[games_access] New Member and thoughts about legislation

hinn at uiuc.edu hinn at uiuc.edu
Wed Dec 5 01:08:18 EST 2007


Cool! This is awesome! If anything we need more programmers so if you know any like-minded colleagues, I'm sure Eelke would love to have them join us as well!

---- Original message ----

>Date: Tue, 4 Dec 2007 19:48:06 -0800

>From: "Eelke Folmer" <eelke.folmer at gmail.com>

>Subject: Re: [games_access] New Member and thoughts about legislation

>To: "IGDA Games Accessibility SIG Mailing List" <games_access at igda.org>

>

>Hi Mike,

>

>More programmers in this SIG that can actually help games make

>accessible are always welcome! If you are interested in helping me

>with some small accessibility programming jobs shoot me an email

>offline. I have a bunch of students working for me already but since

>I'm thinking of new accessible game projects at a faster rate than my

>students are able to finish I could use the help. ;-)

>

>Cheers Eelke

>

>On 04/12/2007, Michael Ellison <devellison at gmail.com> wrote:

>> Greetings again,

>> I think I managed to mail the bounce folder directly the first

>> time, thanks for catching that Michelle!

>>

>> I'm gonna back out of the legislation/petition discussion for now.

>>

>> As far as why the game industry, and the software industry as a whole,

>> don't currently make their products accessible - here's the reasons I

>> see:

>> 1.) It's expensive, and the relative financial return on investment is

>> small. Same reason why there aren't many games ported to Macintosh or

>> Linux.

>> 2.) We don't know how, or aren't aware of the specific problems our

>> products may present to each type of disability. I've worked on

>> products where all the indicators were little circles of different

>> colors. Changing them to be different shapes as well as different

>> colors took about 5 minutes, but the original implementors hadn't ever

>> thought about anyone having difficulty telling the difference between

>> green, yellow, and red circles and no one had complained. Someone

>> just had to point out the problem and provide an easy solution.

>>

>> Here's my thoughts on solutions to the above. I don't know if I'm

>> adding anything new idea-wise, but as an engineer looking for ways to

>> help I'm still currently looking for a problem to solve ;)

>>

>> 1.) First, solve any problems that can be solved by third-party

>> software for multiple games. This is where you'll get the most bang

>> for the buck, and it means you get benefit from it now on multiple

>> products. It also provides examples for the software industry to

>> follow on what actually works. I don't know what the problems that

>> are left in this category are right now - I see a lot of specialist

>> software to solve different accessibility problems, but I don't know

>> what works and what doesn't or what's been left out.

>>

>> 2.) Second, make generic libraries that can be integrated by game

>> developers that provide those functions as easily and transparently as

>> possible - and preferably make them open and free for the developers

>> to use using BSD-style licenses (not GPL ones). If possible, get

>> these libraries integrated with the big game development libraries

>> like Miles Sound System, Microsoft's DirectX and XBox SDKs, Sony's

>> SDKs, etc. so that any new major game gets the features for free. The

>> cheaper and easier it is for game developers to make their games

>> accessible, the more likely they will.

>>

>> 3.) Third, keep doing what ya'll are doing for awareness. It got me

>> here, others will come. I do think that specifically targetting Open

>> Source groups will get you a lot of mileage in the long run, although

>> there will be a lot of false starts in the process (fair warning: when

>> people are doing things for free in their spare time, the stuff can

>> get derailed easily by events in the individuals' lives. Try not to

>> get too frustrated by this. Best defense against it is to get multiple

>> people working together on projects so that leadership can be

>> transferred if a problem arises).

>>

>> 4.) Finally, keep trying to change the design process of video games

>> to be more inclusive to those with disabilities. As you already know,

>> this part will be extremely hard in a lot of cases, and it will affect

>> the game as a whole for everyone. In a lot of cases there will be

>> tradeoffs between accessibility and normal gameplay that require a lot

>> of thought and time. The fact that most development efforts are

>> *already* behind schedule, over budget, and are throwing out features

>> they wanted left and right won't help. It's definitely worth doing,

>> I'm glad ya'll are doing it, but I think it's the hardest and slowest

>> avenue.

>>

>> I'd like to have a shot at my #1 up there. If it looks like I'm doing

>> something useful and enjoying it, I'll toss around the idea for #2

>> (libraries) and see if I can find others interested in it as well.

>>

>> So, what software would be useful?

>>

>> I've taken a look at the QuadController, but aside from pictures and

>> video I don't have any experience with it. It looks like the PC

>> version installs as a native game device with one joystick, some

>> toggles, and a few buttons. It also looks like they've got some form

>> of Joystick->Mouse emulation available for it that could work both

>> with games and with normal applications.

>>

>> What are the common hurdles you currently face interacting with modern

>> games that existing hardware and software don't fix? Are there

>> problems still around that could be generalized and solved by external

>> software for multiple games? I can put just about any kind of

>> interface up inside modern PC games and/or reroute just about any kind

>> of input switches you can throw at me into any other kind of input or

>> output. I may be able to slow down or change the rendering behavior

>> of a lot of modern PC games, but it'll depend on how they're written.

>>

>> Let me know if there's something I can do that'd be useful.

>>

>> Cheers,

>> Mike Ellison

>> _______________________________________________

>> games_access mailing list

>> games_access at igda.org

>> http://seven.pairlist.net/mailman/listinfo/games_access

>>

>

>

>--

>----------------------------------------------------------------------------

>Eelke Folmer Assistant Professor

>Department of CS&E/171

>University of Nevada Reno, Nevada 89557

>Game interaction design www.helpyouplay.com

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.......................................
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losing hope. it's hard for many people
to believe that there are extraordinary
things inside themselves, as well as
others. i hope you can keep an open
mind.
-- "unbreakable"
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