[games_access] Big Win for Disabled Games looking to play AION

Reid Kimball rkimball at gmail.com
Fri Sep 18 20:30:38 EDT 2009

I'm conflicted because I'm glad this is a victory for disabled gamers
but I'm also with the crowd that didn't like the tone of the article,
making statements that couldn't be backed up factually that GameGuard
discriminates against the disabled and NCSoft is supportive of that

I believe you tried talking to them politely but I don't know if that
gives you any right to resort to rather caustic tactics that make them
look worse than they already do.

I'm more sensitive to this because I am a game developer, caught
between both worlds so I see both sides. I don't like the idea that
Mark and others are "learning" what works and may mean more tactics
like those "Blizzard doesn't like disabled gamers" t-shirts at GDC. It
may work now, may work next time, but I don't think we'll be making
any friends and partnerships based on mutual respect. This isn't a
recipe for long term success imo.

Reid Kimball
Game Designer / Writer

On Fri, Sep 18, 2009 at 4:41 PM, <hinn at illinois.edu> wrote:

> Mark,


> This is great! I know that you'd been fighting it only to get ABSOLUTELY no response (wow, does that sound familiar everyone??) from the company and to learn that they are going to hold off on this until they can do this right and in a way that does not exclude gamers with disabilities is a HUGE step in accessibility.


> Sounds like companies are really starting to listen, especially now that we (the movement for accessibility) have a community/media outlet in AbleGamers.


> It may take articles like this to get the attention of companies -- we're learning that more and more. To his absolute credit, Mark had been after them "the polite way" for a long time by asking to speak with people to try and get them to hear out the community. It's nice to know that there's a way to get past PR to get to people at the top of a company's hierarchy.


> When the story came out, there were a lot of "hey, why don't you try talking to them?" from other gamers without disabilities. Well, the trouble is that we (again, as in the accessibility movement) get blocked at PR.


> Way to go Mark and Steve (the writer of the story) for helping get this news out in a way that presented the facts AND made change happen BEFORE it hit at least one major market!!


> This is exciting stuff!


> Michelle

> Chair, IGDA Game Accessibility SIG

> VP, AbleGamers (note: I was not involved in this story at all)


> ---- Original message ----

>>Date: Fri, 18 Sep 2009 10:43:29 -0400

>>From: Mark Barlet <mark at ablegamers.com>

>>Subject: [games_access] Big Win for Disabled Games looking to play AION

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


>>Hey all,


>> On Monday AbleGamers published a story related to the anti-botting

>>software "GameGuard" and we highlighted the fact that AION, a highly

>>anticipated upcoming MMO had this software all over it. On there (now

>>closed) beta forums there were a few posts from disabled gamers who

>>expressed issue with the software disabling their adaptive



>>You can read our story here



>>Well late in the evening yesterday the NCSoft NA people announced that

>>they were going to release the game in the US without GameGuard. They

>>said, "After analyzing our open beta test results Aion will not

>>feature GameGuard at launch. We will however continue to pursue ways

>>to effectively utilize GameGuard within Aion in the future. Right now

>>we're focused on providing players with the best possible Aion



>>While we know that there were debates going on in the halls of NCSoft

>>for a few weeks now about this issue, I am sure that the press that

>>this story made was a tipping point in making the decision not to move

>>forward with GameGuard.


>>To those that work for NCSoft on the list, THANK YOU.



>>Mark C. Barlet



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