Hi Michael,

 

many thanks for such a comprehensive reply. Do you live in England by any 
chance?

 

Cheers

Mani


 
> From: michael.f...@gmail.com
> To: gamers@audyssey.org
> Date: Fri, 27 Feb 2009 21:39:32 -0500
> Subject: Re: [Audyssey] Accessible Mainstream Games
> 
> Hello Mani. I've been an intermittant listener of In Touch for years. A very 
> well-done show indeed. Your arrival on this list is most timely. Tom Ward 
> has just galvanised things with the release of his first public beta level 
> of Mysteries of the Ancients. That's woken the list up for certain. Che 
> Martin is another developer you'll definitely want to chat with. Quite a few 
> of the people currently developing accessible games either had sight or have 
> it. All of our developers have their own interesting stories. As the creator 
> and former editor of Audyssey Magazine, I got to know several of them over 
> the years. People get into this for the passion and interest in what they 
> do. We've certainly come a long way together since I published the first 
> issue in 96. Ron Schamerhorn's the current editor and has a somewhat better 
> grasp on the state of things these days. Life has pulled me in some 
> different directions but I still keep an ear on things and try to help where 
> I can. I'd be happy to answer any questions you might have about past 
> developments.
> 
> You'll find quite a range of oppinion here concerning what constitutes an 
> accessible game. I'm happy to see that you've already gotten a few 
> responses. There are plenty more to be had as the debate is one of long 
> standing in this community. There is a stronger sense among sighted game 
> developers these days regarding the use of sound as more than window 
> dressing. That's going to eventually pay off for us but I don't believe 
> we're anywhere near that point yet.
> 
> Personally, I'm from the old school which says that a game can only be 
> counted as accessible if blind people can truly play it as it was intended 
> to be played and have access to all information. They shouldn't be 
> handycapped in any way in terms of how far they can get with a game due to 
> being blind. Sight brings an incredible amount of information very rapidly 
> to a person. To be accessible, a great deal of thought must go into the 
> sound of a game as well as the interface. That means I don't view arcade 
> games designed for sighted people as technically accessible. We're just not 
> privy to all the information. Playing something via shere memorisation and 
> luck just doesn't count for me. Other people have fun doing that sort of 
> thing. There was a fellow who is now world famous due to his skill in 
> playing Mortal Combat.As a child, I used to be more in the "if I can have 
> fun with it, then it's accessible" camp. My father would take me to arcades 
> and we'd try to play the videogames together. He'd desperately try to 
> describe things as fast as possible and I'd be in charge of the controls. It 
> was certainly fun at the time and there was a good degree of cameradery. 
> However, when you take all the bells and whistles away, I was just following 
> my father's instructions as quickly as possible. I eventually tried a game 
> on my own and found out just how much of the experience I was missing as I 
> got obliterated due to having no idea of the game situation. When you 
> reduce a game to purely responding to sound cues and memorization, it stops 
> being at all the same kind of fun that sighted people enjoy.
> 
> There are a number of tragic cases of games which are almost accessible and 
> could easily have been made so to the benefit of all players whether sighted 
> or blind. The most disappointing one during my editorship of Audyssey was 
> the North American version of Who Wants to Be a Millionaire. The questions 
> were printed onto the screen rather than read out loud as they are in the 
> show and apparently in the UK version of the computer game. A very 
> disappointingly inaccessible Christmas present for our family. Other games 
> like the You Don't Know Jack series are again very close to being 
> accessible. In fact, for the earlier games in that series, nearly all of the 
> game was. There were some visual questions making reference to pictures 
> though. Also, there were the jack attacks which flashed up printed clues and 
> information which had to be matched. With some elements like that, it simply 
> can become impossible to accomodate. You could have a trivia game with 
> questions all read aloud and no visual questions but it wouldn't be You 
> Don't Know Jack. The same goes for such elements in many video games. We're 
> simply too small a market to be worth a company's while. That's the major 
> problem.
> Michael Feir
> Author of Personal Power:
> How Accessible Computers Can Enhance Personal Life For Blind People
> 2006-2008
> www.blind-planet.com/content/personal-power
> 
> A Life of Word and Sound
> 2003-2007
> http://www.blind-planet.com/content/life-word-and-sound
> 
> Creator and former editor of Audyssey Magazine
> 1996-2004
> Check out my blog at:
> www.michaelfeir.blogspot.com
> 
> 
> ----- Original Message ----- 
> From: "Mani Djazmi" <i_am_a_s...@hotmail.com>
> To: <gamers@audyssey.org>
> Sent: Friday, February 27, 2009 11:11 AM
> Subject: [Audyssey] Accessible Mainstream Games
> 
> 
> >
> > Hi,
> >
> >
> >
> > 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.
> >
> >
> >
> > Cheers
> >
> > Mani
> >
> >
> >
> > _________________________________________________________________
> > Check out the new and improved services from Windows Live. Learn more!
> > http://clk.atdmt.com/UKM/go/132630768/direct/01/
> > ---
> > Gamers mailing list __ Gamers@audyssey.org
> > If you want to leave the list, send E-mail to 
> > gamers-unsubscr...@audyssey.org.
> > You can make changes or update your subscription via the web, at
> > http://audyssey.org/mailman/listinfo/gamers_audyssey.org.
> > All messages are archived and can be searched and read at
> > http://www.mail-archive.com/gam...@audyssey.org.
> > If you have any questions or concerns regarding the management of the 
> > list,
> > please send E-mail to gamers-ow...@audyssey.org. 
> 
> 
> ---
> Gamers mailing list __ Gamers@audyssey.org
> If you want to leave the list, send E-mail to gamers-unsubscr...@audyssey.org.
> You can make changes or update your subscription via the web, at
> http://audyssey.org/mailman/listinfo/gamers_audyssey.org.
> All messages are archived and can be searched and read at
> http://www.mail-archive.com/gam...@audyssey.org.
> If you have any questions or concerns regarding the management of the list,
> please send E-mail to gamers-ow...@audyssey.org.

_________________________________________________________________
Check out the new and improved services from Windows Live. Learn more! 
http://clk.atdmt.com/UKM/go/132630768/direct/01/
---
Gamers mailing list __ Gamers@audyssey.org
If you want to leave the list, send E-mail to gamers-unsubscr...@audyssey.org.
You can make changes or update your subscription via the web, at
http://audyssey.org/mailman/listinfo/gamers_audyssey.org.
All messages are archived and can be searched and read at
http://www.mail-archive.com/gam...@audyssey.org.
If you have any questions or concerns regarding the management of the list,
please send E-mail to gamers-ow...@audyssey.org.

Reply via email to