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

Barrie Ellis oneswitch at googlemail.com
Sun Feb 28 05:33:22 EST 2010


Hi Chuck,

I think we have failed to back up your game at the GASIG, so personally, I'm very sorry for that. When I first became aware of the story, it was through AbleGamers being all over it. Perhaps at the time I was in a state of mind to feel that they had covered it well enough, and that I didn't want to be accused of pinching their story. That sounds silly now I realise.


>From a personal stand-point, I do spend a fair bit of money buying controllers and games that are deemed to be accessible. Coming from the UK where there is little interest in American Football, unsurprisingly the game is just not my cup of tea. If it had a one-switch mode I'd most likely have bought it though. Maybe a few complimentary review / demo copies would have seen you receive extra support? None of us are getting paid for our GASIG efforts, so our time given is for our belief in wanting to see more accessible games out there. We don't always get it right.


As you will hopefully recall, I did e-mail you with interest about your My Golf game, with some straight-forward accessibility ideas that would improve things. Despite what you may think this is support. The various web-sites out there are support (http://switchgaming.blogspot.com/2009/07/game-accessibility-sites.html). The mailing list does help to get info out there. Support isn't solely financial.

Looking at your site again (http://www.vtreellc.com/) My Football Game does sound like it has some really good accessibility features. Maybe "everyone can play" is a bit of a steep claim, but nonetheless you've obviously made some huge efforts. Again, I don't think we've supported you as well as we should have.

Why not contact SpecialEffect's GameBase (www.gamebase.info) which didn't exist when you were first promoting your game? I'm sure they would support you (especially if you'd send them a free trial copy) and likely knock up a YouTube video as well if you asked them which you could use on-site?

Like AbleGamers, I can't guarantee any sales, but I'd be happy to review a copy at the GASIG Blog. I really hope that you're not too disheartened with the field of Game Accessibility, as people like you are making a real difference. Maybe though if you'd written that you'd appreciate some extra help, you'd have got it earlier?

Barrie
www.OneSwitch.org.uk










From: Chuck
Sent: Sunday, February 28, 2010 6:46 AM
To: Sheri Rubin ; games_access at igda.org
Cc: chuck at vtreellc.com
Subject: Re: [games_access] Judge Tosses Blind Gamer's Suit vs. Sony


No offense, but I know about "Ablegamers" review and it generated not "1" purchase. So again I ask YOU and the rest of your group 'WHAT IS IT YOU WANT" When someone puts their money where their mouth is and does everything they can to bring video gaming to individuals with special needs "WHERE IS YOUR GROUP" to support this product???? PLEASE ANSWER THIS QUESTIONS?????? NOT ONE OF YOU HAVE PURCHASED THIS PRODUCT. PROVE ME WRONG




--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
From: "Sheri Rubin" <sheri at designdirectdeliver.com>
Sent: Sunday, February 28, 2010 1:27 AM
To: Chuck at vtreellc.com, games_access at igda.org
Subject: Re: [games_access] Judge Tosses Blind Gamer's Suit vs. Sony

I can't say anything about purchasing but if you have been on here for 6 months you will notice that in December the "review" on AbleGamers was mentioned:

---- Original message ----

>Date: Thu, 24 Dec 2009 23:12:10 -0500

>From: "Steven Spohn" <steve at ablegamers.com>

>Subject: Re: [games_access] Game Informer - Accessibility Buyer's Guide

>To: <inrnette at aol.com>, "'IGDA Games Accessibility SIG Mailing List'" <games_access at igda.org>

>

>Hi Josh,

>

>AbleGamers did a exclusive on the game which you can see here

>http://www.ablegamers.com/game-news/my-football-game-and-they-said-it-could-

>not-be-done.html - if you need more specifics email Mark Barlet. He

>personally worked with the creators.

>

>Steve Spohn

Sheri


Chuck wrote:
Hi all.

I am not part of your group. but I do have a few questions????

1. Have any of you purchased My Football Game????

The reason I asked is that I have invested 600K in making this game as accessible as any game ever developed and to my knowledge NOT ONE OF YOU HAVE PURCHASED IT

2. You all love to write these email's either complaining or bitching about main stream developers but yet when they (EA & Vtree) develop a game, none of you have said 1 word about it.


Here's the long and short of it.


I have been reading your emails for 6 months now and for the most part outside of reading you bullshit emails complaining about video game developers NOT ONE ONE OF YOU have purchased or reviewed "MY FOOTBALL GAME" which is by far and away a video game with everything designed into it with what"YOU GUYS" complain about that main stream developers don't do.


So "IF YOU GUYS WON'T SPEND 40.00 BUCKS to support a company that is doing more than "WHAT YOU ARE DOING" shut the hell up and disband this group because besides writing "EMAILS" complaining about developers you guys "DO ABSOLUTELY NOTHING" to support the people who are spending their money to "ACTUALLY HELP" special needs individuals to enjoy video gaming.

I DARE ONE OF YOU TO DISPUTE WHAT I HAVE SAID ABOVE. YOU LOVE YOUR EMAIL'S BUT DO NOTHING TO SUPPORT THE COMPANIES THAT ARE SPENDING THEIR MONEY TO ACTUALLY IMPROVE THE LIVES OF SPECIAL NEEDS INDIVIDUALS

Sincerely,
Chuck Bergen
President
VTree LLC

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cess] Judge Tosses Blind Gamer's Suit vs. Sony


Maybe it's time for my petition that I wrote to finally be put into play?

I've always wanted to bring that back in to this group.

Now that it's heated again at least in me, LOL, I might have the energy for it.

Robert




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From: games_access-bounces at igda.org [mailto:games_access-bounces at igda.org] On Behalf Of sheryl Flynn
Sent: Saturday, February 27, 2010 6:37 PM
To: IGDA Games Accessibility SIG Mailing List
Subject: Re: [games_access] Judge Tosses Blind Gamer's Suit vs. Sony



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!

hugs



~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

Thanks
Robert Florio
www.RobertFlorio.com



-----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

Folks,

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
(http://www.itic.org/resources/voluntary-product-accessibility-template-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
deaf-accessible.
Nor could a musical game requiring chords reasonably be made one-switch
accessible.
(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
controls.
But VPAT's being applied to general software; ESRB is being applied to
games.

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.

John
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--
Sheri Rubin
CEO and Founder

Design Direct Deliver
Website: www.designdirectdeliver.com
Email: sheri at designdirectdeliver.com





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