[games_access] games_access Digest, Vol 158, Issue 2

Ian Hamilton i_h at hotmail.com
Fri Nov 4 21:20:52 EDT 2016

Kind of!

On one side of it the legislation applying to consoles has been an unquestionably good thing. Platform accessibility considerations are relatively straightforward compared to games, and what it seems to have meant is people in those organisations who already wanted to drive accessibility forward have now had extra high level backing behind them to get those things done. And that door having been opened then leading on to other things, successive PS4/XB1 releases have gone quite far beyond compliance. Although they do have the benefit of being big corporations with lots of R&D resource and good legal teams.

So to some extent the same could be true with games themselves, certainly I know of a couple of studios who are now taking more of an interest in accessibility than they did previously due to the possibility of CVAA.

Another side though is whether opening up studios (of all sizes and all levels of expertise) to litigation, with the burden being on the companies to demonstrate whether the feature was an unreasonable request (which is often will be, e.g. time and money adapting a UI and chat system to be blind accessible when the gameplay itself is not blind accessible) would be helpful.

Also the question of who is best placed to be coming up with solutions to accessibility issues - people in the games industry who properly understand the space, or a government body enforcing standards that were developed for other industries.


From: games_access <games_access-bounces at igda.org> on behalf of Selwyn Lloyd <selwyn at audazzle.com>
Sent: 04 November 2016 10:44
To: games_access at igda.org
Subject: Re: [games_access] games_access Digest, Vol 158, Issue 2

I had a quick look but feel that Audazzle (as a social for profit / social enterprise ) would benefit from the legislation commercially speaking and therefore it would rightly seem I/we had a vested interest.

Isn't that the point?

I mean the industry surely only seeks a waiver for it's own commercial benefits and not for societal impact.

Many enterprises are built around legislation but given my family and commercial interests in this news... I feel I'd be very biased if not just venting via comments that spring to mind.

still it sounds exciting and I hope it happens! thanks for sharing this Ian.

Mobile: 07979240124
skype: selwyn_lloyd

have you downloaded jumpinsaucers yet?

On Fri, Nov 4, 2016 at 5:23 AM, <games_access-request at igda.org<mailto:games_access-request at igda.org>> wrote:
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Today's Topics:

   1. CVAA waiver call for comment (Ian Hamilton)


Message: 1
Date: Thu, 3 Nov 2016 05:19:04 +0000
From: Ian Hamilton <i_h at hotmail.com<mailto:i_h at hotmail.com>>
To: "games_access at igda.org<mailto:games_access at igda.org>" <games_access at igda.org<mailto:games_access at igda.org>>
Subject: [games_access] CVAA waiver call for comment
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In case anyone isn't familiar, CVAA is the USA law that requires communications tech to be accessible. Game consoles are already covered, but communication elements of games themselves (team chat etc) have an ongoing waiver.

That waiver expires soon, and the industry has requested a further extension. If a further exemption is not granted and the waiver does expire, communications functionality and the means to navigate to and operate that functionality will have a legal obligation to be accessible to pretty much every audience, with modes required for things like no vision and no direct skin contact with a touchscreen.

The FCC have put out a call for public comment. I know there are strong feelings in both directions on whether legislation is a good or a bad thing for furthering accessibility in games.

The deadline for public comments is November 30th.

The full text of the waiver request is long, in a nutshell it says that an extension is justified because communication is generally not the main purpose of games, and that meaningful progress is now starting to be made on accessibility in in games in general.

Call for comments: http://transition.fcc.gov/Daily_Releases/Daily_Business/2016/db1031/DA-16-1236A1.pdf
Full waiver request: https://www.fcc.gov/ecfs/filing/1019285494250/document/10192854942506692
Form for submitting comments: https://www.fcc.gov/ecfs/filings

Bear in mind that comments are not anonymous, they'll be made publicly available on the FCC website.

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