I Don't Need To Play Games With Captions, But I Do It Anyway. Anyone Else?


In-between all the explosions, I need a little help. Or maybe it's just a weird habit.

This is a companion discussion topic for the original entry at https://waypoint.vice.com/en_us/article/8xx9yx/i-dont-need-to-play-games-captions-on-but-i-do-it-anyway-anyone-else


My girlfriend always watches things with captions and I have picked up the habit. Though, when they don’t match up with dialogue it still drives me nuts.


I used to be an all-captions all-the-time person, even with films (where people definitely get a little crosser if you want them on all the time). As someone who struggled with having to watch TV very quietly when I was younger to avoid disturbing other people, the ability to just have the text available after the transition to DVDs was amazing to me. I’ve pushed myself away from them, but still can be tempted either way.

In games specifically, it varies. I tend to let them stick on whatever the default is, as I feel like games that default to having them off tend to err towards a more cinematic style. I think I prefer them off because I’m a very fast reader, so I’m often skipping ahead of the spoken dialogue at a rate that definitely distances me from what’s happening on screen. As I’m fortunate enough not to have any audio processing difficulties, they aren’t a necessity for me either.


I turn on captions whenever I can in anything. Games, films, TV series, the works.
Mostly because I don’t want to miss anything.


I used to always have the captions on for games, and for similar reasons. But as the visual fidelity has increased, they are able to animate the faces of the characters in such a way that I can more often than not understand what they are saying by both the audio and video cues. So while it used to be a default to have them on, in the last year, I’ve transitioned to starting with them off and seeing if I can follow along and only go back to the captions if I need to.


Definitely. I think I like it due to our always multitasking nature, but if I take my eyes off the screen for a moment or am talking to someone else, it gives me a chance to hopefully catch what I missed. Especially because much of this dialogue happens in cutscenes which is essentially the game telling you to take a break anyways.


Growing up with anime it became familiar having captions on for a lot of things. For games it a matter of keeping my attention during active moments. It when a game has slow pace that I can have my attention at everything I can do without captions.


Yep, I always have them on in games, even if I’m using headphones.

It’s quite common for games to provide context clues or direction through dialogue, and if you miss it, you could get stuck. I play a lot of Lego games with my oldest son and this happens all the time–some random character shouts a thing you should be doing. He’s 5 and still learning to read, and he’s usually not paying attention to dialogue, or he’s talking/asking questions, so I read the captions to help us both out.


I generally have them on in everything, for plenty of reasons but as much as anything else, as a safety mode against poorly recorded dialogue, or in games where facing the wrong way can cause dialog volume to change. Also useful if the wife needs to take a phone call or something and I can just mute the TV with not much impact.


I often consciously try not to play video games with captions for the very reason stated in the article. On the other hand, when I watch movies with my girlfriend it’s often with captions enabled, since she isn’t a native speaker. This often leads to spoilers, since dialogue that you’re not meant to clearly hear is often clearly subtitled.

I imagine that if she ever really watches me play anything (which she might do for injustice, since she’s a comic book fan) then I’ll have to switch them on.


I got into the habit of always turning them on because you used to never be able to pause during cutscenes, and my partner always seemed to think that cutscenes were a good time to try and start a conversation (I think because I wasn’t focused on actually playing). Now there can be other distractions that would cause me to be unable to hear a line of dialogue like a baby crying or a toddler asking for snack, so it’s even more important. I don’t find subtitles to be distracting, but I’ve never really experimented with that.

I don’t turn them on for movies or TV, unless it’s a kids show. Then subtitles are always on… it’ supposed to help with reading comprehension or something.


I always have them on in games, and usually I’ll turn them off for another playthrough if I want screencaps, but usually they’re unobtrusive enough not to get in the way. I hate the idea of missing dialogue because I’ve decided to listen to it on my TV speakers instead of headphones. Drives me crazy.


I started using captions because my wife does. She’s not hard of hearing exactly, but she has trouble separating sounds from one another (a side effect of some medical treatment she had as a kid).

But there are times, and Hellblade is one, where I don’t want the captions distracting from what’s on screen. In that case I use headphones. This applies to anything on the TV, not just games.

So, it’s:
No headphones? Captions.
Headphones? No captions.


Like, every TV or movie service I use lets me back up 30 seconds to catch something I missed. Since games don’t? CAPTIONS

(Now I’ll go back to pretending that I haven’t done at least some damage to my hearing)


I grew up watching Hong Kong movies and, even though I understood perfectly without them, subtitles were always hard coded into the video and I’ve always used them to assist me. Now, I watch foreign content more than I consume North American content, I’ve continued to use subtitles. As such, I’ve always turned subtitles on in games, even if I didn’t need to. It’s simply become a part of the way I consume content, when available.


Subtitles fuck with my ADD real hard. I can’t handle listening to the dialogue AND having subtitles on at the same time. It just means that I basically don’t hear anything.


All subtitles all the time. Sometimes I play while listening to my own music, sometimes I’m playing while watching something else, sometimes I like being able to read dialogue faster than it’s spoken and skipping through it to move the game along.


Yessssss. All captions all the time in games. For movies and TV, too, almost always.


I always have subtitles on but in this game specifically I turned them off because I feel like I pay more attention to speech and the voices without subtitles and that’s important in Hellblade.


Games have the same problem a lot of movies do where the action is ridiculously loud and it seems like every conversation people are speaking at barely a whisper. It saves me the trouble of constantly adjusting the volume, so subtitles are on the very first moment I can pause the game.