[games_access] Game accessibility survey journal article

Barrie Ellis oneswitch at gmail.com
Tue Jul 6 03:32:32 EDT 2010


Just a quick point on 4.3, Steve: ..."As discussed in Sect. 3, severe motor and visually impaired players can only play games within a limited number of game genres." -

... I took that sentence to be referring to one group, rather than two separate groups (i.e. they are disabled by both the visuals, and the ability cope well with standard controls in a game). So, one example would be, are there any one-switch games with options to assist visually impaired gamers. I can't think of very many games in those three genres discussed as being lacking.

I do dispute, Steve, that RPG's are particularly accessible all round... They're pretty impenetrable in many cases if you struggle with text, bucket loads of menus/icons, memory and elaborate interfaces. As for one-switch players, none that I know play commercial RPG's. It seems that Mike Philips is a bit of an exception: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2BhHwk9qSvI - who plays First Person Shooters and RPG's with one-switch to a high standard.


I think I know what you mean as regards feeling disheartened, although I didn't personally. Academic papers can feel a bit clinical. However, when done well, like this one, they enlarge the arsenal of game accessibility information. If this stuff raises awareness, and points developers in the right direction, that's a fantastic thing, surely? I think there'll always be areas of dispute, but that's no bad thing.

Barrie.




From: Steve Spohn
Sent: Tuesday, July 06, 2010 12:05 AM
To: 'IGDA Games Accessibility SIG Mailing List'
Subject: Re: [games_access] Game accessibility survey journal article


Indeed a good paper. Here are my thoughts on some issues.



2.5 Game accessibility statistics

''How many people cannot play video games because of a

disability?'' is a key question to investigate because, to the

authors' knowledge, such data has not been determined



Actually 7-128 software and the AbleGamers foundation put out a white paper on those statistics which can be found at http://www.aging.ablegamers.org



3.1 Switches



The motor impaired gaming area is something I've largely dealt with, mainly because I'm a motor impaired gamers who counsels other motor impaired gamers on how to play.



The mouth controller shown here is largely outdated and a relic in some respects. Someone who has ability left to use a device like this is not limited to single inputs at one time. Something like broadened horizons versatility would be wonderful. Those who specifically need one-switch games that utilize the large red button type of switches would be critically disabled but for the most part, one can adapt many of the switches Barrie has listed in combination to become a gaming rig of sorts.



Which leads into...



4.3 Directions for research

Game genres: As discussed in Sect. 3, severe motor and

visually impaired players can only play games within a

limited number of game genres. Popular game genres [20]

such as strategy, sports and role playing games are not yet

available to those groups. Unlike hearing impaired players,

severe motor impaired and visually impaired players typically

face critical barriers preventing them from playing the

game.



For a large number of motion impaired gamers strategy and role playing games are the number one most accessible genre available today. Strategy games often have pause features that assist not only motion impaired but the cognitively disabled as well. Strategy games are largely accessible especially in the casual category such as risk.



As for role-playing games, World of Warcraft is one of the most played by disabled motion impaired gamers title I've seen yet. Ablegamers is a community of well over 1000 gamers who are primarily comprised of motion impaired gamers and have often discussed what they play in no relation to us or anything that we recommend. Most every single motion impaired plays role-playing games because they are easy and accessible by their nature.



RPGs like Sid Meier's civilization are turn-based and allow as much time as you need between taking turns. Games like WoW or EQ can be played with an input device that only allows two buttons and a directional mover such as eye or headmice.



As Eleanor mentioned earlier, it would be more interesting to see statistics on multiple accessible technology being used in conjunction. As a large part of what our organization does is figure out combinations of accessible technologies that allow for the most input multiple no matter how severe your disability.



4.3 (Cont.) However, one popular game genre, FPS, has many

accessible games for almost every type of impairment



Although I do not disagree with the statement on the whole, the paragraph when all put together is slightly misleading. First person shooters are the first genre of games taken away from motion impaired gamers, particularly those with degenerative diseases. Even then AT can compensate for some time.



First-person shooters take the absolute most dexterity, timing, and hand eye coordination among all other video game genres.



However, that does not mean that with the right combination of accessible technology that first-person shooters will remain off-limits. The author suggests first-person shooters are extremely accessible due to modifications, but the truth is many disabled gamers who are far more motion impaired than I am (and I can only use a mouse) play first person shooters with no modifications whatsoever.



People like Corey Krull who played video games using a Morse code device to allow multiple inputs with relatively no muscle control whatsoever.



-------



As a side note, I find one thing disheartening about research papers is that I have gotten to know several thousand disabled gamers in my multiple year career fighting for disability, as I'm sure many of you have. Yet, these type of papers tend to lump gamers into generalized categories that are only vaguely accurate at best.



The best way to bring true awareness to the cause is to show people the lengths disabled gamers will go to to play even the most simple casual and hard-core games.



Steve Spohn

Associate Editor

The AbleGamers Foundation



www.ablegamers.com

www.ablegamers.org



Find me on Skype! Username: Steve_Spohn



From: games_access-bounces at igda.org [mailto:games_access-bounces at igda.org] On Behalf Of Barrie Ellis
Sent: Sunday, July 04, 2010 6:16 PM
To: games_access at igda.org
Subject: Re: [games_access] Game accessibility survey journal article



Just finished reading the Game Accessibility survey. Very good! I found the bulk of it really smartly explained, with excellent diagrams and tables. Very useful. Very Nice!


