[games_access] What is this SIG?

Sandra Uhling sandra_uhling at web.de
Mon Jul 9 07:14:14 EDT 2012

Hi Ian,

I do agree J

Some points I do not like:

· Still ignoring one category of disability (speech)!!

o Barrie, Ian, Brannon and I accept it.

· Still ignoring the rights of other gamers (very important!)

o We have to avoid a gap between the players

o Bring solutions before it will become a problem

· Not including members in important descision e. g. Film Victoria

· Not inlcuding members in the development of the second version of
the top ten

· Not supporting and care for the situation of the games industry

o We(!) have to enable them

o It is us(!) who have to do something, not them

· No sensibility for the situation of the games industry

o @Ian I loooove your comment, it is awesome!!

· No position paper: Game Accessibility and Section 508, CRPD

o It can contain something like:

§ Games are not websites (so WCAG does not fit)

§ Game Accessibility is difficult

§ A law would be bad

§ Research
is needed

§ Tax relief is necessarry (measures can also be positive J )

§ Unnecessary suits have to be avoided


· No basic philosophy about Game Accessibility (to avoid
misunderstanding prejudices)

o What is Game Accessibility?

o What is special about it?

o Games will not become boring, because it is an option

o How to avoid the misuse of GA as cheat


o The White Paper is nice, a very good start, but it is old.


Some Questions:

When Ubisoft announced that they will subtitle, did we send them information
about it????

The “Group” who wrote the paper at Games for Health, were there guys from

Why did we not get this paper to be able to give feedback?

Best regards,


Von: games_access-bounces at igda.org [mailto:games_access-bounces at igda.org] Im
Auftrag von Ian Hamilton
Gesendet: Sonntag, 8. Juli 2012 14:31
An: games_access at igda.org
Betreff: Re: [games_access] What is this SIG? (Thomas Westin)

Aaron: are you the same Aaron from one in a million? If so are you heading
to London?

Thomas: Put far better than me! Two things in particular -

> ? Learn from accessibility design in other areas, like the Web

Accessibility Initiative at W3C.

> #5: As far as I can recall, this point has not been very followed-up, and

it should be, just keeping in mind that games is rather different than

>From my angle what there is to learn from them isn't accessibly itself, it's

looking back at how the accessibility agenda progressed in industries that
are far further ahead than games. That's certainly happening, for example
the healthy debate the other week about legislation in web & construction.
The history of other industries provides a pretty good basis for a roadmap.
It's also interesting to look at more recent things too, like how mobile
accessibility is progressing and what's driving that.

> Creating standards: I believe that standardization is good in many ways,

but it is also very hard; it takes a lot of time, resources and industry
involvement. Then, the next thing is to get developers to use those
standards. Many websites for instance still doesn't use the alt-tag for
images, an extremely simple thing to do but time is limited, not just for
game developers :) If you want to go the standardization route, you should
first team up with Microsoft, Sony, Nintendo, EA, Blizzard and similar big
players. After 9 years it has not happened yet, but of course it is
something to strive for. Anyone who feels like picking up this huge
gauntlet, feel free to do so.

Picked up. Hopefully that's something useful that I can bring to the table
as I have a background in standards & guidelines. I've had internal
accessibility standards successfully written and implemented within a
prolific publisher, they've been mandatory for every one of their internal
games and third party commissions over the past two years.

Having said that though, doing something internally where a mandate can be
passed at a corporate level is a bit different to across an industry - you
can't jump straight to standards. EA turning around and saying that all of
their games must comply with a basic level of accessibility isn't helpful
when there isn't any knowledge amongst developers. I've seen precisely that
happen before and fail, it needs to come bottom up as well as top down.

So guidelines & best practices have to come first. There's already plenty of
knowledge and previous guidelines work in existence, so it's a case of
pulling that all together, getting it up to date, and into a developer /
exec friendly format. For reviewing/feedback I have some good contacts for
input outside of the usual developers & GA experts, such as an ex-BSI
standards consultant, and the BBC's head of accessibility & usability.

And then yes, critically, getting people to use them. Can't move beyond
loose guidelines until there are plenty of proven case studies of them in
use. I have a couple of initial developers lined up, but if anyone on the
list has links with a developer who might be interested in some guidance
then please let me know!


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