Michael,
As a blind gamer and software developer myself I would love to be able to convert all of my mainstream games into audio games, to make them 100% accessible, as much as the next blind gamer on this list. However, no matter how much I would like to convert all of my mainstream games into audio games the reality is it isn't as simple and straight forward as you assume. There are several factors that prevents any accessible game developer from just picking his/her favorite mainstream game and creating an audio only version. First, there are several legal issues involved in creating an accessible clone of Mortal Kombat or any other mainstream game title. Unless the accessible game developer obtains written permission from the copyright holder it is illegal to create and sell games using any trade marks, characters, sounds, music, etc from an existing game title. The only exception to this rule is if you create it for yourself for personal use, and not for public distribution. Second, I've had personal experience dealing with some of these mainstream companies about game accessibility, and they are simply not receptive. Not only are they unwilling to make accessible versions of their games for the blind they aren't willing to license it out to a third-party blind game developer such as myself. So getting legal permission from these companies is like a snowball's chance in hell. Third, most of the audio game developers out here are one to three man operations. As a result creating any game is a major commitment, takes many hours of time, costs money for music/sounds, and so on. Some game developers sell their games to offset the time and money spent on creating the game. However, since it is illegal to do so without written permission from the copyright holder it is not a good legal or financial business decision to create games based on someone else's work. Fourth, while there are some loop holes an accessible game developer might use such as making the project free, open source, publish it as fan fiction, etc they are all technically still consider copyright infringement in the eyes of the law. The only difference with this approach is that a copyright holder may choose to get a court cease and desist order instead of suing the accessible game developer outright for copyright infringement. Fifth, while we all know it is inconvenient to play the mainstream versions of games like Mortal Kombat they are still accessible enough that many people here enjoy playing them as is. As a result most audio game developers feel like this is reinventing the wheel with quite a bit of legal and financial well being at stake. In other words the risk
is greater than the rewards for making a clone of game x.
Finally, I'm blind myself so I know how difficult it can be to play some of these mainstream games. Especially, when you are alone. Never-the-less once you memorize some of the menus, where things are, etc it is possible to play some of the mainstream games on your own. This obviously isn't for everyone, but enough people are able to do it to make it a feasible solution. I know as well as anyone the situation sucks. However, if you have an idea how to improve the situation let's have it. We all could use new ideas. If you are willing to learn programming and don't care about copyright laws you could convert the games yourself. I think you'll discover it isn't a clear cut or easy prospect you are suggesting here.


Smile.


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