[games_access] language thread, was The Human Controller

Eitan Glinert glinert at mit.edu
Wed Jun 11 13:14:46 EDT 2008


Hi everyone,

I really appreciate all the back and forth on the language in my
thesis, but I certainly hope that people are getting past these word
choices and checking out the thesis content :)

I'm going to go through and change the more egregious wording, like
"suffering from". I will make other small changes here and there when
appropriate, and I'll try to be as sensitive as possible without
causing the flow to disintegrate due to bizarre wording.

Thanks for the feedback,
Eitan

On Wed, Jun 11, 2008 at 12:59 PM, Barrie Ellis
<barrie.ellis at oneswitch.org.uk> wrote:

> Language is a contentious issue and I respect that you have a different

> opinion, Matthias. I just personally feel that certain phrases don't

> particularly tie up with disability rights - which is what the Game

> Accessibility movement is all about to my mind. I still feel that you are

> approaching this field from a Medical standpoint - rather that a Social

> rights stand point.

>

> Barrie

> www.OneSwitch.org.uk

>

>

>

>

> ----- Original Message -----

> From: Matthias Troup

> To: IGDA Games Accessibility SIG Mailing List

> Sent: Wednesday, June 11, 2008 5:28 PM

> Subject: Re: [games_access] language thread, was The Human Controller

> Kestrel, Perhaps I (and others) read it as this: If these are people

> without disabilities in the offensive sense... who aren't suffering in their

> environment... what would they need help with, and why would anyone be

> helping? I think Eitans choice of words is fine since his cause was a

> constructive effort for accessibility. At least, I feel hints of emotion

> help make any thesis a little less dry.

>

>

>

>

>

>

>

>> From: kestrell at panix.com

>> To: games_access at igda.org

>> Date: Wed, 11 Jun 2008 11:57:14 -0400

>> Subject: [games_access] language thread, was The Human Controller

>>

>> Regarding appropriate language, I'm not sure I see where you are

>> disagreeing

>> with my original post. I used the word "disability," and the site you

>> linked

>> to, which the wonderful BBC online disability magazine, Ouch!, also uses

>> the

>> word "disability." I totally agree with the list provided in the article

>> as

>> being offensive words, including the word "special."

>>

>> Granted the fifth day of ninety degree weather here in Boston is melting

>> my

>> brain, but what did I miss?

>>

>> Kes

>>

>> ----- Original Message -----

>> From: "Barrie Ellis" <barrie.ellis at oneswitch.org.uk>

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

>> Sent: Wednesday, June 11, 2008 2:54 AM

>> Subject: Re: [games_access] The Human Controller

>>

>>

>> > Hi Eitan,

>> >

>> > I actually disagree with Kestrell's "people first stand point" with

>> > "people with disabilities" (although I did used to use it myself). I've

>> > long since prefered "disabled people" linking to people being disabled

>> > by

>> > society / the inaccessibility of their environment.

>> >

>> > Take a look through this item:

>> > http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/magazine/3708576.stm.

>> > Plus this on the Social Model and Medical Model of diability:

>> > http://inclusion.uwe.ac.uk/inclusionweek/articles/socmod.htm

>> >

>> > Barrie

>> > www.OneSwitch.org.uk

>> >

>> >

>> >

>> >

>> >

>> >

>> >

>> >

>> > ----- Original Message -----

>> > From: "Kestrell" <kestrell at panix.com>

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

>> > Sent: Tuesday, June 10, 2008 11:42 PM

>> > Subject: Re: [games_access] The Human Controller

>> >

>> >

>> >> Eitan,

>> >>

>> >> I seem to have missed your original post in which you posted the link,

>> >> but here are some thoughts on language and disability:

>> >>

>> >> Certain words and phrases tend to really be button words, as in they

>> >> will

>> >> typically hit many readers' buttons, and the phrase "suffering from" is

>> >> definitely one of those phrases. Often the phrase can be deleted

>> >> altogether, leaving the phrase "people with disabilities" or "people

>> >> with

>> >> visual impairments" or "visually-impaired gamers," etc. The informal

>> >> rule

>> >> is that the individuals you are discussing are "people first," as

>> >> mentioned in this online article

>> >> http://iod.unh.edu/press.html

>> >>

>> >> and here is a link which includes links to writing about disability,

>> >> language to use in interviewing people with disabilities, and more

>> >> resources

>> >> http://ncdj.org/links.html

>> >>

>> >> Kes

>> >>

>> >> ---- Original Message -----

>> >> From: "Eitan Glinert" <glinert at mit.edu>

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

>> >> Sent: Tuesday, June 10, 2008 4:29 PM

>> >> Subject: Re: [games_access] The Human Controller

>> >>

>> >>

>> >>> Wow, awesome! Thanks for the feedback, I think you are the only person

>> >>> outside of MIT to have actually read this. Comments below.

