[games_access] Legislating for Game Accessibility
jbannick at 7128.com
Fri Dec 21 05:24:04 EST 2007
All excellent points.
Fortunately, the 7-128 Software Accessibility Ratings apply only to our own
(Though we do have some heated discussions between Development [mostly me]
and Marketing [them])
Happy Holidays and Good Trip,
At 07:35 PM 12/20/2007, you wrote:
>Ratings have been something we've talked about for a long while now and
>I'm for them if we can come up with a way that can prevent them from being
>misleading or misused. For example, the ESRB has paid employees that help
>make sure that a game meets the ratings and are forced to meet again about
>games when "hidden" content that breaks the rating comes about (Grand
>Theft Auto...). We don't have that at this point. However I'm working with
>the ESA and the ECA in trying to see how we could set up something like
>this for accessibility (pros/cons/etc). For instance, we wouldn't like a
>developer to advertise closed captioning when all they provide is some
>subtitles with no thought to ambient sounds, cut scenes, etc. We'd need to
>work on a system where it's clear cut when we can be comfortable saying
>"yes, the use of this symbol means that the IGDA Game Accessibility SIG
>(or an ESA sponsored Accessibility Ratings Board if we can get that kind
>of commitment/buy in from them) agrees that this game meets a certain
>standard of closed captioning and we agree that they can use the symbol."
>After all, the last thing we would want is for a game company to advertise
>a feature that really isn't in the game to the level that it makes the
>game accessible to a certain audience -- it would undermine the ratings
>system and open things up to legal battles that might turn the industry
>against us (ie, the industry might say "hey...we were just trying to help
>but we got it wrong and no one was there to correct us -- had we not
>bothered at all, we wouldn't be in this lawsuit for false advertisement!).
>So a lot of thinking needs to go into this -- I believe it's something we
>should move toward but we'll need the assistance of folks from the ESA and
>such to help us get this right.
>Yeah...I know...good intentions too often spring to ugly results. But the
>more we can think through those ahead of time, the better! In the
>meantime, we can keep at this and keep pointing out when a company does
>something that is exemplary (even if they don't realize they did it!). :)
>>You are right John those abbreviations are really simple and straight to the
>>point. It's a start. Wonder if there are any ADA standard abbreviations
>>and they use that could be more recognizable across the universal plane of
>>acceptance? If symbols are already used.
>>From: games_access-bounces at igda.org [mailto:games_access-bounces at igda.org]
>>On Behalf Of John Bannick
>>Sent: Thursday, December 20, 2007 4:57 AM
>>To: IGDA Games Accessibility SIG Mailing List
>>Subject: Re: [games_access] Legislating for Game Accessibility
>>Interesting you should suggest Accessibility Ratings.
>>Our small company makes computer games for the casual games market.
>>All of these games have a 7-128 Software Accessibility Rating and Age
>>We post the ratings at the electronic point of purchase and in all our
>>The Accessibility Ratings aren't perfect by any means, but they're a start.
>>(In fact, I'm working on a set of specific accessibilty criteria to back
>>Check out: http://www.7128.com/supportratings.html
>>At 07:33 PM 12/19/2007, you wrote:
>>>On Dec 19, 2007 11:06 AM, Barrie Ellis <barrie.ellis at oneswitch.org.uk>
>>> > So if an expectancy of "reasonable adjustments" in commercial software
>>> > 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
>>> > 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
>>>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!
>>>games_access mailing list
>>>games_access at igda.org
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