[games_access] Blizzard, WoW, and Accessibility Concerns

AudioGames.net richard at audiogames.net
Tue Feb 12 02:05:59 EST 2008


Good news! I once started collecting accessibility(-friendly) macro's and
addon-s for Wow but I found that the functionality of many early addons that
allowed for better accessibility (like auto-movement, auto-attack) were
disabled in later patches. Even something simple as knowing when the
"sneak"-sound is played (which one could use to make your own closed caption
caption) is unavailable. I have a wish list somewhere I could send you... ?

But before I get in on how to make WoW accessible, I have always been
wondering whatever happened to Rock Band? Several of us gave (critical)
feedback but I never heard from it again... ? I really like you bringing in
real-world cases to the SIG, Michelle, but I don't really like it that when
we give possible solutions and suggestions, the rest of the conversation is
seemingly behind closed doors? Or was there no further conversation?



----- Original Message -----
From: "d. michelle hinn" <hinn at uiuc.edu>
To: "IGDA Games Accessibility SIG Mailing List" <games_access at igda.org>
Sent: Tuesday, February 12, 2008 7:01 AM
Subject: [games_access] Blizzard, WoW, and Accessibility Concerns

> Hi all,


> It's been brought to my attention that there are some gamers with mobility

> impairments who have been blocked from playing World of Warcraft due to a

> policy that is in place that "kicks off" any gamer who is using something

> that looks like a cheat when meanwhile it's actually an accessibility mod

> that works with an accessible controller or some such.


> I'm happy to say that thanks to Jason Della Rocca's help (IGDA Exec

> Director) I now have direct contact with the COO of Blizzard who is

> extremely dismayed by the fact that some gamers with disabilities have

> been blocked from playing WoW and by the reaction(s) they have allegedly

> received from the company's tech support, etc. Paul Sams , Blizzard COO,

> would like me to put all gamers who have been experiencing this issue in

> direct contact with him so that a mutually agreeable solution can be

> found. This is one of those rare chances that we have to talk to one of

> the highest higher ups at a company to help correct accessibility

> problems. To quote him: "(he) will take this seriously!"


> If you or someone you know has a disability and has been banned from play

> WoW due to the use of an accessible controller or key remapping, please

> contact or have them contact me directly at hinn at uiuc.edu and we will get

> this worked out with Blizzard. As I said, Paul was extremely upset when he

> learned that there may be someone (or some people) on his team that,

> according to what I have heard, did not make this issue a priority and

> instead handled the issue with a lack of grace. I have the confidence that

> this is an accessibility issue that can be fixed but we need the full

> details from the gamers that have been impacted so that Blizzard knows how

> to (1) fix the problem and (2) address the issue(s) related to the

> responses given and/or the outright ignoring of the issue in the chain of

> command.


> So please drop me an email if you've or someone you know has been impacted

> by this and we will get this issue on the way to being fixed! And please

> let gamers on any forums or lists know that they should contact me (go

> ahead and put in my email address) so that I can introduce them to Paul.


> Thanks everyone!

> Michelle

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