[games_access] Game control question...

d. michelle hinn hinn at uiuc.edu
Sun Jan 20 20:36:38 EST 2008

>On Jan 20, 2008 6:54 PM, Michael Ellison <devellison at gmail.com> wrote:

>> important. Kinda funny we have to prove that, since even animals play

>> games to enhance their lives and humans have pretty complex games that

>> we play today that have been played for centuries.


>Just reread that and wanted to make sure my meaning is clear - I think

>the research and proof is absolutely critical, especially when talking

>to insurance companies, resource centers, and legislatures about

>funding. What you're doing is awesome and critically important, it's

>just that it seems like people should inherently *know* that games are

>important to quality of life.

Yeah, I do agree. Unfortunately when it comes to disability and game
accessibility, we have to fight the good fight to say that
games/leisure are so important that it can have the power to gift the
gift of the will to live after a critical accident. Instead we/I
often get responses like "ok, but is it MORE important than XYZ?" Yes
and no -- of course if there is nothing in place to help someone
breathe and so forth...then ok, that's going to obviously get first
priority. But to shrug it off as completely frivolous? That's not the
right answer either. Art, music, games, literature, comics,
television...these are the things that help make life interesting and
worth wanting to stick around another day.

Those of us on this list? We all understand this. But there are a lot
of weirdness out there. I've heard from doctors, parents, etc more
than once "but isn't it good that games are inaccessible so that we
can help *protect* them from this?" Huh, what? Note, that these
responses have almost always been from people who are not disabled
and/or do not have a child, spouse, parent, sibling, friend, etc who
is disabled. I could go on and on for a few hundred pages about the
word "protect." But to save everyone the bandwidth, I won't right
now. ;) But It's a freedom of choice issue. To assume that all people
with disabilities need some sort of social censorship when it comes
to games, etc is to assume all people with disabilities are *exactly*
alike and need someone to make the choice about what information they
have access to for them. I can smell a dystopia a mile away and we're
on the frontlines.

But then I've also heard doctors and parents and people with
disabilities say "is there something that will allow my patient/my
child/me to play games again?" So all is not lost. But, yeah, it is
kind of crazy that we have to tell people with research/stats/etc
backing us up, what seems to be a pretty simple concept. But that's
the world we live in.


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