[games_access] Game accessibility survey journal article

Steve Spohn steve at ablegamers.com
Fri Jul 30 10:14:36 EDT 2010


I can appreciate that you would like to see more than AbleGamers but in some
ways that's like asking to reinvent the wheel. Anytime you want to talk to
disabled gamers you can go to our forums. Anytime you want to find a group
for disabled gamers you can do to our community portal. And with up to 5
million hits a month on AbleGamers plus however many million one-switch
gets, yes, you are fighting for people who actually exist.

As to your point about people not wanting to write: absolutely! Disabled
individuals are often stereotypically reclusive and it's difficult to get
them to want to be a "public face" - that is because of the way disabled
people are treated in society.

If you really want to get an idea about the people being helped by our cause
you need to look at the gamers not the developers. AbleGamers, one switch,
7-128, etc. deal with the real people in the trenches every day.

I can't speak for Eleanor or Barrie, but take for example the conference in
Indiana yesterday - we met hundreds of disabled gamers
http://www.facebook.com/#!/ablegamers?ref=ts all in one place. Do they want
to write articles? No, but they are why we are fighting.

Are games already accessible? Not enough.

Steve Spohn
Associate Editor
The AbleGamers Foundation


Find me on Skype! Username: Steve_Spohn

-----Original Message-----
From: games_access-bounces at igda.org [mailto:games_access-bounces at igda.org]
On Behalf Of Sandra Uhling
Sent: Friday, July 30, 2010 9:50 AM
To: 'IGDA Games Accessibility SIG Mailing List'
Subject: Re: [games_access] Game accessibility survey journal article


Do we know something about the situation of disabled gamers?
I do not have numbers, arguments or disabled gamers point of view for this.

Some people say that games are already very accessible.
Because I do not know much about the situation, I do not know what to say.

One big problem is that most of disabled gamers are not active.
It is hard to find disabled gamers and talk to them. The deaf gamer
I talked to, was very surprised about the idea to "fight" for sound
Some gamers in a Tomb Raider forum wrote about their problems, but they
never get the idea to become active. The blind gamers I asked, were
interested in
eSport, but there was no one who wanted to write a concept.
(Some pedagogues say that is the result of our school system, that people
are not very dedicated)

That feels some kind of odd. I am active, but for who?
Is there someone out there? (Of course I know AbleGamers, but I do miss

Maybe we should give the disabled gamer "a face"? Some communities do this
for political reason.
They start "I am a gamer" websites with lots of profiles of gamers. I like
the profiles of disabled
gamers in one of Marks presentation. Maybe it is possible to add also
non-disabled gamers who would
like to have certain Game Accessibility Features? Main focus should be
disabled gamers.

Then I could give a link to the people and they get an imagination of the
disabled and read comments
feelings and how they feel.

Best regards,

-----Ursprüngliche Nachricht-----
Von: games_access-bounces at igda.org [mailto:games_access-bounces at igda.org] Im
Auftrag von Eleanor
Gesendet: Montag, 5. Juli 2010 15:45
An: games_access at igda.org
Betreff: [games_access] Game accessibility survey journal article

Excellent article Eelke - your students did a great job!

The one thing that becomes ever more clear as one researches this field
is how can someone quantify the need for accessibility accommodations
when there are several unresolved issues:

1.Many people who play games don't consider themselves gamers and don't
respond to questions about video gaming positively because there is a
social stigma associated with the term "gamer". Most women will not
identify themselves as gamers. Frequently, if you question someone who
does not consider themselves to be a gamer further, they will say oh
yes, I play a couple of online computer games, or I play casual games on
the computer, or I play bowling on the Wii, but I'm not a gamer.. How
then can you then get an accurate figure for the actual number of people
who play games? I believe we have consistently under-estimated the
number of people who play games - especially among older people.

2. This in turn leads to an inability to estimate how many people are
prevented from playing games because the games don't have accommodations
to allow them to play. We have a pretty good handle on the number of
people who have one or more disability. We can say what it will take to
make a game able to be played by them. What we can only guess at is the
actual number of people who are prevented from playing games because of
the lack of accommodations. We can't estimate with any degree of
confidence because we really don't have a good handle on the actual
number of people who are gamers.

The next question is would people with one or more disability be more,
less or equally likely to play games if the accommodations were in place
to allow them to play? I tend to say equally likely if given the chance
- but I may be wrong.

Given all that, if we had better information on these issues, we could
do a better job of estimating the revenue loss game companies are
incurring by not including accessibility accommodations in their games.

Eleanor Robinson
7-128 Software
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