[games_access] Guidelines (was: Teaching Game Accessibility)

Reid Kimball rkimball at gmail.com
Tue Jun 6 13:08:56 EDT 2006

I've never heard of this MediaLT/Linz whitepaper. I did a search for
it and didn't get any search results back. What is it?


On 6/6/06, AudioGames.net <richard at audiogames.net> wrote:
> Hi Thomas,
> Yes, I have teached game accessibility to MA Game Design Students together
> with Sander (Huiberts - also from Accessibility/AudioGames.net) at the
> School of the Arts Utrecht (Netherlands) in the past. This year we have had
> two projects concerning game accessibility: one in which game design
> students had to develop an audio game (which should be accessible for the
> blind) and another in which several students industrial design developed
> alternative controllers for an audio game that Sander and I developed. The
> purpose of the alternative controller was to evoke/stimulate physical (body)
> movement of blind gamers. Although both courses did not focus on 'making
> mainstream games more accessible', these courses gave us the opportunity to
> introduce and cover a great deal of this subject. In the case of the audio
> game designs, we did get the chance to teach about designing (games) for the
> blind and using sound to improve game accessibility.
> I prefer to avoid the guidelines copied from the IGDA White Paper by MediaLT
> because of several reasons.  I for one think it is a shame that IGDA or any
> other party like our foundation, One Switch.co.uk, AudioGames.net or
> Games[CC] were never approached to help develop these "guidelines". But more
> importantly, I think these "guidelines" cannot be *practically* applied to
> game design. For instance, it does a horrible job (or actually no job at
> all) at describing how to improve the accessibility of mainstream video
> games for the blind. Guidelines 5.3 might be the only one to come close
> ("Explanations of pictures and actions that can be switched off/on") but
> realistically, how does this make a video game playable? "There's a maze and
> 32 dots and three ghosts and one is coming right at you and the other is
> coming around the corner, oh yeah you are this yellow piechart-figure- oh no
> you're dead!" ON TOP OF the original game? And what does guidelines 5.6
> actually *mean*? "Auditory feedback and rewards" should be explicit?
> Literally, does this mean "auditory feedback and rewards" or "auditory
> feedback and auditory rewards"? What is an auditory reward? Is that a
> result, in sound, of winning? Where does it say this? Even so, why is it
> important to distinguish "auditory feedback" and "auditory feedback of
> rewards"? And wait, and it says that it is a Priority 1 Guideline "For ALL"
> disabilities. Including gamers who cannot hear? Sjees...
> (for everyone still questioning 400+ pages of WCAG 2.0 - that's why...)
> In my opinion these 'guidelines' were written by someone very influenced by
> W3C (literally "guidelines" and "priorities") but who never attempted to
> create or even play an accessible game for the blind (my opinion only, am
> very open to other opinions!). Interestingly, at the same time as we are
> doing Develop Brighton (this years biggest game conference in Europe), Klaus
> Miesenberger (University of Linz) will be presenting (a newer?) version of
> these guidelines for game accessibility at the ICCHP (one of the biggest
> conferences on ICT for people with disabilities: see:
> http://www.icchp.org/content/view/79/113/#track3 > Thursday > Track 3 >
> Session F).
> Ok, I might receive that Oscar for over-acting but I hope you get my point.
> Actually, this list has been dead quiet on the MediaLT/Linz guidelines so
> far and I am wondering of what you think... *anyone*?
> Greets,
> Richard
> ----- Original Message -----
> From: "Thomas Christopher Roome" <thomas.roome at student.utdallas.edu>
> To: <games_access at igda.org>
> Cc: <thomas.linehan at utdallas.edu>
> Sent: Tuesday, June 06, 2006 8:15 AM
> Subject: [games_access] Teaching Game Accessibility
> >I have been thinking about how to get "mainstream games" more
> > accessible, and maybe we need to approach colleges and other higher
> > education institutions  that teach game development to teach
> > Accessibility to the students.  If game developers are instructed on
> > how games can be made accessible, then maybe we can avoid some of the
> > problems that we have today.   There is a starting point using the
> > Guidelines for developing accessible games  at
> > http://gameaccess.medialt.no/guide.php.  Is anyone already teaching
> > Accessibility for Gaming in a college or University program?
> >
> > -----------
> > Thank You,
> >
> > Tom Roome
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> > games_access at igda.org
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