[games_access] Legislating for Game Accessibility

Thomas Westin thomas at pininteractive.com
Thu Dec 20 03:27:50 EST 2007

We should also differentiate between independent developers with low
or no budgets, and games made with multimillion dollar budgets

Perhaps by saying that some percentage of the profit for _successful_
games reserved for making sequels of the game _more_ accessible,
based on game genre; then the publisher takes little or no risk, since
it's self-funded development and more disabled gamers can play the
popular games.


On 20 dec 2007, at 09.00, Barrie Ellis wrote:

> I'm not 100% on either side of this fence - but the phrase

> "reasonable adjustments" doesn't ask for universal accessibility

> anyway. That said, your "rob them of time and money" does sound like

> some of the protests shop keepers were making pre "Disability

> Discrimination Act". I think slowly people get used to these concepts.


> How could "reasonble adjustments" be made reasonable with video

> games. I'm not 100% sure to be honest. I just don't think it's

> anywhere near as frightening as some people seem to think it is.


> Barrie



> ----- Original Message ----- From: "Tess Snider" <this at malkyne.org>

> To: "IGDA Games Accessibility SIG Mailing List"

> <games_access at igda.org>

> Sent: Thursday, December 20, 2007 12:33 AM

> Subject: Re: [games_access] Legislating for Game Accessibility



>> On Dec 19, 2007 11:06 AM, Barrie Ellis

>> <barrie.ellis at oneswitch.org.uk> wrote:

>>> So if an expectancy of "reasonable adjustments" in commercial

>>> software was

>>> introduced (which I truly belive will eventually happen) how badly

>>> would the

>>> artistic side of things be affected? What is reasonable is the

>>> tricky

>>> point... But I didn't see too many shop keepers crying about

>>> giving greater

>>> access to shoppers with different abilities.


>> You're comparing apples and oranges. You can't just bolt a ramp onto

>> a game, and call it accessible.


>> There are some types of entertainment experiences that are simply

>> incompatible with certain disabilities. This is not due to

>> insensitivity on the part of the artists, but the very nature of the

>> experience. Someone who is vision impaired, but not blind, might

>> really enjoy the extra-large picture provided by IMAX movies, while

>> someone who is completely blind will get no benefit from the giant

>> screen.


>> A lot of audio-only games for blind players are made by small,

>> independent developers. Many of them are labors of love. Would you

>> force these folks to invest extra time and money to develop a version

>> of their game that could be played by deaf players? Would you rob

>> them of the time and money that they might have put towards making

>> more games for the blind? Legislation can hurt the very people we

>> are

>> trying to help.


>> I continue to believe that the push for accessibility labeling

>> standards is the right approach. This does not mandate

>> accessibility,

>> but it does create market pressure, and get companies thinking about

>> how they can tick off more checkboxes. I guarantee you, you'd see

>> much more widespread coverage for at least the low-hanging fruit

>> (e.g.

>> captioning, visual cues for auditory alerts, configurable controls,

>> etc.) than you do right now. As it is, it's hard to get companies to

>> even remember that some people are left-handed!


>> Tess

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