Absolutely correct. Our list is a minority of a minority and we usually
have around 300 members on average. All of us together would not be a
very convincing group of blind gamers to encourage mainstream game
developers of the value of accessibility. If a talking clock that sold
thousands nationally to the general blind market would fail certainly
games, which are of even much less value to the general blind
population, would do even worse commercially. Everyone needs an
accessible clock, but not everyone needs or wants a fully accessible
version of Resident Evil, DC Universe, World of War Craft, whatever.
Then, as has been mentioned on this list before, most of those with any
kind of visual impairment are the elderly. My grandma is in her 80's,
her sight is slowly going, and she does like playing card games like
Hearts, Solitaire, Poker, but that's about it. She would not at all
appreciate playing games like War Craft and so on. That age difference
certainly would be a factor in what accessible games would and would not
be purchased by the largest majority of visually impaired people world
wide. Therefore if a talking clockt that would certainly help the
elderly can fail commercially games they wouldn't like at all is doomed
to failior too.
David Chittenden wrote:
I do not believe creating accessible games from scratch would be
considered viable by any of the game developers.
Blindness is a very low incidence group which only effects .6% of the
population of any technologically advanced country, and up to .8% of
non-technologically advanced countries.
I use to work as an accessibility consultant for a few companies which
develop consumer electronics. Companies are primarily only interested
if they can make a profit. Only very small companies which are trying
to break in to the market typically consider our extremely small
numbers as being a viable market segment.
Some of you may remember the Sharp Talking Time I, one of the best
pocket talking clocks which came out in the early 80's. Within a
couple years, Sharp took it off the market. That clock was very
popular amongst blind people. We purchased several tens of thousands
That clock was not very popular among any other market segment. Sharp
needed several hundred thousand sales to consider the product as viable.
The numbers which we can bring to any mainstream product are currently
no where near enough for the company to consider us as a viable
profit-making group for targeting.
Note: Apple is the only large mainstream company that I am aware of
which has adopted blindness accessibility across its entire product
line as a corporate position. I do hope other large companies follow
Apple's lead, but have my doubts for the near future.
David Chittenden, MS, CRC, MRCAA
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