Hi Jason,
It is a lot more complicated than you perhaps realize. There is a lot more involved than a choice to have or not have accessibility. You and others might find this difficult to except, but there are some things that can never be and never will be accessible to us for a number of reasons. First, there is a lot that goes on in mainstream games that can't be described or made accessible because it requires sight to play. In the Tomb Raider games there are a variety of puzzles that you absolutely have to have sight for in order to solve them. It is not a matter that adding sounds could fix, and we can't expect a developer to take the puzzle out of the game just because a blind person can' not see to solve the puzzle. Second, it is a fact that blind gamers, on average, play slower than our sighted counterparts. We depend so much on audio that we have to listen to our health, location, direction, etc to get anything meaningful out of the game. Often times the game is paused while we do this. Most sighted gamers would hate it, and it would lead to complaints about game x unless said feature could be turned off. In an online game setting sighted gamers would always have an advantage over us. Third we haven't even talked about cost. If we wanted accessib ility features such as a built in TTS Engine every Play Station, Wii, XBox would have to be completely redesigned to offer a variety of accesssibility features in their development kits. Then, game companies would have to update x number of games, game engines, etc to meett the new accessibility standards. We are talking about millions of dollars spent in research and development to meet accessibility standards. Frankly financially it probably isn't worth it to big companies. it would cost them more to create the technology then they are likely to get back in sales. Fourth, it would matter very little if a developers family member went blind. Most of the programmers work for a company and it is their bosses that make the decisions. They often have very little choice about things like accessibility features unless the heads of the company make it a polacy to do so. Besides I think you and I both know in general people have negative stereotypes about blindness anyway. Blindness is seen as some horrable disability where the person is either a superman or totally helpless. If you do something they think is amazing you are Superman. If you are unable to do something simple they might view you as helpless. Even in college I was around college educated people who were absolutely, totally, unbelievably ignorant of what I could and could not do as a blind person. It is a variety of stereotypes, myths, etc that hold us back because the general public is just ignorant about our needs and wants. Even if they become aware of it we are too small a minority to be financially worth their while.


jason wrote:
I have a question why is it so hard for a developer to make their games accessible for disabilities. it's just to hard to go out of their way to do this. , or we just a minority? I mean video games have been out for years now, and you would think they would get the hint? wow it's amazing what people think sometimes. I guess it has to happen to them, meaning to have one of their family members have a disability in order to get something accomplished for us.

Sincerely,
Jason known as Blind Fury
windowslive contact kb3...@msn.com
skype contact kb3icc
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