Hi Eleanor,
No problem. As it is I really think your white paper hit the mark when
it comes down to putting out the facts of the situation, and
unfortunately I'm afraid the aging gamers out there are going to be
ignored by the big mainstream companies anyway.
For example, my grandma is in her mid 80's, and does like some simple
computer games such as Monopoly, Solitaire, Hearts, Uno, things like
that. Unfortunately, she really can't see well enough to see the card
faces and things like that. Fortunately, Jim Kitchen and Spoonbill
Software just happen to have games that she would like and that are
completely self-voicing. I put them on a computer I picked up at the
Goodwill and fixed up for her, and every now and then when I drop buy
she is playing Solitaire, Monopoly, Uno, Yatzi, etc with Sapi speech
output.  If it weren't for developers like Jim Kitchen, Spoonbill
Games, GMA Games, and all the rest  my grandma would be completely
locked out of even relatively simple accessible games like Solitaire
and Yatzi which is really rediculous considering it wouldn't cost
mainstream developers much to make games like that accessible with a
little Sapi support and perhaps large print graphics. Yet they
continually don't even do that much.
My dad happens to be a member of the Baby Boomer generation, and now
is in his early 60's. Over the past couple of years he has taken to
using glasses for driving and reading.  Plus needs them when playing
some games on the computer which certainly counts as a visual
impairment even if it isn't quite as bad as my own. Still he is the
one that worked for several years for Rubber Made, worked 8 and 12
hours shifts Monday-Friday, and was the person in my family who
purchased my Ataris, Nintendos, Sega, and all the games that went with
those consoles when I was growing up.  He was the guy with all the
buying power, and even though he is semi-retired now he has a pretty
healthy retirement check coming in each month. As you pointed out the
Baby Boomers still have most of the buying power, most of it is in
401's, social security, and other retirement plans, but they still
have a majority of the currency out there. Yet somehow I don't think
the mainstream game companies seam to care about that, and are focused
on aiming their products for the preteen to young adult market who
really doesn't have the buying power their grandparents do. Yet that's
where the game companies are heading anyway.
It is like I said in another message on list the problem realy isn't
just specific to game companies.  Most companies don't have a
realistic polacy for handling elderly and disabled customers.  If they
happen to have one it usually is expensive and costs more than a
similar product or service for their mainstream customers. In my
opinion it is really a form of victimization on part of the companies
who make those products or offers those services. All that would
change if the shoe was on the other foot.


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