[games_access] Introduction

DJ Bono ladysekhmet.dj at gmail.com
Tue Apr 10 14:00:29 EDT 2007

I just wanted to introduce myself. My name is DJ, and I've been playing
games since I was young, and my first console was the NES. Little did I know
that 20 years later, I would be going to school in Game Design.
The biggest hurdle that I overcame was my deafness.
I've been deaf since I was born, and I'm proud to be deaf. It wasn't until a
year ago that it is time to stand up for my rights due to my disability. I
had the ability to speak fluently, and communicate with hearing people. Over
time, I realized that even with a disability like mine, I still needed help
with understanding what people are saying when I'm attending a conference or
group sessions. I used to accept the fact that I will be okay without an
When I decided on a career change, my perspective about video games has
changed because my eyes are starting to open and see that even to this day
and age, some of the greatest games are not captioned or accessible for
those who cannot hear. Yes, some games are captioned, but not fully
intergrated. Such example would be the sounds in the background. It should
have something along the words (warning beep), or whatever the NPC is saying
in Fable. I remember in the NES days, there was no voice acting, and RPGs
were in text. It wasn't a big deal to me. Nowadays, I hardly see a game
without voice acting or various sounds you need to listen for.
I have opened up the eyes of my fellow student game designers that
some games are not deaf friendly. One person has said to me, "Thank you for
sharing your experiences, and when I design a game, I will make sure that it
is fully captioned/subtitles. It's not fair". If I can influence him, he
can influence someone else, and that someone else can influence
another...and so on. It's like, Pay It Forward.

I've found my voice, and it's time for me to stand up and teach people
about it. I hope though Game Accessibility and attending GDC, I can have my
voice seen (not heard...that's an oxymoron).

Keep on gaming!

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