[games_access] Looking for feedback

Ian Hamilton i_h at hotmail.com
Sat Apr 11 20:13:08 EDT 2015


It's a mix, there's still loads of retrofitting that goes on, but as awareness increases situations like the attached tweet are becoming more common. I often see developers discussing or asking for advice on accessibility pretty early on, over colourblindess and remapping in particular.

Another really powerful driver is when accessibility is introduced in development funding applications (e.g. Film Victoria), meaning applicants are required to at least think about it before they have properly started production.

The disability angle generally seems to be a bigger driver than the improving experience angle, with developers who are interested just wanting to do the right thing and avoid unnecessarily excluding people. That it's also good game design seems more of a nice surprise rather than the reason for doing it.

So for me at least it seems primarily about explaining the disability angle, then secondly supporting the disability angle by mentioning that it is good general design practice. As a reassurance against the 'it'll dilute my mechanic' misconception, and as a way of explaining that it isn't anything scary, through showing how much good stuff they're already inadvertently doing in their day to day work.

Ian

----- Reply message -----
From: "Chad Philip Johnson" <chad at anacronist.com>
To: <games_access at igda.org>
Subject: [games_access] Looking for feedback
Date: Sat, Apr 11, 2015 22:47


Little late in replying to this one, but I think that the following
idea is quite powerful:  make considerations for X, Y and Z in a way
that will not only create a larger audience, but also improve the
overall design.  This could be applied to anything, but in the case of
game accessibility, developers should construct their games so that any
efforts made toward accommodating disabled gamers also somehow work to
enhance the experience for their core audience.

For example, if I'm going to design a luxury car, it would be really
good to put in an adjustable seat.  This will allow people to make
changes to the seat's position according to their personal preferences
during a drive--e.g. a person who has spent four hours on the freeway
might turn on cruise control and slide the seat back much farther than
he would while taking a trip to the grocery store.  It has another
benefit in that it allows people of varying heights to be able to fit
into and drive the car (although for them it might lose some amount of
its luxury appeal).  The point is that the feature that was added to
create an improved experience for someone of average height is also
what allows taller and shorter people to be able to drive the car at
all.

This contrasts what Ian mentioned earlier about hotels: shower
handrails are provided specifically for guests with disabilities, but
arguments can be made about them benefiting other guests as well.  In
one case, the experience for the core audience is provided first and
then the accommodation is designed around it.  In the other case, the
accommodation is provided first and then the experience for the core
audience is designed around it.

I'm new here, but practicality and a grade school business sense
suggests to me that the SIG will be spending more of its time working
to convince developers to design proper accommodations after the core
experience has been developed and not the other way around.  This means
that companies will need to be shown how careful implementation of
accommodations will also work to improve the core experience before
most of them will adopt the idea.

Fortunately, when this is done enough times, a particular accommodation
will eventually become a part of standard game development procedures.
This seems to be the end goal.

--
Chad Philip Johnson
Anacronist Software




> Date: Mon, 23 Mar 2015 14:11:37 +0000 From: Ian Hamilton
> <i_h at hotmail.com> To: IGDA Games Accessibility SIG Mailing List
> <games_access at igda.org> Subject: Re: [games_access] Looking for
> feedback Message-ID: <DUB130-W54C55DCD59142C679A3B5A910D0 at phx.gbl>
> Content-Type: text/plain; charset="iso-8859-1"
>
> In the wider world it means option 2 - "The concept focuses on enabling
> access for people with disabilities, or special needs, or enabling
> access through the use of assistive technology; however, research and
> development in accessibility brings benefits to everyone."
> (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Accessibility). E.g. an accessible hotel
> room contains features such as a handrail in the shower and lots of
> floorspace, universal design features that are useful for lots of
> guests but are included solely because of disability. A website's
> accessibility policy refers only to the commitments and considerations
> are made for users with disabilities. And you certainly aren't allowed
> to park in an accessible parking spot just because you're an
> inexperienced driver or have an old car. We're only a small part of a
> much larger cross-industry effort, so we should really be consistent
> unless there's a compelling reason not to be.


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