>> >>> Eitan

>> >>>

>> >>> On Mon, Jun 9, 2008 at 6:48 PM, Barrie Ellis

>> >>> <barrie.ellis at oneswitch.org.uk> wrote:

>> >>>> Hi Eitan,

>> >>>>

>> >>>> I've read through your thesis "The Human Controller"...

>> >>>>

>> >>>> Had these thoughts...

>> >>>>

>> >>>> Didn't like some of the language used. "Suffering from - impaired

>> >>>> people -

>> >>>> handicapped". All pretty crusty old terms with negative connotations.

>> >>>

>> >>>>>>EG: Point taken. Any suggestions for better terms?<<<

>> >>>

>> >>>>

>> >>>> Not sure about the controller analysis in Chapter 1 - there's been

>> >>>> Driving

>> >>>> controllers and light guns since the 70's for many games consoles -

>> >>>> which

>> >>>> are fairly natural feeling interfaces and have been popular in the

>> >>>> past.

>> >>>>

>> >>>

>> >>>>>>EG: I guess in chapter one I'm trying to draw general strokes about

>> >>>>>>UIs, saying that they generally weren't adopted by a mainstream

>> >>>>>>audience. Perhaps I should make this more explicit, though<<<

>> >>>

>> >>>> "Even if it is possible to remap controls it is not always advisable

>> >>>> to

>> >>>> do

>> >>>> so. Frequently part of the fun of a game is the interface, and

>> >>>> changing

>> >>>> it

>> >>>> without forethought is potentially detrimental. In the pervious

>> >>>> example

>> >>>> of

>> >>>> Wii Sports tennis part of the fun is actually swinging the controller

>> >>>> as if

>> >>>> it were a racket. If this functionality were changed to pressing a

>> >>>> button

>> >>>> then much of the game's charm and fun would be lost.". I'm not happy

>> >>>> with

>> >>>> this statement personally - I'd like to see multiple-layers of

>> >>>> accessibility

>> >>>> (much like Dimitris "Parallel Universes" theory). Why can't a four

>> >>>> player

>> >>>> game of Wii Sports allow player 1 to use the Wii-remote - player 2 to

>> >>>> use a

>> >>>> standard JoyPad - player 3 to use a single button and player 4 to use

>> >>>> an

>> >>>> adapted Wii-remote with blue-tooth stereo head-set to relay

>> >>>> personalised

>> >>>> timing sounds (think of live singers having a click track that only

>> >>>> they can

>> >>>> hear) in an ideal world? You mention this type of thing later as if

>> >>>> it's a

>> >>>> good thing - so I find this early statement a bit overly negative.

>> >>>>

>> >>>

>> >>>>>>EG: I agree with what you say, which is why I discuss such themes in

>> >>>>>>chapter 2. I guess the reason I have that negative statement early

>> >>>>>> on

>> >>>>>>is because I wanted to acknowledge the tradeoff early on, even

>> >>>>>> before

>> >>>>>>I get to the sections on tradeoffs. I also wanted to make it clear

>> >>>>>>that I don't feel accessibility is a magic bullet, even if it is

>> >>>>>>almost always applicable.<<<

>> >>>

>> >>>> "Games have evolved tremendously over the past few decades, as

>> >>>> advancements

>> >>>> in technology have led to amazingly realistic and engaging offerings,

>> >>>> while

>> >>>> shifts in player demographics indicate the widespread popularity of

>> >>>> video

>> >>>> games. Despite these changes many different disabled groups are still

>> >>>> unable

>> >>>> to play most titles due to inaccessible UIs.." - Would argue that

>> >>>> too.

>> >>>> I'd

>> >>>> agree that most Blind gamers would be in that boat (those with very

>> >>>> little

>> >>>> usable sight) - but a better statement might have been "many

>> >>>> different

>> >>>> disabled groups are faced with deeply frustrating barriers with many

>> >>>> main-stream games". I know Deaf gamers might struggle at certain

>> >>>> points

>> >>>> of

>> >>>> certain games - and gamers using a single button frequently have to

>> >>>> rely

>> >>>> upon a friend/helper to take on extra controls and so on - but they

>> >>>> can

>> >>>> still play.

>> >>>>

>> >>>

>> >>>>>>EG: Good suggestion, thanks! I might make a change to the argument

>> >>>>>> on

>> >>>>>>the online version.<<<

>> >>>

>> >>>>

>> >>>> Chaper 2

>> >>>>

>> >>>> "Game controls should be as simple as possible, but no simpler." -

>> >>>> Not

>> >>>> really sure what you're saying here.

