[games_access] Introduction

Barrie Ellis barrie.ellis at oneswitch.org.uk
Tue Apr 10 17:03:44 EDT 2007

Yes - welcome on board DJ - and thanks for posting.

As Robert says - we'll keep working together for the break throughs with mainstream games. We'll get there.

By the way, Robert. Nice article - but the video was an April Fool I'm afraid! There's no helmet for the Wii I'm afraid. Interesting idea though.


----- Original Message -----
From: Robert Florio
To: 'IGDA Games Accessibility SIG Mailing List'
Sent: Tuesday, April 10, 2007 9:36 PM
Subject: Re: [games_access] Introduction

Thanks for sharing. I am also a game design student. Where do you attend school for game design? I am attending the art Institute online game art and design Batchelor degree program. I'm in my fourth year. And I'm from Maryland United States. 25 years old and a quadriplegic after spinal cord injury so playing games I've been playing them with my mouth but I'd like them to be more integrated.

There is a video somebody might be testing out a helmet in a story that was written about me recently if you want to check that out. Though I'm not trying to sound like this is all about me we'll have some great stories and we can all help so much. I've been working with the igda special interest group accessibility for 2 1/2 years. I got one of the student scholarships at GDC 2006.

My web sites below my artwork also. I think it's great that you decided to venture into this.

Four years later myself a graduating in the fall it's exhausting I will admit that trait he gamers to make your game accessible for your needs and experience now for me there is not a whole lot of people really know what that's about and there are no real mainstream examples so developers are not excited yet. But we can work together. Change that.





From: games_access-bounces at igda.org [mailto:games_access-bounces at igda.org] On Behalf Of DJ Bono
Sent: Tuesday, April 10, 2007 2:00 PM
To: games_access at igda.org
Subject: [games_access] Introduction

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 interpreter.
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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