[games_access] Blizzard, WoW, and Accessibility Concerns

Thomas Westin thomas at pininteractive.com
Thu Feb 14 03:51:43 EST 2008

Hello again,

just adding a couple of things:

On 14 feb 2008, at 09.36, Thomas Westin wrote:

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

> need to ensure that what is accessible is also "fun."

Just to make clear what I meant so you don't get me wrong: I'm certain
you didn't mean that the game industry are unaware of the fun factor,
but rather that implementing accessibility takes greater care about
not spoiling the content of the game, i.e making it too easy etc.
However, that's just part of the challenge, and why we need a
financially strong organisation too, which the SIG is not.

> We're also talking about vastly different architecture that

> companies adopt -- there is no "common language" that all games use

> (unlike HTML, etc)

Yes I agree, but my efforts with the GAIM is addressing exactly this
problem through UML. UML is a common denominator where you can design
and code visually and then generate solutions for different languages
and architectures. I know, it takes a _lot_ of work to make this work
completely automagically, cross-platforms etc, perhaps it never will,
but I think it can help a lot in this process.


On 14 feb 2008, at 09.36, Thomas Westin wrote:

> Hi,


> 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 dream.


> /Thomas




> 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

>>> .

>>> _______________________________________________

>>> games_access mailing list

>>> games_access at igda.org

>>> http://seven.pairlist.net/mailman/listinfo/games_access


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