It's very odd, but this debate about games actually plays directly upon one of
the key issues of my phd.
One of the things i am postulating, is that disability should be catagorized
not merely as belonging to a particular group, eg, deaf, blind, physically
imapred etc, but that disability should be defigned more fluidly as any state
of a person's body or brain which actually precludes them from carrying out
desires, or, which causes the fulfillment of those desires to require
significantly more effort than the normal (I also have a deffinition of normal,
but that is a bit much to go in to).
For any sited person with a desire to play a mainstream game, there is litle
effort involved beyond his/her desire to play the game and that effort which
the game's developers deemed as being necessary by a normal individual to
complete an in game task.
For a disabled gamer though, that amount of effort increases exponentially.
My brother for instance, can load a new guitar hero game in seconds, and
immediately begin on the first song, no memorization required.
he knows the instant he is wrong, and exactly what is required with the guitar.
On average it takes him roughly ten minutes of practice with a song to get a
Contrast this to the effort required by a blind gamer.
learning the menue, loading the song, reviewing before hand what is required.
How long, ---- from initial start would it take him/her to get a reasonable
This is to my mind one of the key features of adding access in games.
Take time of conflict for example, it uses a contextual menue to allow instant
map review, so that even the effort of reviewing a map in audio is reduced,
---- perhaps not to the at one glance minimal effort in a mainstream stratogy
game like command and conquer, but certainly far more than reviewing each
square one at a time, then building up a mental picture of the map piece by
piece and altering it accordingly.
This is also why a game like Mota needs to have it's difficulty tweaked
I can't speak for tomb hunter, but certain I've had mega man levels which I've
spent hours! on at a time. Finishing nes mega man 2 took me many hours.
now admittedly part of this was because not having a wide enouygh field of view
for the game I needed to learn certain aspects and look at specific parts of
the screen not being able to see all of it, ---- but partly this is because the
developers specifically! designed the game to be the sort of game which you'd
need to struggle to finish, but where each life you got a litle further and
thus wanted to get on.
Beware the grue!
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