[games_access] New Member and thoughts about legislation

d. michelle hinn hinn at uiuc.edu
Mon Dec 3 23:51:52 EST 2007

Hey Gang -- we have a new member and for some reason the bounce
filter got him so I'm resending (Michael -- did you send from another
address than you subscribed to the list with?). And welcome!


PS -- we've been slaving away at getting us known in the dev
community -- we're getting there and we now have the attention of a
growing number of people. So we soldier on! :)

>Greetings everyone!

> Just joined yesterday. I'm a software engineer, basically trolling

>for ideas for projects to kill some spare cycles and looking for

>people who might be interested in helping me design and test the same.

> My primary goal joining this group and the ACM's SIGACCESS group is

>to try to figure out what types of accessibility software are

>currently lacking and see if I might be able to fill a niche there.

>I've got a lot of experience with industrial imaging and

>automation/control software, and have spent the last several years in

>consumer audio and multimedia development so hopefully we can find

>something I can offer.


>I can't rewrite Doom 3 from scratch to make it accessible to everyone

>- hell, I couldn't see anything but the 4 pixels in the center of the

>screen in that game myself - but I have done some experimentation with

>inserting my code into video games and modifying their rendering

>behavior. Any ideas from basic utilities to accessibility gaming mods

>would be much appreciated.


>On the current topic regarding legislation - I don't think that will

>be the most productive direction to take. One of the great things

>about the software industry is that any bloke with a grasp on logic

>and some time can crank out a piece of software. If it doesn't suck

>people might even use it. In the game industry specifically, we've

>seen small groups of individuals with no money but a lot of time and

>talent completely turn the establishment on its head and create

>entirely new genres of games. This is one of the things that helps

>keep the industry innovative and fun.


>Legislation will create a barrier for independents and hobbyists, and

>prevent new innovations that don't mesh with the laws. If it's done

>in a lowest-common-denominator manner in the way the ADA is, it could

>even create hurdles to those wishing to create games for a specific

>subset of the market you wish to help. For example, some really neat

>audio games would be kinda boring for a deaf person.


>What I'd recommend instead is to try to make your market more visible

>to the developer community and to approach smaller groups and

>independents for whom making a game with a smaller target audience

>might still be profitable or fun. There's a fair number of developers

>out there like me that just enjoy writing software and do it as a

>hobby as well as a profession - you'll find a lot of those in the Open

>Source community. If you want to get their attention, write articles

>for Slashdot and similar places to increase awareness and to educate

>the community, then get projects started on SourceForge to get new

>genres going, etc.


>One of the big challenges any developer will face here though is that

>unless they themselves have an identical disability, they won't know

>where to start to make something fun and easy for you to interact

>with. That's where we need your help.



>Mike Ellison

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