IGDA Game Accessibility Special Interest Group

CamSpace - "any game, any webcam"

"CamSpace is a program that allows the user to control his favorite games and applications with any webcam. Use your body and arbitrary objects to replace the mouse and joystick!

Currently, CamSpace only works for Windows, but Mac and Linux versions are on the way..."

Via: Sandra Uhling on the GASIG mailing list.

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In Israel

Image of 7 inch single with the Star of David in the centre - 'Israel' by Siouxsie and the Banshees. Aisrael.org have a pretty thorough three part article on game accessibility in Hebrew. It covers physical disabilities and solutions, moving onto barriers facing visually impaired and blind gamers onto deaf gamers. Part 1, Part2 and Part 3 all here.


Strange Attractors 2

Strange Attractors 2 by Ominous Development, is looking fantastic. It's the follow up to one of the finest one button games ever - Strange Attractors. This time around two switches are needed (emulating the left mouse click and the right mouse click) - and a powerful PC (mine isn't up to the job sadly).

Your controls enable activation of positive or negative gravitational forces in nearby floating objects in order to manipulate your orb about the screen. Take a look at the video clip above for an idea of what you need to do. It's looking very nice indeed, and has already been nominated for an award at PennyArcade.com's PAX-10.

The game has a one button menu system that kicks in after about 5 seconds. For one button gamers - team play may be the solution (one player has positive gravity control, the second negative). I'm also wondering straight away if a 4Noah profile could be used to make this game one-switch compatible. I'll keep you posted.

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New Breath Clicking Controller

Image of a person taking a deep breath - from www.listenforjoy.com Inventor Antony Stewart has recently released details of a revolutionary breath clicking device that he has created. It has no name, but after sitting on this invention for a while finding no support, he has decided to let people see what it is he has made, and also to help D.I.Y. enthusiasts duplicate his design.

Designed to be used alongside a head-tracker or other mouse like controller, the breath controlled switch allows the user to replicate the left mouse button using short and long breaths.

What I will say after having used sip/puff controllers to play games, is that I love the idea of something that doesn't give you kids-party-balloon-blowing-marathon-cheeks. Video of the prototype in action here... and forum post here... Surely an AT company out there can see the benefits too!?


2008 Retro Remakes Competition

Retro Remakes 2008 Competition. Image of arcade games Berzerk and Centipede glowing brightly."The Official 2008 Retro Remakes Competition will be launched on September the 1st, 2008. Very. Good. News! Can't say too much this side of September, apart from to say that I'm very excited and hopeful. Oh, and to direct you to the official Retro Remakes announcement here..."

"Last time, the good folks round [Retro Remakes] parts managed to not only write an absolute ruck of fantastic games, but also came out with the most accessible game outside of academia. Who knows what sort of brilliant madness will emerge from this years? I don’t, but I’m sure as heck looking forward to finding out."

Via: OneSwitch.org.uk Blog and Retro Remakes


Custom Interfaces

Image of the front cover of Roald Dahl's The Magic Finger - a drawing of a girl holding her magic finger aloft."Off-the-shelf designs are especially frustrating for the disabled, the elderly and anybody who has trouble controlling a mouse. A new approach to design, developed at the University of Washington, would put each person through a brief skills test and then generate a mathematically-based version of the user interface optimized for his or her vision and motor abilities. A paper describing the system, which for the first time offers an instantly customizable approach to user interfaces, was presented today in Chicago at a meeting of the Association for the Advancement ofArtificial Intelligence."

The full story can be found: http://uwnews.org/article.asp?articleID=42817

Via: John Bannick of 7-128 Software on the IGDA GASIG Mailing List.

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Pop Cap Interviewed

Pop Cap circular logo.AbleGamers have posted a two part interview they and GASIG chair Michelle Hinn made with Popcap Games' Garth Chouteau in the light of their recent Casual Games survey. Grab your self a cup of tea, and read on... Part one here, and Part two here.


1975: The First Commercial One Switch Game

Image of Atari's 1975 Arcade Video Game - Steeple Chase.The first ever commercial one switch playable game is Atari's Steeplechase from 1975. Up to six players could crowd around the machine, using their single button to make their horse jump on coming hurdles. There's a short video-clip up on Google Video - don't expect too much obviously!

It's a very basic game, but actually quite competitive fun. The nearest equivalent is a version written for the Atari VCS - which can be played on the superb 'Stella' emulator.

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