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

AudioGames.net richard at audiogames.net
Mon Jan 16 17:32:13 EST 2006


I don't have the time now to fully reply. In short:

- I agree with using BOTH angles...the right thing AND the profitable thing.
- I developed an obscure formula for calculating the potential market of 
disabled gamers (the foundation that funds the Game Accessibility Project 
asked for numbers so I gave them - will share it with you later, it's not 
with me at the moment)
- I don't mind being offensive or confrontational. I still hope the The Game 
Accessibility Convention I plan to setup will actually confront developers 
and gamers with each other in one physical space. I *do* want to be careful: 
never give people the idea that we are a bunch of "accessibility 
evangelists" - that the idea of 'global game accessibility' is more 
important than the goals of the game industry. Don't give designers the idea 
that they're doing something wrongg. I think that this will only turn into 

Being pissed off is fine, Michelle :) Have a drink!*


*1/2 cranberry juice, 1/4 lime juice, 1/4 wodka - not more than a liter or 
you'll be really pissed though!

----- Original Message ----- 
From: <hinn at uiuc.edu>
To: "IGDA Games Accessibility SIG Mailing List" <games_access at igda.org>
Sent: Monday, January 16, 2006 11:08 PM
Subject: Re: [games_access] The Right Thing vs. TheProfitable Thing / GDC 

> Well, Richard, what you say about profit is very true in the
> game industry and, really, any leisure industry. At GDC last
> year we were asked a ton of times:
> * "but what percentage of potential gamers are we talking about?"
> * "how can we be sure that if a game is accessible to, say,
> the hearing impaired that they would be gamers if they could
> play our games?"
> * "what disability group do we make our games accessible to in
> order to get the max profit?
> And really what percentage of POTENTIAL gamers are we talking
> about? Can we say with complete confidence that if all
> mainstream games were accessible to the blind, that 40% of the
> blind population would then play your games? No, we can't.
> Because once they are accessible, then we come to game
> preference...and what TYPES of games these new potential
> gamers would enjoy playing (FPS? Puzzle games? RPGs?)...and
> on...and on...and on...
> We will deal with this at GDC again this year...and next
> year...and the years after that. What we CAN say is that if
> mainstream games aren't accessible, then we'll never really
> know what kind of market share we're talking about, will we?
> And that's a major point...but not one that really sells to
> marketing groups of the big studios. Because they are looking
> for "hard numbers" that they don't seem to understand are
> really friggin' hard to produce.
> So after all this crazy typing (see? the insanity increases),
> I think we should keep going at this from BOTH angles...the
> right thing AND the profitable thing. I'd love for us to dig
> up some stats on how much of a market increase closed
> captioning has done for, say, Disney World or Imax. Yes, we
> deal with accessibility of "serious games" (games for
> education and industry) but our biggest hurdle is the
> mainstream entertainment industry where laws like US law 508,
> etc do not apply.
> Ok...uh, so the t-shirt...yeah, lady liberty. Let's GO
> offensive. I agree that we may offend the industry that locks
> people out. Oh well. :) I mean it's not like the game industry
> itself hasn't offended millions already for violence, sex,
> etc. Yeah, ok, that's not the "high road" -- but we are going
> for a bit of a statement, aren't we?
> That being said...yes, we need to run with the sharks too and
> get our stats and come at them from a number's perspective.
> Thanks for bringing that up, Richard! We'll be dealing with it
> again in March!
> Wow...where did that rant come from? No, it's not aimed at
> anyone in particular...just general pissed off-ness about the
> state of the industry.
> Michelle
> ---- Original message ----
>>Date: Mon, 16 Jan 2006 22:35:09 +0100
>>From: "AudioGames.net" <richard at audiogames.net>
>>Subject: [games_access] The Right Thing vs. The Profitable
> Thing / GDC T-Shirt
>>To: "IGDA Games Accessibility SIG Mailing List"
> <games_access at igda.org>
>>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
>>> _______________________________________________
>>> games_access mailing list
>>> games_access at igda.org
>>> http://seven.pairlist.net/mailman/listinfo/games_access
>>games_access mailing list
>>games_access at igda.org
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