[games_access] Games for Health 2008 and Game Accessibility Workshop
barrie.ellis at oneswitch.org.uk
Wed May 21 05:52:11 EDT 2008
Re: [games_access] Games for Health 2008 and Game AccessibThanks Michelle - great post. I've blogged a little of these simultaneous two events on-line:
We had a fascinating few of hours at the Game Accessibility Workshop. Got a chance to speak to the lead figures in the development of the quiz-game Buzz (which has been a huge success in the UK) as well as a guy developing GPS based games to get people gaming outdoors.
A short video that Robert Florio has posted previously opened proceedings - followed by a lot of discussion with people from a wide range of backgrounds.
An accessible game play area was put on - including audio games (including those played on a handheld Nintendo) - my old favourite - Star Trigon (Namco Jamma coin-op game) and Shenmue Darts with an Ultimarc iPac - to show how easy it can be to create tailor made controls. I also demonstrated what you can do with Space Invaders on MAME. I used 4Noah to reduce left and right down to a single button. I used an adapted controller and JoyToKey to connect a large single button. I used MAME cheats to turn on Auto-fire, and also to turn off the Space Invaders firing back. I then kicked in CPU Killer to slow the game down further. Sensing that I was possibly baffling some of the audience with the complexity needed - I also showed off "Aurikon" which is a one-button game from the off with excellent speed and difficulty options - and featuring a one-button scan and select menu...
Tried to get across to the Buzz team that it would have made all the difference for some gamers to be able to use their own controllers (i.e. include JoyPad compatibility) - and also to the option to switch off the timer.
Buzz does have some great accessibility features already though - relatively simple controls - quick start options - frequent instructions that can be skipped. The school version of Buzz also had removed the berating the last-placed player received - with the hope that this would reduce any bullying. I did mention that I thought this was a great idea. Everybody's Golf gets a bit annoying when you putt the ball over par and your character falls to the ground in dispair and the crowd boo you. Would be nice to turn that off - as to putt the ball at all for some gamers is a great achievement...
Anyway - very enjoyable day - which I can thank Graham McAllister and Hilary Smith at the University of Sussex for.
----- Original Message -----
From: d. michelle hinn
To: IGDA Games Accessibility SIG Mailing List
Sent: Tuesday, May 13, 2008 1:43 PM
Subject: Re: [games_access] Games for Health 2008 and Game Accessibility Workshop
Hi Barrie and everyone on the GA list!
Yes, a few of us were at the Games for Health conference and are submitting our slides online so that they can be linked to the video that Ben generously recorded of our whole day's event. So now we have a nice collection of videos that we'll be able to put on YouTube or whatnot for free so we can point game devs, government agencies, funders, etc to these resources to show a little bit of what we do! How cool is that? :)
The conference was great, although I sprained my ankle toward the end (believe it or not it happen when I was walking barefoot in the rain and NOT when I was wearing my infamous way too high heeled shoes. Lol. I'm ok -- just have a splint -- no breaks. I think it's a bit funny, actually, so if you feel like laughing...please do! I am! :D
So we had an all day workshop where we had talks by old and new friends! Lots of very interesting and diverse talks and it was well received. I'm writing an article for AbleGamers right now that can be co-linked from our blog and anyone else's. I thought that it would be good to get an official report up in as many venues as possible and with AbleGamers we now can reach so many more consumers than we ever have as a SIG. So I'd like to thank Mark and Stephanie from there for helping us grow this side of things that we haven't been able to get to because we're more industry focused most of the time. AbleGamers is not a "SIG" site but both Mark and Steph are memberss of the SIG. They have stepped up to the plate to help at GDC when I was not feeling well and then Mark delivered an excellent talk as well. So I just want to plug them again because as SIG members they have done a lot and the community that they run is top notch. I encourage everyone who is not already a member of AbleGamers (ablegamers.com) to check it out if you haven't had the chance to yet and to join the community.
Ah back to Games for Health -- In addition to Mark and myself from the SIG, we had Lynn talking about accessible gaming in the classroom, Eleanor from 7-128 talking about the ALERT project, Giannis talking about "Game Over," Kevin Bierre talking on research in the field of GA and how to include accessibility into the university gaming curriculum, Mark talking about AbleGamers and the gamers with disabilities community, Eric Walker talking about Strange Attractors 1 and 2, and Robert demo-ing the QuadController and his documentary. We also heard from some folks at AT for kids and Ben Heck (the infamous hardware hacker who had some cool stuff (and he and Ben Sawyer cooked up a great surprise for the next day -- one handed guitar hero (check out ablegamers for more on this -- Mark's already posted about this). And, of course, we had Ben Sawyer talking about how we fit into the games for health field. I hope that I haven't forgotten anyone! There were so many great talks and a LOT of diversity of attitudes (in a healthy way) about game accessibility. This will be in my article and I'll post the link when it's up on AbleGamers!
Anyway, I think we had a great first showing for a full day workshop and I know that we are all brimming with ideas about how to make our participation bigger and better next year! :)
How did the Games for Health conference go - I remember we were speaking at the same times.
Robert, you'll be pleased to know that a short video clip of yours opened proceedings at the Game Accessibility Workshop in Sussex, Essex - which was very well received all round. I'll post a bit more later. Meanwhile - how did your talk go?
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