[games_access] Judge Tosses Blind Gamer's Suit vs. Sony

sheryl Flynn sherylflynn at yahoo.com
Sat Feb 27 18:37:22 EST 2010

universal design?

some of us are trying really hard to make great games that folks with disabilities will enjoy...its hard, but we are passionate and won't stop until there is a world wide effort to make great games that folks with all kinds of abilities will enjoy!


~Sheryl Flynn PT, PhD


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From: Robert Florio <arthit73 at cablespeed.com>
To: IGDA Games Accessibility SIG Mailing List <games_access at igda.org>
Sent: Sat, February 27, 2010 2:07:25 PM
Subject: Re: [games_access] Judge Tosses Blind Gamer's Suit vs. Sony

Thanks John and Janet I agree with what you guys say. It's just
frustrating. From the years I have been involved with the special interest
group, with Michelle, creating my documentary I created called Robert
Florio: a New Way to Live, my game design degree, I think by now there
should be a wide range knowledge meant by developers and producers.

I think if they would at least come out publicly and say, we understand the
struggle, we are humans too, and maybe created like a summit like what
president of vomited the other day with Democrats and Republicans broadcast
live for six hours for the health-care bill. That's just an idea.

To me it is a philosophical issue now not anymore a technical or economic
issue. Believe me I know the technical and economic problems. Like John
was saying, we wouldn't be profitable for a developer to make an accessible
game, denying it to the people who already buy the game in a way I guess.

But I believe the issue is, philosophical. I don't think any human being
would deny the fact that videogames are in the world's greatest congressman
for entertaining our physical needs. If I can see, if I can't hear or move,
actually I can't move a lot, that does not mean it shouldn't be marketed to
me. Why is it we are so far away from people actually using common sense?
Is this part of humanity completely gone? Why is it we get it but no one
else does? In any answers, I shouldn't be grasping for questions but you're
right John, we are doing a lot.

Reiterating, I just want the big names, Sony, Nintendo, Microsoft, and say,
we hear you loud and clear. Then what? Then they don't do anything about
it that would look bad maybe that's why they came admit it.lol

Robert Florio

-----Original Message-----
From: games_access-bounces at igda.org [mailto:games_access-bounces at igda.org]
On Behalf Of John Bannick
Sent: Saturday, February 27, 2010 4:30 PM
To: games_access at igda.org
Subject: [games_access] Judge Tosses Blind Gamer's Suit vs. Sony


There is a middle way.
ADA requires "reasonable accommodation"
Some games cannot be made accessible to a particular need.
Just as some jobs cannot be made accessible to a particular need.

The judge could have required that Sony put into place a program that at
least attempted ADA compliance.
For example, applying VPAT
and explaining why items were not VPAT compliant.

Thus, a spelling bee game could not reasonably be made blind-accessible.
One of Jim Kitchen's audio games could not reasonably be made
Nor could a musical game requiring chords reasonably be made one-switch
(Forgive me Barrie, Mark, etc. if it's been done.)

Reasonable meaning without major changes, possibly changing the nature
of the game.
Reasonable could also include economic viability.

Furthermore, and significantly, If adding ADA compliance, or a specific
remediation, would add cost such as to make a game unprofitable, then by
definition it is not reasonable, in that it denies the game to those not
requiring that accommodation. Mark's point exactly, I think.

What that requirement would do is inject the accessibility issue into
the developers' business process. Not a bad thing.

Robert's anger is understandable.
And I'm leery of government intervention, especially in anything that
could be close to censorship, or is economically unviable, as were price
But VPAT's being applied to general software; ESRB is being applied to

Perhaps the judge could have applied a middle way.

In any event, what this SIG is doing, and the individual efforts of
Mark, Barrie, Brian, Dark, Robert, and others is making a difference in
the developer community.
Developers, some at least, are more aware of accessibility needs.
Some are actually making specific changes (Niels Bauer games and some of
the folks Mark and Barrie work with come to mind.)
It ain't perfect; it ain't enough. But it is progress.

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