[games_access] GASIG: PICK and MIX accessibility features list (for independent and main-stream developers) - April 2006

Jonathan Chetwynd j.chetwynd at btinternet.com
Tue Apr 4 03:49:45 EDT 2006


regarding cognitive barriers, perhaps we could consider a range (as  
in ages) rather than a value, as in:
GO			2-10
Scrabble		3-10
Chess		4-9
Dominoes		2-5
Checkers		1-6

anyway that's a suggestion.

regards

Jonathan Chetwynd



On 2 Apr 2006, at 08:48, Barrie Ellis wrote:

Thinking about the top 3 and recent posts has me back thinking on  
about a future ratings system and marking system we all need to think  
about...


Accessibility features could be represented on game boxes via an  
appropriate standardised symbol (perhaps the universally recognised  
white wheelchair user on blue background - but maybe something better  
could be devised).

The quality of these features could be represented on game boxes via  
a bar-chart and symbols, representing:

A. Mental Barriers (e.g. symbol of a brain)
B. Physical Barriers (e.g. symbol of a flexed arm)
C. Sensory Barriers (a symbol to represent the five senses - maybe  
just an eye in print?)

Ratings from 1 to 10 could be given for each of the three areas,  
awarded via a central body incorporating as many disabled gamers as  
possible. This is presently undertaken for age ratings by the ESRB in  
the US (www.esrb.org/esrbratins.asp) and PEGI (www.pegi.info) in  
Europe. I'm not aware of similar schemes outside of these markets.  
None the less, perhaps we could contact them and other organisations  
for advice. To have one system would obviously be better than  
competing systems. In lieu of this, perhaps ACE, Moby Games, Audio  
Games, Deaf Gamers etc. could adopt a system that we eventually develop?

Obviously gamers would want more information about the accessibility  
features, thus a link to a respected reviews site would be  
beneficial. No game would get a zero rating.


So onto a top 3 for an indie developer... Why not pick 3 different  
accessibility solution that address an element of A. B. and C. The  
following list (in random order)  is just a start, which we could all  
add to. What do you think? I'm happy to start it rolling...



===========================================================

============================
A. Mental Barriers (e.g. symbol of a brain)
============================
1. Game difficulty level: Offer a wide range of difficulty levels  
(e.g. 1-10), bearing in mind there is no such thing as 'too easy' for  
many disabled gamers. Meaning what might seem ridiculously easy to  
you, might be nicely playable for another gamer.
2. Separate Music and SFX volume controls (being able to switch off  
music can aid cause and effect understanding).
3. Speed Control. Being able to slow a game down incrementally can  
make all the difference for people with slower reactions.
4.

=================================
B. Physical Barriers (e.g. symbol of a flexed arm)
=================================
1. Add a 'Reconfigure controls' option. Needs to be very flexible.
2. Digital only controllers. Consider that some gamers can not use  
analogue controls to play games (e.g. switch gamers).
3. Offer a toggle on/off option for controls that need to be held  
down for a long time. E.g. GAS/Accelerator buttons can prove  
uncomfortable.
4. Speed Control. Being able to slow a game down incrementally can  
make all the difference for people with slower reactions.
5. Reduced controls option. Consider that many gamers can't cope with  
complicated controls.
6. One switch / button standard. (see http://www.oneswitch.org.uk/2/ 
ARTICLES/physical-barriers.htm)
7.


===========================================================
C. Sensory Barriers (a symbol to represent the five senses - maybe  
just an eye in print?)
===========================================================
1. Separate Music and SFX volume controls. For deaf and hard of  
hearing and learning disabled gamers it can be beneficial to be able  
to turn the music off. This can make the game experience easier to  
understand - especially if you are relying on speaker vibrations.
2. Closed Captioning. Subtitles for dialogue and sounds aids  
understanding for deaf gamers / silent gaming.
3.



===========================================================


_______________________________________________
games_access mailing list
games_access at igda.org
http://seven.pairlist.net/mailman/listinfo/games_access



More information about the games_access mailing list