I'm not sure if it can be summed up quite so simply. For me, there's
a big difference between totally accessible and playable with gaming,
just as there's a difference between totally accessible and usable
with other flavours of software. Mainstream games usually require a
bit of extra work in that it's exceedingly rare to find a talking
menue system, things like high scores usually aren't accessible to us,
and there are a couple of genres that if I were generalising I'd
classify as unplayable. All that said, there are a fair few VI gamers
who don't mind that extra work and enjoy sharing their findings, so
word tends to spread if a game is playable.
Recently, I've realised that I have a completely different approach to
gaming that depends on whether I'm playing a mainstream or an
accessible title. When I'm playing mainstream titles it tends to all
be quite lighthearted. The geek in me often can't resist digging that
little bit deeper into special moves etc than perhaps I'd need too to
finish a game, but that's a character trait. When I'm playing
accessible games on the other hand, I find myself taking it a lot more
seriously. I suppose this is because after years of playing
mainstream titles that were playable for the fun of it, with a
specialised title geared toward a VI player I've finally got control
over every single option and I know that if there's any part of that
game I can't master, it's not because I'm at any sort of disadvantage,
it's simply down to the fact that someone has written a game that I
can't beat yet.
I think it's crucial that people (especially developers of accessible
titles() have experience of both sides of the coin. It's because of
this that you're now starting to see accessible titles with
controller/mouse support, online play, unlockable content, and some of
the other goodies that are pretty much standard stuff with mainstream
titles. There's no getting away from the fact that some modern
mainstream games are leaps and bounds ahead of what we've got in terms
of complexity, but if you compare the budgets and man-hours spent on
the creations of both industries that's hardly surprising. On the
downside, we can't play some amazing mainstream titles, but on the
upside that probably inspires developers of accessible titles to dig
deep more than anything else.
There's older and more seasoned gamers than me on this list as I'm
only in my mid 20's, but from what I can tell, we seem to be moving
forward at a faster rate than mainstream titles ever have. It was
only a few years ago that every accessible game I encountered was too
basic or too easy to hold my attention for long. Now I'm happy to say
that I've bought copies of a few and spent way too much time enraged
by them... in a good way of course.
It's a bit of a ramble, but hope it helps in some way. Feel free to
hit me back on or off list if there's anything I can expand upon or
anything else I can do should In Touch want to run the feature.
On 2/27/09, Mani Djazmi <i_am_a_s...@hotmail.com> wrote:
> my name's Mani Djazmi and I'm a reporter on the In Touch programme at BBC
> Radio 4 in England. I'm currently researching a feature on the accessability
> of computer games for blind and partially sighted people. The impression I'm
> getting is that mainstream games generally aren't very accessible so bespoke
> ones are being produced. Is this fair? Do any of you guys play mainstream
> games and how do you find them?
> I look forward to hearing your thoughts and knowledge.
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