[games_access] Accessible Gaming at Classic Gaming Expo UK 2005

Barrie Ellis barrie.ellis at oneswitch.org.uk
Tue Aug 30 16:33:32 EDT 2005


Hi all,

Thought I'd post a little on what it was like to be the curiosity of the 
Classic Gaming Expo UK in Croydon, London in August 2005. I wanted the 
OneSwitch.org.uk stall to show off as many facets of accessible gaming as 
possible and that games are for all. We had a wide variety of games 
including:


Win-Spank and Win-Pong (for Blind/Partially sighted gamers).
Shenmue II (with subtitles for deaf gamers / non Japanese speaking people).
Sonic Jam (set-up with a single handed Playstation controller and 
Lik-Sang.com 'smart joy' adapter).
Single Switch games (for switch users, mostly from the RetroRemakes one 
switch competition).
MAME games (set-up with switches, slowed down, and cheats enabled to make 
the game easier).
Ms.Pac-Man (old Atari game with "Special Feature" allowing you to choose 
from 1-4 ghosts).
F355 Ferrari Challenge (with I.B.S. intelligent braking system and superb 
training mode).
Minestorm (Vectrex game with two illuminated switches, and a locked-on Rapid 
Fire circuit).


The show had a great turn out, with Twin Galaxies making an appearance for 
various gaming challenges, notably including Billy Mitchell (Pac-Man world 
record holder) and Doris Self (previous eldest gamer with a high score). I 
was assisted on the day by my partner, Caron and also by Chris Myers (with 
enabler and family) who demonstrated the games most capably using his two 
head switches.

Chris and I had great fun during a quiet spell playing Sonic the Hedgehog 
together, Chris controlling LEFT and RIGHT and me controlling JUMP. I'd 
forgotten what fun collaborative gaming can be. Took me back to Space Duel 
in the arcades with my brother....

Hopefully we can get involved with present day gaming shows one day. People 
were fascinated, and often knew nothing about accessible gaming. One person 
remarked that he thought it was about hard-core gamers being able to make 
their own controls until he spoke to us! We had a radio interview, and have 
been promised a big spread in a national UK magazine (gamesTM) which I hope 
comes to pass.

One thing that really caught me was a game developer asking, 'is there a 
list of what accessibility features should be in games?'.

Barrie Ellis
www.OneSwitch.org.uk


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