Hi Josh,
To begin with I really don't see NFB, ACB, or AFB trying to help us
get the laws changed as far as mainstream game accessibility goes. Not
even for getting the laws changed to have current games or copyright
game materials converted to an accessible only format. Main reason is
that the people who go to those conventions have bigger and more
important issues on their minds. With around 80% of the blind
population in the united States unemployed that is a far more serious
issue than weather or not some blind gamers have access to accessible
games or not.
I hate to be something of a wet blanket here, but as far as getting
the laws changed in favor of us is a time consuming, very expensive,
uphill battle all the way. There is no way Sony, Microsoft Game
Studios, Activision, Nintendo, and all the rest are going to stand by
while we go to Washington and bring our case before Congress. They'll
higher the best lawyers they can find to fight it and make their case.
While the United States disibility policies are better than most
countries I'm not sure that it will ever extend to vidio games and
other forms of entertainment like that. It just isn't that much in
demand, and we don't have the power and money to get a bill like that
passed realistically.
However, as for your idea of getting a bunch of developers together to
jointly work on the project it could work if you could find enough
skilled developers, and have the right tools/services to pull it off.
There are a number of open source tools out there for this very
purpose such as subversion for source control/management and bug buddy
for tracking bugs/issues witht the current development release. There
is something like gnome-meetting which is used for internet
conferencing. Yeah, these tools are all GNU Linux based, but i just
wanted to point out that there are already tools for this kind of
project where developers may be all over the world and can't work
together in a physical location. I've used cvs and subversion control
myself and you'll need it for a project of any size. Something like
Dropbox or Sendspace wouldn't cover it.
Finally, as for flashing and modifying a game console for
accessibility that isn't going to happen in this life time. Sony,
Microsoft, and Nintendo have very strict licensing terms regarding
their game consoles and it costs thousands of dollars just to purchase
the libraries and tools to create software for those consoles. Under
no way shape or form are you alloud to modify, change, or mess with
the software existing on those consoles. Yeah, I know some people have
flashed their consoles and messed around with them, but that is not
strictly speaking legal.
Not only that there is a royalty license involved in creating software
for game consoles. For every title you create you have to pay out
royalties to the console manufacturer for the right to support their
platform. It isn't free bro. So when you consider the price of the
development tools, the royalty fees involved, you are going to have a
good 50 grand rapped up in making a single game for their console and
I've haven't heard of a single accessible game that has earned that
much ever. So again pretty unrealistic.
And by the way, since you mentioned books that isn't exactly a bed of
roses either.  If a new book comes out in hard cover it usually sells
for $15 to $20 as a new release. The same book recorded by the
publisher costs around $40 for a new release. That is pretty much
double just for them to convert it to audio so you can listen to it.
Yeah, if you get books through NLS that is free, but rarely have i
seen a brand new best seller show up in the NLS library until it is at
least a year old or so. So again equal access doesn't mean equal
fairness or cost.

Cheers!



On 5/28/10, Josh <jkenn...@gmail.com> wrote:
> Hi,
>
> As I said before, first we gotta change the law. second, decide on a
> standard for audio game programming. third, make a good solid game
> company, made of multiple people, assigned their own task or tasks to
> make game creation more effective. perhaps collaborate through skype and
> dropbox. next change the law so games in a specialised format for people
> with disabilities may include sounds story lines plots music and
> characters from video games as longg as the game is in a specialised
> format for people who are blind visually impaired or similar disability
> that prevents them from playing that brand new accessible video game
> console.
> now, when the company has enough money, the company should save some.
> now use that money to develop your own game console, or take a standard
> console, re-flash and modify it for accessibility by disabled people.
> now go to game conventions and show off your new game console.
> eventually my brother and sister's generation, and even my generation
> will get old, lose eye-sight, and won't be able to play their favorite
> video games. so lets make a kind of national library or international
> library service nls for video games in specialised format. Sorry guys
> I'm not a programmer, just putting out ideas. now to make a great game,
> lets compare it to a book. a sighted person can go out and read a harry
> potter book, get it in print, I can sit down beside that person with my
> audio book or braille book from nls and read it, talk about and enjoy it
> along with my sighted friend. so lets incorporate that into games.
> first, lets put games on instead lets put them on blueray disks, lots of
> space, or maybe 32gig flash drives, read only flash memory. lots of room
> there to store data. when a blind person wants to play a game with his
> or her sighted friend, the person plugs headphones in, the game turns on
> accessibility mode when the console detects headphones plugged in. Point
> is we can't have one guy here and another there trying to do it on their
> own. a company, an organised company has to be started with both short
> and longterm goals. laws gotta be changed so we can make and sell good
> high quality games, we gotta take our games to the conventions and
> really mount a presence there. weneed the nfb and ACB both involved in
> this. who cares if you like them or hate them point is they're a big big
> organizations and they can help!
> but will they?
>
> Josh

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