[games_access] Kinect

Barrie Ellis oneswitch at gmail.com
Fri Dec 3 03:05:04 EST 2010


Some really interesting stuff on Kinect this week...

Accessible GameBase has the exclusive on a fantastic "Real Time Sensory Substitution" system here:

http://www.gamebase.info/magazine/read/real-time-sensory-substitution_387.html

I think an additional camera is tracking a game (Kinect Sports - hurdles), and when seeing a visual cue, (an approaching hurdle), it will vibrate the controllers wirelessly. Aimed at giving alternative sensory feedback linked to the game, for blind / visually-impaired players. Can see this being really useful for some learning disabled players too, as an extra "get ready to jump" system. Brilliant.


Plus Mark Bartlet's personal feelings on Kinect here:

http://www.ablegamers.com/hardware-news/kinect-and-the-disabled-part-1.html


Of course, some disabled people, will find the Kinect enabling, providing that they find the system more intuitive than a joypad. However.... From all I've heard and experienced so far, there seems to be little progress from the frustrations the Wii posed to those who couldn't use a standard controller. The games need to offer an alternative way to play. Mario Kart on the Wii is great because it offers Wii-remote or Joypad play. Joypad play means lots of potential alternative controllers.

We really need to get across to Microsoft and Kinect developers the importance of being able to reconfigure the control system to suit the player. If they don't start doing it voluntarily, I can see people getting fed up and pushing harder for legislation (and maybe that's the only way things will massively improve, as it's what's been needed in the past for other areas of accessibility and equal rights).

Barrie
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