[games_access] RE: game access for learning disabled

Reid Kimball rkimball at gmail.com
Tue May 9 23:26:20 EDT 2006


Interesting info, thanks for sharing. I think the concept of Earcons
is actually used extensively in games. A classic example is Mario,
jumping has a distinct "boing" sound and collecting coins has another
specific sound. The sounds when distinct and tied to only one action
clue the user that they have accomplished something. In more complex
3D games, a player may not see they are collecting objects, but
because of the "earcon" they know they must have done the action that
the earcon represents.

-Reid

On 5/9/06, Lynn Marentette <lynnvm at alltel.net> wrote:
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> Hi-
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> I haven't had much time to interact here lately, between work and taking
> classes.
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>  I've done some thinking about game access for people with learning
> disabilities and attention deficits. I am a school psychologist, so I have
> worked with many students who have milder disabilities over the years. Most
> of the students I know really like to play computer or video games, but some
> get frustrated with certain genres.
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> A few months ago I wrote about the concept of "Universal Design for Gaming",
> based on the principles of Universal Design for Learning developed by David
> Rose and Anne Mayer at CAST (Center for Applied Special Technology -
> http://www.cast.org.In a nutshell, in an ideal world, all games (and
> instruction), would be designed from the very beginning with Universal
> Design principles in mind.
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> Many of the students I work with have auditory processing problems,
> short-term auditory memory deficits, or problems with working memory.  Even
> thought they might have an average or higher IQ, this can be a problem when
> they play games, as it is in life.
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> Icons would make many games more accessible for people with a wide range of
> disabilities.  For example, for those who have memory problems, icons could
> be embedded in the game (with the option of turning them off or on), to give
> the player hints throughout the game.
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> Earcons might have some use in making games more accessible for people who
> have auditory processing problems. I've noticed that in many games,
> background sounds, even background music, provide players with hints about
> what is about to happen next.  Gamers who have auditory processing problems
> may not pick up on this, even though they hear the sounds. An earcon could
> serve the same purpose.  The earcon option could be turned on or off.
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> Here is someone's webpage about earcon research:
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> http://www.dcs.gla.ac.uk/~stephen/research.shtml#earcons
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> There are plenty of people who have visual-spatial difficulties - they don't
> play games where they are likely to get lost and frustrated. Hints- through
> earcons, icons, text, or a clear map system (in-game GIS?) might be helpful.
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> This is off the subject a bit: I noticed that there was a link to Priority
> Woods school, in the UK.  Is that the school that was linked to the old
> Peepo.com?  Some of the students I work with have severe disabilities, and I
> used to take them to Peepo.com sometimes.
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> Lynn Marentette
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> -----Original Message-----
>  From: games_access-bounces at igda.org [mailto:games_access-bounces at igda.org]
> On Behalf Of games_access-request at igda.org
>  Sent: Friday, May 05, 2006 12:00 PM
>  To: games_access at igda.org
>  Subject: games_access Digest, Vol 22, Issue 7
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