[games_access] The Right Thing vs. The Profitable Thing / GDC T-Shirt

AudioGames.net richard at audiogames.net
Mon Jan 16 16:35:09 EST 2006


This is an intersting topic for any future promotional activities as well so 
I changed the subject line bit (after which I will get back to the t-shirt).

I personally like the idea of "the right thing to do". But... I have doubts 
that it is the "right" angle to approach the game industry. I formed this 
opinion after I had several conversations about game accessibility with 
professional game companies. It turned out that basically every company I 
talked to was first and foremost interested in the economic side of game 
accessibility: "how big is the target audience? ", "how much games are sold 
to the blind now?", etc. It being "right" ("for mankind, whetever") came 
somewhere at the end of the conversation (and often in the form of "good for 
the company profile"). I prefer to approach game accessibility from the 
point of view best described by a famous IMB quote (on web accessibility):

 "Accessibility is business, not charity"

Like Hollywood, the game industry is an industry and revolves about profit. 
Only after profit come issues like "artist creativity" and "accessibility 
for charity". I believe that selling the idea that "accessibility = 
profitable" is more suitable for the game industry than "accessibility = 
right". Although I consider both statements to be correct, of course.

Back to the T-shirt design: I really like the Lady Justice idea a lot and I 
think it would make a wonderful image to go with the text. My only 'but' is 
this: the image (as how I picture it following your description) seems to me 
to be a bit 'judgemental'. This might be a cultural difference and I might 
be the only one thinking this, but to me the symbol of Lady Justice refers 
to "doing justice", "condemning criminals", etc. Somehow to me , the image 
of Lady Liberty holding a game controller seems to refer "doing justice *to* 
the 'criminal' game industry".

I would prefer to take the most positive approach possible to address the 
game industry, in "their" language. Although it is a personal 
interpretation, I feel that the image somewhere could be interpreted as 
'offensive' by developers the game industry'. Instead of pointing out what's 
right or wrong to the game industry, I think it's better to point out what 
possibilities and potential game accessibility has.

Still, it is only a t-shirt we're talking about here. So, for the t-shirt, 
you get my vote because I like the idea (and I'm not too shy for a bit of a 
confrontation). But I think that for on the long run, a more business-like 
approach is more suited.

I am interested of what you think....



----- Original Message ----- 
From: "Tim Chase" <agdev at thechases.com>
To: "IGDA Games Accessibility SIG Mailing List" <games_access at igda.org>
Sent: Monday, January 16, 2006 3:16 PM
Subject: Re: [games_access] T-shirt concept "accessibility for all" 

>> accessibility for all gamers
> This may be rubbish (my idea that follows, not Richard's quote above...), 
> but when I read this, the first thought that came to mind was a twisting 
> of "with liberty and justice for all", making it something like "with 
> gaming and accessibility for all".
> From this, my mind wandered to the image of "lady justice" blindfolded, 
> but also sitting in a wheelchair.  And instead of holding scales of 
> justice, holding a gaming controller by the cord so it dangled below her 
> hand.
> I've got a little time tonight I could try and mock up such a doodle 
> unless someone else wanted to it before I get there.
> It not only combines the aforementioned ideas of "accessibility" and 
> "gaming", but even hints at it being "the right/patriotic thing to do".
> Or maybe I've been listening to too much Metallica... (grins, ducks, and 
> runs)
> Any feedback or even doodlings would be more than welcome...
> -tim
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