>> >>>>

>> >>>

>> >>>>>>EG: Simplicity is good, but you don't want to go overboard. You

>> >>>>>> don't

>> >>>>>>want to cut out critical game elements or features in the name of a

>> >>>>>>"cleaner" UI. Maybe that's not clear? <<<

>> >>>

>> >>>>

>> >>>> 2.5 "a rhythm title like Guitar Hero which focuses on music will not

>> >>>> work

>> >>>> for the hearing impaired, and it is probably not possible to make an

>> >>>> accessible version." - I don't agree with this. Deaf gamers as a

>> >>>> whole

>> >>>> covers a very broad range of hearing ability. There will be many deaf

>> >>>> gamers

>> >>>> perfectly able to play Guitar Hero. Even those unable to hear at all

>> >>>> might

>> >>>> enjoy such a game - did you see Deaf Gamers 8.5/10 review score:

>> >>>> http://www.deafgamers.com/07reviews_a/gh3_x360.html

>> >>>>

>> >>>

>> >>>>>>EG: Wow, I flubbed this one. I'm going to have to change the

>> >>>>>> language

>> >>>>>>on this. Good catch, thanks!<<<

>> >>>

>> >>>> But aside from this, I frequently found myself in full agreement with

>> >>>> the

>> >>>> majority of your thesis - and did enjoy reading it. Thanks for making

>> >>>> it

>> >>>> publicly available.

>> >>>>

>> >>>

>> >>>>>>Great, thanks so much!<<<

>> >>>

>> >>>> Barrie

>> >>>>

>> >>>>

>> >>>> ----- Original Message ----- From: "Eitan Glinert" <glinert at mit.edu>

>> >>>> To: "IGDA Games Accessibility SIG Mailing List"

>> >>>> <games_access at igda.org>

>> >>>> Sent: Thursday, June 05, 2008 10:50 PM

>> >>>> Subject: [games_access] The Human Controller

>> >>>>

>> >>>>

>> >>>>> Good news, everyone! In a surprise twist, I'm graduating! I know a

>> >>>>> lot

>> >>>>> of you are interested in my thesis, so you can check it out at

>> >>>>> web.mit.edu/glinert/www/thesis . I'm happy to answer questions about

>> >>>>> it, and I welcome feedback (both positive and negative). Special

>> >>>>> thanks to Dimitris, Eelke, Michelle, and Reid for all their help

>> >>>>> answering my questions over the months.

>> >>>>>

>> >>>>> In case you're not sure whether it is worth reading, here's some

>> >>>>> more

>> >>>>> info:

>> >>>>>

>> >>>>> TITLE: The Human Controller: Usability and Accessibility in Video

>> >>>>> Game

>> >>>>> Interfaces

>> >>>>>

>> >>>>> ABSTRACT:

>> >>>>> Despite the advances in user interfaces and the new gaming genres,

>> >>>>> not

>> >>>>> all people can play all games - disabled people are frequently

>> >>>>> excluded from game play experiences. On the one hand this adds to

>> >>>>> the

>> >>>>> list of discriminations disabled people face in our society, while

>> >>>>> on

>> >>>>> the other hand actively including them potentially results in games

>> >>>>> that are better for everyone. The largest hurdle to involvement is

>> >>>>> the

>> >>>>> user interface, or how a player interacts with the game. Analyzing

>> >>>>> usability and adhering to accessibility design principles makes it

>> >>>>> both possible and practical to develop fun and engaging game user

>> >>>>> interfaces that a broader range of the population can play. To

>> >>>>> demonstrate these principles we created AudiOdyssey, a PC rhythm

>> >>>>> game

>> >>>>> that is accessible to both sighted and non-sighted audiences. By

>> >>>>> following accessibility guidelines we incorporated a novel

>> >>>>> combination

>> >>>>> of features resulting in a similar play experience for both groups.

>> >>>>> Testing AudiOdyssey yielded useful insights into which interface

>> >>>>> elements work and which don't work for all users. Finally a case is

>> >>>>> made for considering accessibility when designing future versions of

>> >>>>> gaming user interfaces, and speculative scenarios are presented for

>> >>>>> what such interfaces might look like.

>> >>>>>

>> >>>>> Eitan

>> >>>>> _______________________________________________

>> >>>>> games_access mailing list

>> >>>>> games_access at igda.org

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

>> >>>>

>> >>>>

>> >>>> _______________________________________________

>> >>>> games_access mailing list

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

>> >>>>

>> >>> _______________________________________________

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>> >>

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