[games_access] Thinking about GDC 08's competition

AudioGames.net richard at audiogames.net
Fri Jun 1 04:44:42 EDT 2007


"ax" - I just missed it, didn't see it when I scanned the text ;)

1) Deaf and Blind: this is one of the biggest challenges of them all. In
that respect, I would not use it for GDC, because of the severe limitations
you put the designers in. Same goes for severe learning disabled gamers.
Although I was of the opinion I had a pretty good view I could design
something creative, fun and fresh for this target group, time and time I was
disappointed by yet another limitation (not a game project, mind)

2) Helen Keller: like the angle of a famous person, but I prefer a living
person instead (who could be there at GDC too)? Also see my comments above
and my idea below.

3) Red/Green Light with audience signs: it sounds like "work". Not to
immediately bash the idea, but I guess that the past has shown that we are
all very limited in resources/time so I would prefer to do something with as
little (analog) assets as possible ;) I like the theme, though, as it fits
the industry.

Another idea, kinda based on my earlier post: When looking at universal
accessible game design notice how information is adapted between the various
media. Those present in Brighton may remember my Scott Kim-comment, on how
"games" could be considered to be a transmedial phenomonon (also see
writings of Jesper Juul). What would you think of the angle of:

"Develop ONE Game that is equally fun in THREE types of media: visuals only,
sound only, tactile only"

It needs a better description and some tweaking (which media exactly? maybe
scent only, analog medium only, etc.). But where I guess the fun part is, is
to experience the same game (play) in three different appearences (so only
visuals, only sound, only tactile). Such a challenge could be a perfect
example to show the different design considerations while trying to make one
game accessible for people who cannot perceive certain media (blind, deaf,
deaf/blind). This is kind of like the same assignment as "make one game that
is equally fun for the blind, the deaf and the deaf/blind", but by turning
it around and focusing on the output media instead, it becomes a whole lot
more fun (in my opinion).

Another idea:

"Design a multiplayer co-operative game for a deaf, a blind, a physically
impaired AND a learning disabled gamer"

Infocom once had an adventure game called Suspended
(http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Suspended), in which the player had to control
several types of robots, each with their own unique abilty:

* Iris - The only robot with visual sensors, Iris can provide visual
descriptions of locations and objects. As the game begins, however, Iris has
suffered a burnt-out microchip and cannot see. Iris is confined to the area
surrounding the Central Chamber.
* Whiz - The most technical robot, Whiz is used mainly for interfacing
with a central library computer for historical and technical information.
* Waldo - The most capable physical manipulator, with several limbs for
grasping and holding objects. Waldo perceives the world using sonar. (The
term "Waldo" was originally coined by Robert A. Heinlein to describe
teleoperated robots.)
* Auda - Auda is equipped with sensitive audio receptors and can provide
information on sounds and vibrations.
* Poet - A diagnostic robot, Poet can sense the flow of electricity; he
tends to communicate in somewhat cryptic language.
* Sensa - Sensa is specialized for the detection of magnetic and photon

So basically, Iris is the only one who sees, Waldo is the only one who can
grab things, Auda is to only one who can hear, etc. In Suspended
(text-adventure) the player had to control them all. So think of designing a
game that Iris, Waldo and Auda could all play together, assisting one
another during play, working together towards winning the game? Although
this is quite a strict definition already, I would be interested in how a
designer would make this work, both with the interface as well as the game
Btw: I thought of this concept when I read about the idea of sighted users
leading blind-users through Second Life, as a guide. Helping each other out
in a co-op game could prove to be a new kind of game accessibility?

What do you think?

K... I'm away again, speak with you in a week...

R Out

----- Original Message -----
From: "d. michelle hinn" <hinn at uiuc.edu>
To: "IGDA Games Accessibility SIG Mailing List" <games_access at igda.org>
Sent: Friday, June 01, 2007 3:53 AM
Subject: Re: [games_access] Thinking about GDC 08's competition

> Heh -- this was probably a lost in translation/bad explanation on my part

> bit -- the "ax the reality show thing" was meant to mean don't do a game

> show thing at all!


> We "can't" use design challenge...but that doesn't stop us from coming

> pretty darn close to the same words...errr...Challenge: Design! ;)


> Another idea I had was...design for Helen Keller...now doing something

> accessible for the deaf AND blind...now that is a challenge...and the

> person that can design something cool around that will help solve the

> catch 22 issue where doing something that helps the deaf might mess up

> something for the blind with regard to accessibility. This also puts us in

> more competition with Eric Z and his poetry/peace prize/needle and thread

> challenges...


> I was also thinking that the person should be able to also play it with

> non-disabled friends...perhaps over the top? But still...the social aspect

> of gaming is SO important.


> I *REALLY* want to give the challenge another try because I think we're

> onto something -- we just need to rethink it! And I want our sessions to

> be fun -- we don't have to be comedians (as we know now...we're not) to

> create a couple hour long presentations.


> And...(now back to game shows, only different)


> I also like the "Translation: Accessibility" idea where we have a, for

> example, what closed captioning means for the non-hearing impaired.

