[games_access] Blizzard, WoW, and Accessibility Concerns

Thomas Westin thomas at pininteractive.com
Thu Feb 14 03:36:55 EST 2008


yes the rich and famous comment was just me dreaming :)

But I don't quite follow about the rest. I'm certain Blizzard and
others are well aware of the importance of fun? And having a
consortium is not stopping us from involving end-users. When I made
the comparison with W3C I didn't intend us to copy their organisation,
just referred to it as a concept for industry collaboration.

Regarding accessibility and film theatres: I agree but games are of
course different; you have "serious games" but not "serious film
theatres", or maybe I have missed something :) - the term "serious" is
a problem of it's own though but we have to live with it now :)
- as we have discussed many times, non-entertainment applications of
games demands accessibility

It's great that CEOs listen to the end-users this way and respond, but
still it's better if it is done pro-actively, so the end users don't
have to tell them, I think we all can agree on that.

-So why not take the chance now that we have the attention from CEOs
and COOs to discuss a _proactive_ way to make games as accessible as
possible, through industry collaboration? Call it something different
than a consortium if you like, but a bi-lateral, formal organization
that can put some efforts and dollars into game access is a good thing
in my mind.

And further, it is not an option between the SIG and a consortium, I
think both are needed. And as the consortium members need expertise to
develop accessibility in their games, yes the rich and famous, or at
least getting paid a little for all our work, could become more than a


On 13 feb 2008, at 17.09, d. michelle hinn wrote:

> Hi,


> I tend to agree with Jonathan on this one -- that going the W3C

> route is one that might not work well with regard to gaming. With

> games we are not just dealing with access standards...we also need

> to ensure that what is accessible is also "fun." We're also talking

> about vastly different architecture that companies adopt -- there is

> no "common language" that all games use (unlike HTML, etc). As

> Jonathan said -- now we have the consumer voice that we are just

> starting to get heard by industry. We don't want to lose this voice

> by taking a radical shift toward moving to a consortium that might

> be too much of a square peg in a round hole when it comes to talking

> about entertainment applications. With regard to the film industry

> (yeah, this example again) there is STILL no agreement as to what

> MUST be done in movie theatres and we still have the bulk of

> theatres not complying with what the US has said DOES fall under the

> Americans with Disabilities act after 7 years of the decision that

> captioning of sort must happen in theatres as requested.


> Also...I really can't see moving toward a consortium resulting in

> the fame and money in this industry -- has this come true for anyone

> in the web industry? I can think of one or two people who have

> benefited fame-wise but I have no idea of their net worth. A few

> people on my campus are on different W3C WGs and are probably some

> of the lowest earning academics at the university. Maybe that's

> different in parts of Europe -- I just know it's a "don't quit your

> day job" thing in the US. ;)


> We're in a bit of a lucky spot at the moment where it's the STORIES

> of the users that are affecting the CEO's, etc in paying attention

> to us -- moving to a consortium seems like a move that is one mired

> in policy and moves us away from being a group that recognizes that

> each company has their own creative values. I don't know -- just

> some morning thoughts about starting up a consortium.


> Michelle


>> Thomas,


>> there's a significant cost in taking the W3C route, end-user

>> involvement.


>> Corporates have their own agendas, which if they hold in common, it

>> can be very time consuming to change*.

>> whereas at the moment end-users can directly input to SIG, this

>> becomes increasingly difficult and unlikely as corporates and

>> academics take control. at least that is my experience over the

>> past decade contributing to various W3C WGs.


>> It is true that Ian Jacobs has suggested that including users in

>> the W3C process** has been discuss, and is under consideration by

>> the management group. However no timeline has been set for

>> implementation.


>> Open Source also has this deficiency, software is produced by

>> 'users' but not the public.

>> consumers have a small amount of control, but people with low

>> literacy are likely to have little disposable income.

>> A response from Bruce Perens is awaited ~:"


>> regards


>> Jonathan Chetwynd

>> Accessibility Consultant on Media Literacy and the Internet


>> *the formal objection to WCAG2 produced some good publicity, but

>> very little advance in understanding, in the main limited to a

>> qualification regarding the needs of people with learning

>> disabilities.


>> **A talk to CETIS "Putting the User at the Heart of the W3C

>> Process" with audio and transcript:

>> http://wiki.cetis.ac.uk/Putting_the_User_at_the_Heart_of_the_W3C_Process

>> .

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