[games_access] A few thoughts
tlaloc.raingod at gmail.com
Fri Mar 28 19:47:08 EDT 2008
1) I think it makes sense to expend some energy on quantifying the
potential market for developers. Michelle, I know you are catching up
on your emails but have you had a chance to look at mine about the
National Multiple Sclerosis Society survey I am trying to get going?
I think it may be the direction to go- i.e. getting groups that
advocate for various conditions to do some of the leg work of getting
the data together. They have a vested interest in convincing game
developers after all.
2) As far as some adaptations being better for some and worse for others-
It seems like we must be able to identify at least a few core
technologies that are "low hanging fruit", i.e. things that are the
easiest to implement and help the widest selection of people. For
instance having a wider range of difficulty selections doesn't
specifically apply to one issue but may help a huge range of people.
Subtitle options not only help anyone with hearing issues but anyone
who has bad sound hardware, or sleeping kids, et cetera. Now we can't
help everyone just by picking the low hanging fruit, but we can
establish the concept as worthwhile and help a good number.
3) Motivating developers.
I've been thinking about this a bit and it seems the way to really get
things moving is to make accessibility a core consideration and the
only way to do that is to make it something that affects their bottom
line. Perhaps the best way to do that is to have a rating system and
hopefully push for the ratings to show up on the game box itself along
with the ESRB rating. If developers know that customers are going to
see an evaluation of how accessible their game is when they pick up
the box then they'll worry about it a bit more. I noticed another
poster mentioned a rating system earlier (I think in connection to
ALERT, although I'm not familiar yet with what exactly that is).
Another potential direction is to try and work with minigame
developers like Reflexive. Since their games have significantly lower
development costs they might be lightly better able experiment with
accessibility adaptations. The minigame market could be a sort of
cauldron where we try things out and if/when they work well we can
point at the success for the big game developers. As for the minigame
developers since they don't tend to have the greatest marketing if
they get some free airplay through us that's a big win for them.
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