[games_access] Auditory Mapping in Games

Ian Hamilton i_h at hotmail.com
Fri Oct 13 08:30:54 EDT 2017

Not for games specifically, but there's plenty from other industries.

For charts and graphs it's usually either exposing the text of the underlying data or even just offering a simple text description of the conclusion that the chart draws, rather than trying to translate the visuals themselves.


http<http://ncam.wgbh.org/experience_learn/educational_media/stemdx>://<http://ncam.wgbh.org/experience_learn/educational_media/stemdx>ncam.wgbh.org<http://ncam.wgbh.org/experience_learn/educational_media/stemdx>/<http://ncam.wgbh.org/experience_learn/educational_media/stemdx>experience_learn<http://ncam.wgbh.org/experience_learn/educational_media/stemdx>/<http://ncam.wgbh.org/experience_learn/educational_media/stemdx>educational_media<http://ncam.wgbh.org/experience_learn/educational_media/stemdx>/<http://ncam.wgbh.org/experience_learn/educational_media/stemdx>stemdx<http://ncam.wgbh.org/experience_learn/educational_media/stemdx> (see "guidelines" and the various examples)

There have been various academic attempts to use audio or haptics to provide an equivalent of being able to quickly see patterns, e.g. a tone rising and lowering to match the peaks and troughs of a line graph, but personally I haven't heard of anything like those being implemented in the field.

There's a bit of discussion on various techniques for making audio equivalents of maps - https<https://www.w3.org/WAI/RD/wiki/Accessible_Maps>://www.w3.org/<https://www.w3.org/WAI/RD/wiki/Accessible_Maps>WAI<https://www.w3.org/WAI/RD/wiki/Accessible_Maps>/<https://www.w3.org/WAI/RD/wiki/Accessible_Maps>RD<https://www.w3.org/WAI/RD/wiki/Accessible_Maps>/wiki/<https://www.w3.org/WAI/RD/wiki/Accessible_Maps>Accessible_Maps<https://www.w3.org/WAI/RD/wiki/Accessible_Maps>

But often that's overkill. With maps it's all about what the purpose of the map is, what information it is trying to communicate. For many purposes the information can be communicated just as effectively as a filtered ordered list, in the same way as alternating between map and list view on something like airbnb.com.

A vaguely similar example in a game is EVE Online. Although not a map, the entire contents of the visually complex environment that you're in are also translated into an overview panel. The panel consists of simple tabular data sortable by distance/name/type, and filterable via tabs. You can play the game mostly just through interacting directly with the items in that table.

The game isn't screenreader accessible (that's another issue entirely) but it's at least an example of what would appear initially to be complex spatial information being communicated in a simple speech-friendly format.


From: Brandon Keith Biggs
Sent: Thursday, 12 October, 19:08
Subject: [games_access] Auditory Mapping in Games
To: IGDA Games Accessibility SIG Mailing List

Does anyone have articles, papers, videos, or resources on representing maps or graphs in games auditorily? I’m researching audio mapping and don’t see anything in the archives of this list. I’m interested if there is any detailed information about making environments usable auditorily.
I’ve been doing primary research by looking at Audio Games, but I’m wondering if anyone has written about audio mapping in games?
Thank you,

Brandon Keith <http://brandonkeithbiggs.com/> Biggs<http://brandonkeithbiggs.com/>

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