[games_access] games_access Digest, Vol 115, Issue 9

Ian Hamilton i_h at hotmail.com
Wed Jul 24 11:07:11 EDT 2013

Absolutely agree with Eleanor that you can't have a single label that says that whether a game is accessible or not. But also agree wholeheartedly that lack of information is a huge issue and that symbols would be a fantastic help, for a number of reasons.

I think as far as symbols go there are two ways you can go.

Firstly having a few symbols for the most common things, like subtitles, remapping, or colour-blind safe. On DVDs for example it's standard do have a symbol showing whether or not there are subtitles, but nothing on packaging for games though.

Second a symbol that just states that accessibility has been thought about, with a link or URL for more information. For that purpose there's the game accessibility symbol: http://www.oneswitch.org.uk/game-access.htm

Getting information onto websites is far easier than onto packaging. The symbol has now been used on a couple of games' websites, eg. http://www.um.com.au/spaceout/ (which incidentally has a very nice shoot1up style high contrast mode). It would be great to see the symbol gain momentum.

Inexpensive quality custom controllers and free evaluations would be fantastic, but it means high production costs and time spent on evaluations which also costs. Both of things mean that the end products can't be inexpensive.

In terms of commercial companies probably the closest to what you're thinking of is Evil Controllers, who work directly with gamers to produce modified versions of their mainstream controllers. Not completely inexpensive and not hugely custom, but still fantastic.

Assistive tech is usually horrendously (prohibitively) expensive, sometimes justifiably so due to the low production runs, sometimes not justifiably so at all. It does usually get better over time though, for example the extreme costs of things like screenreaders and GPS not too many years ago, which both now just come as standard in your phone.

But either way, this is encouraging, especially his thoughts on getting a community together to connect people capable of modding controllers with gamers who would benefit from them:




> ----------------------------------------------------------------------


> Message: 1

> Date: Tue, 23 Jul 2013 17:30:06 -0400

> From: "BlazeEagle" <blazeeagle at suddenlink.net>

> Subject: [games_access] Random Game Accessibility Ideas

> To: <games_access at igda.org>

> Message-ID: <008903657AA64BAAAC4E6892200F6851 at Aarons>

> Content-Type: text/plain; charset="iso-8859-1"


> Does a game accessibility label exist on game packaging? If not, This would obviously be an excellent idea to let disabled gamers know what accessibility features, if any, exist in a game.


> Since disabilities are so varied, There needs to be a company that produces inexpensive, quality custom controllers. A gamer could be evaluated by this company to see what adaptions or custom controls are needed.


> So many variations exist within disabilities that customizations or even completely original controllers are often the only option.


> Thoughts?,


> BlazeEagle - Peace & God Bless you all, Amen.

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> Message: 2

> Date: Tue, 23 Jul 2013 20:29:33 -0400

> From: Eleanor Robinson <eleanor at 7128.com>

> Subject: [games_access] Random Game

> To: IGDA Games Accessibility SIG Mailing List <games_access at igda.org>

> Message-ID: <51EF1FED.8060607 at 7128.com>

> Content-Type: text/plain; charset=ISO-8859-1; format=flowed


> Blaze Eagle talked about accessibility labels on game packaging. First,

> many games are downloaded and don't have packaging. Second, while

> mobility issues are varied, there are more disabilities than motion

> impairment that need to be included in accessibility labels. Vision

> impairment, hearing impairment and cognitive impairment also need to be

> considered in addition to motion impairment.


> We, at 7-128 Software, put Accessibility Ratings on our games. They are

> not action games, but each game is rated as to its accessibility. I do

> think that games should be rated as to their accessibility regardless of

> the type of game. That would preclude just using ratings based on game

> controllers since many gamers don't use controllers. Looking at the

> mobile statistics indicates that they need to also be reviewed as to

> their accessibility accommodations as well as desktops, laptops and

> controllers.


> Eleanor Robinson

> 7-128 Software



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