[games_access] Future Play 2006

Kevin J. Bierre kjb at it.rit.edu
Fri Aug 4 10:43:40 EDT 2006

Just so everyone is up to date: In one of our recent online meetings, I brought up the possibility of doing a poster session at Future Play 2006. Future Play is a conference that is supposed to bring academics and industry leaders together. This one will
be held in London, Ontario (Canada) at the University of Western Ontario on October 10 - 12.

Because of the large number of game development schools that will be present, this would be an ideal location to get the word out and hopefully get people thinking about accessibility.

The following is the abstract I plan to submit. If you have any suggestions or comments, please let me know. I have until Aug 18th to submit the abstract, so there is time to make any required changes.

Future Play 2006 Poster Abstract

Kevin Bierre:  [ mailto:kjb at it.rit.edu ]kjb at it.rit.edu  (Member of the IGDA Game Accessibility SIG)

The IGDA Game Accessibility SIG has been presenting on the topic of game accessibility at conferences over the last two years. We feel that this is a very important topic that is not adequately addressed within the commercial game industry, or within
academic game development programs.

We would like to present a poster at Future Play 2006 on what game accessibility is, why it is needed, and some simple ways to provide accessibility when creating games.

The game accessibility definition would be the one our group has defined over the past three years.

The section on why accessibility is needed would cover the following areas:
1.	Statistics: the number of people with various disabilities.
2.	Legal reasons for providing accessibility.
3.	Economic reasons for providing accessibility.
4.	Moral reasons for providing accessibility.
5.	Effects that various disabilities have on the ability to play games.

We have come up with a “top ten” list of ways that will allow developers to provide accessibility:
1.	Allow all controls to be remapped.
2.	Add closed-captioning to all dialog and important sound effects.
3.	Provide documentation in an accessible format such as HTML or plain text.
4.	Provide assist modes such as auto-targeting, training options, etc.
5.	Provide a broad range of difficulty levels.
6.	Make interface fonts scalable.
7.	Allow for high-contrast color-schemes.
8.	Add audio tags to all significant elements including actors, doors, items, resulting actions, etc.
9.	Allow for a varied range of control over play speed.
10.	Announce accessibility features on the packaging.

A list of organizations that are working on game accessibility will be part of the poster.

Because this conference brings both industry and academic leaders together, we feel this is a good venue to provide this information.

Kevin Bierre,  Assistant Professor                                                       (kjb at it.rit.edu)
Information Technology,  Rochester Institute of Technology                   585-475-5358
102 Lomb Memorial Drive                                                                   Bldg 70B-2637
Rochester, NY 14623

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