My 10 pence worth...

p7. 3.1.1: One-handed controller typically provides only one analogue input... Apart from the Wii, the only game console one-handed controllers in recent production I'm aware of have both analogue sticks available (Access controller and "one hand controller" - http://www.oneswitch.org.uk/1/AGS/AGS-onehand.htm).


p8. 3.1.2: OneSwitch.org.uk isn't actually non-profit, although there is tons of free stuff. Over 100 one-switch games now for free. Thank you for the mention!




p9. 3.1.3: Frogger - all good points about this game, but might have been worth mentioning that you can move left and right, when you hop on the moving logs and turtles.


p14 3.5: Universal design does not indicate that all impairments are supported, but rather that multiple types of impairments are supported... I always thought it did, but simply hasn't been managed yet. Doesn't seem to make sense to me otherwise.


p16: For example, a one-switch racing game does not allow the player to brake or speed up because certain input options may have been removed to allow for one-switch
input... Can be done. Using the 4Noah utility and Destruction Derby on a PSone emulator, at Kit 4 Kidz in Leeds earlier this year, we had tap to cycle between left-nothing-right-nothing-(and repeat) for steering, and hold for a couple of seconds then release to cycle between accelerate-nothing-reverse-nothing-(and repeat). Because Destruction Derby has helpful barriers all around the track to help keep you on course, plus a self-righting system if you get spun in the wrong way, it's quite playable for someone with really accurate one-switch skills. You could also have a game with auto-braking (e.g. F355 Challenge and Forza 3), and perhaps Mario Kart style speed ups on the track.




p16 4.3: ...severe motor and visually impaired players can only play games within a limited number of game genres. Popular game genres [20] such as strategy, sports and role playing games are not yet available to those groups. Unlike hearing impaired players, severe motor impaired and visually impaired players typically face critical barriers preventing them from playing the game.... I guess it depends upon the degree of visually impairment, but wonder if some of these would be playable: http://www.oneswitch.org.uk/2/sd-sport.htm ?

My final thoughts links to the lack of games for cognitively impaired players. I do agree that it's a complicated area, but when taking into account learning disabled users, I'm surprised only a handful of games were found:



http://www.helpkidzlearn.com/games.html

http://www.graemesfreegames.com/

http://nanogames.com/index.htm

http://www.inclusive.co.uk/catalogue/acatalog/switch_friendly_games.html

http://www.priorywoods.middlesbrough.sch.uk/page_viewer.asp?page=Free+Program+Resources&pid=161

http://www.scottmckay.com/

http://www.marblesoft.com/products.php?group=1

http://www.shinylearning.co.uk/

http://www.bbc.co.uk/cbbc/games/switch/



In my experience, a lot of more severely "learning disabled" people have reacted well to some one-switch games, or games that use relatively simple interfaces, such as eye-toy and basic joysticks. Some of course get on better than I do with complicated games.



Cheers,



Barrie.












--------------------------------------------------
From: "Michelle Hinn" <hinn at uiuc.edu>
Sent: Sunday, July 04, 2010 9:02 PM
To: "IGDA Games Accessibility SIG Mailing List" <games_access at igda.org>
Subject: Re: [games_access] Game accessibility survey journal article


> I've read the article and it is very, very good! Because the permissions are owned by the journal, he cannot post it online because they (Springer) are very strict with permissions. But he can send you a copy as he said. :) Eelke didn't mention it but he's second author on it and although it goes without saying...the quality is excellent!

>

> Michelle

>

> On Jul 4, 2010, at 1:53 PM, Brannon Zahand wrote:

>

>> Eelke,

>>

>> Can I get a copy as well?

>>

>> Thanks,

>> Brannon

>>

>> -----Original Message-----

>> From: games_access-bounces at igda.org [mailto:games_access-bounces at igda.org] On Behalf Of Kestrell

>> Sent: Saturday, July 03, 2010 7:15 AM

>> To: IGDA Games Accessibility SIG Mailing List

>> Subject: Re: [games_access] Game accessibility survey journal article

>>

>> Eelke,

>>

>> May I request an electronic copy of your student's paper on game accessibility?

>>

>> Thanks!

>>

>> Kestrell

>>

>>

>> ----- Original Message -----

>> From: "Eelke Folmer" <eelke.folmer at gmail.com>

>> To: <games_access at igda.org>

>> Sent: Saturday, July 03, 2010 2:13 AM

>> Subject: [games_access] Game accessibility survey journal article

>>

>>

>>> Hi,

>>>

>>> For those of you interested in: 1) a comprehensive overview of

>>> academic literature on game accessibility; 2) a synthesis of

>>> strategies used to make games for sensory, motor and cognitive

>>> impairments; and 3) data on how many people in the US are unable or

>>> limited in playing video games per type of impairment, a journal paper

>>> called: "Game Accessibility: a Survey" written by my student Bei Yuan

>>> is available online at:

>>> http://www.springerlink.com/content/a0273kw751q71332/?p=3116a648a3a545a5b5f805933963a70f&pi=0

>>>

>>> Email me offline if you would like a copy of this paper and you don't

>>> have access through a university library.

>>>

>>> --

>>> Best, Eelke

>>>

>>> Eelke Folmer

>>> Assistant Professor

>>> Department of Computer Science and Engineering

>>> University of Nevada, Reno

>>> http://www.eelke.com

>>> _______________________________________________

>>> games_access mailing list

>>> games_access at igda.org

>>> http://seven.pairlist.net/mailman/listinfo/games_access

>>

>> _______________________________________________

>> games_access mailing list

>> games_access at igda.org

>> http://seven.pairlist.net/mailman/listinfo/games_access

>>

>> _______________________________________________

>> games_access mailing list

>> games_access at igda.org

>> http://seven.pairlist.net/mailman/listinfo/games_access

>

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