[games_access] UN Convention -> national rights?

Michelle Hinn hinn at uiuc.edu
Sun Oct 31 18:20:00 EDT 2010


I think we're criss-crossing with different nation's laws -- that's great that it sounds like Germany is so receptive to the ideas. I cannot comment on your government and how your laws and legal system work. I think that's what people were struggling with yesterday -- what if the US were considering this, particularly in the current political climate where the "safe" place to be in the eyes of many lawmakers is to just ban video
games altogether.

The trouble you mention about lawmakers not understanding anything about games is definitely apparent with the example of the US -- if we were to listen to them, we'd be banning them all and thus breaking one of the major tenements of our society -- freedom of speech (this includes art, books, movies, etc).

While it's exciting about the UN Convention, I guess having grown up in Washington DC and seeing how proposed positive laws fail and fail to become "the law" I cannot see any laws being fast tracked IF such a law were made. Their could be a law that says developers should be aware of gamers with disabilities but beyond that I cannot see that there'd be any law that described a penalty. So it would make a law rather moot over here.

Right now it's all about next week's midterm elections, the California law that could restrict game sales, and the latest terrorist plot on packages from overseas. :(

Michelle

On Oct 31, 2010, at 5:09 AM, Sandra Uhling wrote:


> Hi,

>

> the question is how will these new laws look like?

> It is not a question do we get them. We will get them. (Germany)

> And unfortunately the people who make this new laws do not know anything

> about games.

>

> The question is how can we avoid risk and how can we use the chances?

> At the moment the requests of person with disabilities are like:

> * funds only when project realize barrier free things.

> * "Accessiblity" will be part of apprenticeship and study

> * Control for Accessibility

> * ...

>

> I would say the game developer should worry about the action plan in

> Germany.

> Every country who ratified the UN Convention have to make sure that also

> companies realize accessibility.

>

>

>

> In think the term "about us not without us" should also be for people

> who have to realize it. So they should ask all branches for feedback.

>

> Here are my notes:

> * we are not able to realize the request

> ** because we do not have information how to avoid barriers

> ** games cannot be "barrier free"

> ** in some special cases, games do not have to be "barrier free"

> ** barriers are often the key of a game, it is not easy to find a solution

> ** to make games more accessible we need more time, information, support,

> etc.

>

> So what the game branch need is:

> * a project (Game Accessibility lab) that writes the information for game

> designer and game developer

> * we need more support, funds to realize more accessible games

> * we need minimal standards, that can be risen step by step, it cannot be

> "barrier free"

> * the game designer and game developer need support to learn about it and to

> realize it.

>

>

> Best regards,

> Sandra

>

>

> -----Ursprüngliche Nachricht-----

> Von: games_access-bounces at igda.org [mailto:games_access-bounces at igda.org] Im

> Auftrag von Michelle Hinn

> Gesendet: Samstag, 30. Oktober 2010 19:11

> An: IGDA Games Accessibility SIG Mailing List

> Betreff: Re: [games_access] UN Convention -> national rights?

>

> Hey Sandra,

>

> The UN convention is not something that will necessarily apply to any

> country's government. A lot of people on the list who are from the US have

> strong arguments against why accessible gaming law should not exist. I'm not

> necessarily one of them -- in my opinion an awareness campaign is never a

> bad thing.

>

> To make something into law in the US will need to go WAY beyond anything the

> UN decides.

>

> Perhaps I'm misunderstanding what you mean by "action" and "law?" Again, I'm

> not saying that awareness campaigns are bad -- just that government

> enforcement and lawmaking is hard. The UN may have a Convention but it's not

> something that will mean that a developer needs to worry about it. :(

>

> Michelle

>

> On Oct 30, 2010, at 11:35 AM, Sandra Uhling wrote:

>

>> Hi Michelle,

>>

>> well that is changing now. Thanks to the UN Convention.

>> But what is going to be changed will depend on what we do.

>>

>> When Germany signed the protocol they thought they do not need to do

>> anything.

>> Well, when you see the action plans it is the other way round :-)

>> Now it is the time to get this action into real action.

>>

>> But I do not have enough knowledge to write very good request. :-(

>> Of course we can only ask for laws for accessibility,

>> when we ask also for support for game designers.

>>

>> Instead of getting only funds when you realize accessibility,

>> the companies should be supported to develop more accessible games.

>> Video games cannot be barrier free, they can be poor of barriers.

>> That is something important to say to the government.

>>

>> Best regards,

>> Sandra

>>

>>

>>

>> -----Ursprüngliche Nachricht-----

>> Von: games_access-bounces at igda.org [mailto:games_access-bounces at igda.org]

> Im

>> Auftrag von Michelle Hinn

>> Gesendet: Samstag, 30. Oktober 2010 15:58

>> An: IGDA Games Accessibility SIG Mailing List

>> Betreff: Re: [games_access] UN Convention -> national rights?

>>

>> Hey Sandra,

>>

>> We do have some laws but the trouble is that the ones we have are more

>> focused on equal opportunity in the workplace for the disabled and such.

>> Given that years ago a law passed requiring "open captioning" (the

> captions

>> are either on the back of a movie theatre chair or on a hand held device)

>> for people who are deaf that has MAYBE only happened in a handful of movie

>> theaters in the country, I don't have much hope that a law requiring

>> videogame accessibility would ever happen. As I said, the movie industry

> has

>> to provide the open captioning YET no on enforces it...

>>

>> And our political climate right now is getting very hostile towards

>> videogames, especially as our mid-term elections are in just a few days --

>> the more conservative that get into office tend to see videogames ONLY as

>> evil -- they would rather them not exist at all for anyone, not just the

>> disabled.

>>

>> Michelle

>>

>> On Oct 30, 2010, at 8:27 AM, Sandra Uhling wrote:

>>

>>> Hi,

>>>

>>> the UN Convention is great. But at the moment it is only for the states.

>>> The states have to change their national laws that it effects also

>>> companies.

>>>

>>> At the moment we have the possibility to give some feedbacks for the

>> German

>>> action plan.

>>> What kind of law do we need that it effects also companies?

>>>

>>> E.g. PS3 console and not accepting special controller

>>>

>>> How should a law look like that the gamer can request an update because

>> they

>>> are discriminated?

>>> It is also important that this will work, also when there are mistakes in

>>> the request.

>>>

>>> Someone an idea?

>>>

>>>

>>>

>>> Best regards,

>>> Sandra

>>>

>>>

>>>

>>> _______________________________________________

>>> games_access mailing list

>>> games_access at igda.org

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

>>

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