[games_access] "I want to help the handicapped!" - fourdifferent views of disability

AudioGames.net richard at audiogames.net
Wed May 24 15:35:23 EDT 2006

Re: [games_access] "I want to help the handicapped!" - fouBut a good rant ;)

  ----- Original Message ----- 
  From: d. michelle hinn 
  To: IGDA Games Accessibility SIG Mailing List 
  Sent: Wednesday, May 24, 2006 6:19 PM
  Subject: Re: [games_access] "I want to help the handicapped!" - fourdifferent views of disability

  very thought provoking and reminds me of richard recently saying the now infamous quote about disabilitlies: "nothing about us, without us"

  social justice is a tricky term as well but i hope it refers to the last view on the web page. i get very heated when i hear how i "suffer" with dyslexia, that it somehow renders me "less" something (usually the term people are trying to go for without saying it is intelligent), and that because it lies somewhere in the spectrum of "learning disabilities" it means that i need x, y, z to go on with the business of living.

  so when you hear me talk about the range of a particular disability, i'm usually coming about it from my own life. i got through all of my undergraduate education without anyone noticing it and i probably would still not know about it had my last class not been focused on cognitive psychology (and suspected by the instructor). so when i say "well, it depends..." when pressed for information on how much needs to be provided in games for the learning disabled (or any disability), that's where i'm coming from. because, honestly, not all of us need everything -- but that fact remains that it should be available in case someone needs something. it's a balancing act but the options should be there because it represents respect for those who buy our games -- that is, respect in the individuals who might need to or prefer to play a game the way THEY want to play. it puts games back into the realm of "play" where rules are made up on the fly in the effort to include more people rather than an idealized version that a "director" or "producer" has that may or may not reflect the reality of the way people really play.

  there's a somewhat parallel research area on this called "reader response theory" where it calls attention to how we take stories/books and interpret them with regard to our own life and situations rather than worry so much about what the author meant. it's kind of this way with games -- do we play games and wonder "hmm...should i know more about Will Wright's childhood and family upbringing in order to play this game and interpret this game in the 'proper' way? is there no value in just playing the game the way i want to?"

  ok...that was a rant! :)


    Thought that you might find this interesting:

    http://sinnlos.st/help/index.html - "I want to help the handicapped" - explains four different views of disabilities. Quite to the point.


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