It does pose an interesting situation even if a bit unlikely. Making
accesssible software like games is completely unimportant until it
effects someone personally. It wouldn't necessarily have to be a CEO,
but a family member, a board member, or one of the lead game
developers for it to become a personal matter for someone in that
company. That's always how change, real change, gets started. No one
seams interested in making a change until it happens to the right
person, at the right time, and then it suddenly becomes a personal
matter of interest.
The closest thing I can compare this to is Ted Henter coming up with
Jaws for Dos around 1987. Before then if you were blind and wanted to
use an IBM compatible PC running MS Dos or PC Dos there really wasn't
much you could do about the situation. Then, Ted Henter had, I want to
say, a motor cycle accident that left him blind, and instead of giving
up on computers he got some sighted developers together and founded a
company called Henter-Joice with the soul aim of creating screen
readers and other adaptive software for the blind and low vision. That
single change in one man's life has lead to a number of accessible
products like Jaws and Magic which has greatly improved the lives of
many blind computer users. I disagree with many of Freedom Scientifics
current business practices, but I can say that what Ted Henter did was
a dramatic improvement in my own life as I have used a number of his
products like Jaws personally to get through high school, college, and
even on some contract jobs.
I think when it comes to mainstream accessible games something similar
will have to happen to someone who has a lot of influence and power
within a game company for that kind of revolutionary change in polacy
to take place. What would happen, for example, if Bill Gates or
someone he loves went blind tomorrow? Would he suddenly want the
company he started to begin creating accessible XBox consoles and want
a more powerful screen reader than Narrator to be incorperated into
the Windows operating system? Would that event make software
accessibility a more important issue for him and his company?
As for Game Spot yeah I have noticed a number of posters there are
pretty rude. I don't know the average age of the posters there, but
they often strike me as young, very mouthy, punks with no respect for
anyone out of their immediate circle of friends. There comments about
blind people in general really irritated me as it was obvious to me
the posters didn't have a clue what they were talking about and were
just shooting there mouth off again. All they succeeded in doing is
proving how truly ignorant they really are when it comes to anyone
As for the Sony lawsuit I have to agree with you that it wasn't a good
thing. For one thing there is no law mandating that these companies
have to provide accessibility, any accessibility, making it a tough
legal battle to begin with. Then, bringing attention to the problem
via a lawsuit hasn't braught any sympathy to our cause. The mainstream
gamers, like those on Game Spot, just think we are acting like spoiled
brats demmanding our own way.
Even worse the companies now like us less, because instead of trying
to talk to them and get accessibility included through mutual
cooperation and via peaceful means this one gamer has just braught the
legal system into this trying to get accessibility into his favorite
games through brute force. That just upsets the companies making them
less likely to want to listen to organizations like Able Gamers and
the Game Accessibility Project. The last thing we want is for this
person to lose big in court, and then have the game companies simply
tune us out completely. Which I am afraid will happen as a result of
this court case.
Speaking of your comment about accessible cars that was someone elses
comment on Game Spot practically word for word. Someone basicly said
if blind people are going to take Sony to court over game
accessibility why aren't we taking automobile companies to court for
automobile accessibility. They have a point, but you know and i know
there is a big difference in playing a game and driving acar. It is
far easier to make a game like Mortal Kombat accessible than make an
automobile completely accesible to a totally blind driver.
On 6/9/10, Bryan Peterson <bpeterson2...@cableone.net> wrote:
> Oh I know it's not likely to change anything, but it's worth imagining.
> Because if he did discover that contrary to popular belief he could still
> live and do things for himself, sooner or later he would, if he was a gamer
> during his sighted life, want to find ways to get back into that. Then the
> now former gaming company CEO would be right there in the same boat with the
> rest of us, in a small market with very few games that are likely to satisfy
> his need for an engrossing experience. Certainly MOTA and ENtombed and
> possibly Time of Conflict might go some way in the right direction but not
> many more of our games do.
> As for the Gamespot thing, those folks are generally pretty rude to one
> another anyway, whether someone blind posts there or not. I've read their
> replies to other articles having nothing whatsoever to do with blindness and
> that's pretty much par for the course over there. The same is true of the
> Game FAQs message boards, where people who violate the TOS more often than
> not tend to get off scott free while someone who didn't gets moderated as
> though they had. But I did hear about the article over there about the
> lawsuit against sony and, while I don't agree with the comments about blind
> people I do agree that the lawsuit was rather riddiculous since it only
> enhances the view that some sighted folks have that we blind folks are
> spoiled brats. Next, why not sue the auto industry for not making cars
> accessible? My next question would be how the heck would they go about
> making a car accessible?
> We are the Knights who say...Ni!
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