[games_access] Auditory Mapping in Games

Ian Hamilton i_h at hotmail.com
Fri Oct 13 09:30:38 EDT 2017

>From the looks of what's in the spreadsheet, is it specifically navigating environments that you're looking into? As opposed to for example having map screen showing nearby points of interest, displayed separately to how you navigate the environment?


From: games_access <games_access-bounces at igda.org> on behalf of Brandon Keith Biggs <brandonkeithbiggs at gmail.com>
Sent: 13 October 2017 14:07
To: IGDA Games Accessibility SIG Mailing List
Subject: Re: [games_access] Auditory Mapping in Games

Hello Ian,
Thank you for your references! I will check them out. I have been doing some research and it looks as if people have been hinting at making operable auditory maps for different types of data, but in the last 10 years nothing has really come out of the academic world. I’m doing my own research on audio games as a living laboratory of what is being used in the real world. So far I have come up with 7 types of maps used in audio games and I have examples of games in which these maps are used:

I’m looking to see if anyone has done anything similar to this. All the papers I’ve read hint at having displays such as what audio games have, but there is no evidence that anything more complex than a simple bar or line graph have been used. Audio games have much more complex data being displayed than a simple graph and I hope to release some tools, similar to what SAS has, that will allow people to view maps and graphs auditorily. (I’m taking what has been prototyped in games and using it in the real world).
I just need as much research as I possibly can get on studies or theories that have been put out so I can use them in my system and reference them in my published papers.
I want to see people using audio graphs and maps in school by the end of next year. I can’t believe it’s taken so long for someone to finish connecting the dots on this topic.

I’ve just started delving into a literature review, and:
has given me loads to work with.

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

On Fri, Oct 13, 2017 at 5:30 AM, Ian Hamilton <i_h at hotmail.com<mailto:i_h at hotmail.com>> wrote:
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<http://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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