past. Twitch has now removed the “blind playthrough” tag on its streaming platform in response to criticism from some in the disabled community.
To explain more about the phrase, it’s most widely-recognised as being a term which shows that the player hasn’t before played the game. For example if I was to play Ghost of Tsushima in a livestream on Twitch I might title the video “Ghost of Tsushima: Blind Playthrough” or “Going in Blind,” so users would know I hadn’t played it previously.
However it has come to light that a first time playthrough being referred to as “blind” can be offensive to gamers without sight, or gamers with visual impairments or disabilities.
This issue was brought to the attention of top streaming platform Twitch after it received criticism from some disabled gamers, who pointed out that there are plenty of other ways to show audiences their playthrough is one being done for the first time.
Steven Spohn, COO of Able Gaming put out a series of tweets offering advice and guidance to give gamers a number of alternative terms.
Spohn responded with two alternatives that could replace the terms “blind playthrough” or “going in blind”.
He replied by saying that “‘Blind play through’ or ‘going in blind’ can easily be replaced by saying ‘No spoilers play through’ or ‘Undiscovered’ or ‘first’ (if it is your first).”
This feedback on using different terms has resulted in Twitch removing the tags in question on their platforms, which can be used to find a certain criteria of video game playthroughs.
Following the removal of the tags Twitch Director of Community and Creator Marketing Erin Wayne offered two alternative terms, saying: “You can still use ‘First Playthrough’ or opt to use it in combination with ‘No Spoilers’ for the same sentiment.“
Steve Saylor, who runs the YouTube channel Blind Gamer, explained the use of the term “blind” from his own perspective.
“Changing the term ‘blind playthrough’ is not SJWs being super sensitive,” said Saylor.
“I’ve said this before, ‘first playthrough; is a better description anyway. I personally am not offended by it, but I do think it’s a term that can go away. Language changes over time, so let it.“
This change in everyday use of our language might seem like a small gesture to some, but it could mean a lot of many others.
Where do you stand on the matter – was Twitch right to remove the “blind playthrough” tags from the streaming platform?
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