> Eelke -- perhaps since you put the article out on Gamasutra, you'd like to

> lead some kind of session on this that is also SIG sponsored? Perhaps it

> could be more than a lecture -- did you see Microsoft's "usability game

> show" at CHI in Austria? We could toss out some fun prizes to those that

> come up with something not on the list -- that way the audience is more

> engaged. I can see this as a high energy and fun, engaging session.


> OK...More ideas!!!


> Michelle




>>I agree with all of the competitors advice. I would also like to add "no

>>game show theme next time"? A theme is good, but something cool, not

>>corny? Michelle, I like all of your suggestions so far. I would prefer to

>>have a good, 3rd party host and Raph seems like a good person for that.

>>And I guess fitting in his own entry is cool?


>>But, ok, what still seems missing is:


>>1) theme / title of the design challenge. Can we still use "design

>>challenge" in the title?

>>2) basically along with the theme, the target impaired audience? Our

>>options are:


>>- game for one specific game handicap

>>- game for a game handicap of choice

>>- game for one out of a selection of game handicaps (the list we make)


>>But maybe we can try something completely different/less obvious instead.

>>As I read Eelke's (excellent) Gamasutra article today, I was thinking

>>about handicaps caused by impairments and the same handicaps not caused by

>>impairments. Example: deaf gamers encounter the same problems as gamers in

>>a loud environment (LAN party/mother vacuming/arcade/on the train) as

>>gamers that play a mobile game and intentionally turn the sound off.

>>Another one is: gamers with parkinson encounter the same problem as gamers

>>on a plane with turbulence. Another one is: gamers trying to play with a

>>DS or a PSP in a sunny environment (as I tried in the Dominican Republic

>>for 2 weeks) encounter the same problem as visually impaired gamers. etc.

>>etc. For more examples, see Eelke's article.


>>Maybe we could make sort of a game-handicap list, where each problem is

>>linked to both a bodily impairment *and* a likely situation that a

>>non-impaired gamer can also encounter. So the parkinson/airplane

>>disability (although there's probably also the gamer with parkinson on a

>>plane with turbulence-disability). This is also where we could can some

>>fun in, for instance:


>>disability: game speed is to fast

>>people who encounter this issue: gamers with a physical impairment that

>>does not allow for fast reactions, hippies


>>disability: cannot hear game audio

>>people who encounter this issue: deaf gamers, grannies, gamers who visited

>>Ozzfest 2007


>>Err... ?


>>And I guess I still want Hugh Heffner to showcase his Playboy Mansion game

>>to see how well he handles the controls at his age. And I like celebrity

>>handicapped people: Michael J Fox showing how he plays with the DS having



>>Just some random thought. Next please!





>>----- Original Message ----- From: "d. michelle hinn" <hinn at uiuc.edu>

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

>>Sent: Thursday, May 31, 2007 11:11 PM

>>Subject: [games_access] Thinking about GDC 08's competition


>>>Hey guys,


>>>So I'm working on next year's design challenge for GDC and I'm taking the

>>>advise of the competitors from 07 into consideration:


>>>* Keep it to one hour

>>>* No judges at all -- if judges have questions about why they felt that

>>>way...I'll email you off-list

>>>* Include accessibility "extra info" between the contestants or do it all

>>>up front

>>>* NO VIDEOS unless they are realllllllllly good and reallllllllllly short

>>>(we left people in the dark with our video as fun as it was to make it

>>>wasn't nearly as hilarious in real life) :)

>>>* Keep things more serious without being boring

>>>* Ax the "reality show" idea

>>>* Cut down the number of contestants to 3


>>>So right now I'm talking to people who might be involved -- Raph Koster

>>>(wrote "theory of fun") is interested in either being a contestant or

>>>being "mini" presenter on the challenges of accessibility and fun (those

>>>of you at GDC 07 probably remember that we were up against him so maybe

>>>if we get everyone famous somehow involved...hehe) and then Will Wright,

>>>Dave Perry and Keita Takahashi who said they were interested for 08 --

>>>I'm imagining all will not say "yes." Raph is really interested in being

>>>involved in some manner. I'd like for them to be involved during even the

>>>early stages so that we can present a coherent show. So I'd to have the

>>>spirit of being a publisher with many competing design studios and only

>>>one will get the "go" in a "go/no go" audience vote (this was Noah's

>>>suggestion). So the contestants would have "checking in" meetings with us

>>>as they go (to prevent "non-game presentations...we had a few") and such.

>>>And I'm imagining that all contestants would have "accessibility mentors"

>>>assigned to them from the SIG to make things even more challenging and

>>>fun for all of us and get us all involved.


>>>So this isn't THE proposal...I'm just still riffing on some ideas. So

>>>YOUR opinion counts so please do give it! None of last year's contestants

>>>said that we should drop the whole idea -- but instead change it and do

>>>it in a way that seems much more put together.


>>>So let's go! Let's think about our cool street cred session that might

>>>get people in the door for an hour and then get them to come to the expo

>>>for more! Let's think about how we can have the coolest, yet non-hospital

>>>inducing sessions to raise the roof!!!!




>>>games_access mailing list

>>>games_access at igda.org




>>games_access mailing list

>>games_access at igda.org



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