[games_access] The AbleGamers Foundation Unveils First Permanent Accessibility Arcade

Barrie Ellis oneswitch at gmail.com
Tue Oct 2 09:41:51 EDT 2012


Hi Michelle,

1970s comes from anecdotal evidence from Barrie Woods in Christchurch, New Zealand: http://www.ablegamers.com/game-news/video-game-accessibility-1970.html - knowing that there were more people like him, and knowing that these places tended to have open days to show off equipment to parents/funders/staff.

I know individuals showcasing their own equipment/software would have shown their stuff off too in the 1980s and 90s (KYE http://youtu.be/gds-QfPTkaM?t=1m26s, Namco possibly, Brilliant Computing, PDG, SEMERC etc.). I remember showing off my first hacked Playstation switch interface with Destruction Derby in 1996 at a public venue, alongside some assistive technology for art.

Personally, my first "accessible arcade" in a non-specialist public arena was here: http://www.oneswitch.org.uk/2/ARTICLES/2005cgeUK.htm in 2005. I remember it was deafening and felt like spinning plates at time. Great fun though.

@Steve - I'm interested in how it all works. Will there be a trained member of staff there on hand, or is the set-up self-sufficient to an extent?

Barrie



From: Michelle Hinn
Sent: Tuesday, October 02, 2012 2:09 PM
To: IGDA Games Accessibility SIG Mailing List
Subject: Re: [games_access] The AbleGamers Foundation Unveils First Permanent Accessibility Arcade


That's interesting, Barrie, that people were doing accessibility arcades back in the 1970s! Was this something that was found more in the UK or in other countries as well?

I know we had great fun doing the SIG ones at GDC, Games for Health, and Develop in the UK! But those were aimed at developers versus the consumers. Nice to hear more about the history of them at centers in the 1970 and to read about what AG is doing at libraries, etc today that are aimed more at the potential gamers themselves! :)


Michelle


On Tue, Oct 2, 2012 at 6:38 AM, Barrie Ellis <oneswitch at gmail.com> wrote:

Nice one. Although reading the write-up, I think we always seem to (diplomatically) veer away from promoting games as great anti-social fun too!

Re. the first accessibility arcades / show-case of accessible gaming equipment - this probably goes back to the late 1970s at open days in rehabilitation/supported living centres, with tech-heads showing off their adapted Pong machines and early hacked cartridge machines.

Anyway, none of that takes away from this push to give people fairer and easier access. All great stuff.

Barrie



From: Michelle Hinn
Sent: Monday, October 01, 2012 9:40 PM
To: IGDA Games Accessibility SIG Mailing List
Subject: Re: [games_access] The AbleGamers Foundation Unveils First Permanent Accessibility Arcade


Very cool news, guys! Nice to see that there's going to be a permanent display of what so many of us worked on in various iterations since the SIG did this for the first time at GDC 2006! You guys have taken it and run with it! Hope to hear about more of them soon!


Michelle


On Mon, Oct 1, 2012 at 1:39 PM, Steve Spohn <steve at ablegamers.com> wrote:

Greetings all,


Just a quick note to keep you all abreast of the good news. AGF is officially launching the first of many permanent Accessibility Arcades TM. This first installation is in the DC public library next Wednesday, with more on the way.




FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE



Contact: Steve Spohn

press at ablegamers.org

(703) 891-9017 ext:102





The AbleGamers Foundation Unveils First Permanent Accessibility Arcade



Opens The AbleGamers Foundation’s Accessibility Arcade at the Washington DC Public Library.




Harpers Ferry, WV –October 1, 2012– The AbleGamers Foundation is proud to announce the first permanently stationed AbleGamers’ Accessibility Arcade at Washington DC public library main MLK Branch. Opening ceremony will be held on the 10th of October -- national disability month. The mayor’s office will be on-hand at the milestone occasion to cut the ribbon for the library's newest display.



“We have been dreaming about this day ever since the first showing of the accessibility arcade at a small conference in Boston four years ago,” said Mark Barlet, President and Founder of the AbleGamers Foundation. “Today, we are taking the first step forward on a very long and rewarding road to bring accessible games to everyone across America. Game accessibility is not an idea, it’s a movement. Together, we can enrich the lives of those with disabilities by the joy and social fun of gaming to anyone who wants to join in.”



“This is really one of the finest days in the history of the organization,” said Steve Spohn, Editor-In-Chief of the AbleGamers Foundation. “This is a tremendous victory for disabled gamers everywhere. But moreover, it's a victory for everyone who has ever worked with, contributed to, and especially donated to the foundation. We would like to thank each and every one who has helped and will continue to help the disabled gamer community. ”



“Our partnership with the AbleGamers Foundation brings the freedom, fun, and independent of video gaming to DC residents with disabilities,” said Venetia Demson, Chief of DC Public Library’s Adaptive Services Division. “We’re looking forward to welcoming new and experienced gamers with disabilities of all ages to the library for a unique experience. When properly used, video games can be an important learning tool for literacy, spatial reasoning and curriculum support as well as a wonderful social experience.”



The ribbon cutting ceremony will take place at the DC public library @ 12 noon, October 10, 2012. We encourage everyone who is interested in finding out more information on assistive technology, gamers with disabilities, and the AbleGamers foundation to attend the event and meet the AbleGamers crew.





About The AbleGamers Foundation

The AbleGamers Foundation is a 501(c)(3) public charity that runs AbleGamers.com, which provides news and reviews on the accessibility of mainstream video game titles, as well as consultation on assistive technology. As an alternative to Serious Gaming, mainstream video games supply many disabled individuals and veterans with rehabilitation as well as social stimulation in situations where they may be otherwise shut out of society's idea of normal everyday life.



###


For more information about this topic, the AbleGamers Foundation, AbleGamers.com, or to schedule an interview call (703) 891-9017 ext:102 or email press at AbleGamers.com.







--
Steve Spohn
Editor-In-Chief
The AbleGamers Foundation
AbleGamers.com | AbleGamers.org | Facebook | Twitter


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