IGDA Game Accessibility Special Interest Group

Doubting Thomas

'Doubting Thomas' by Mark Tansey - Sepia painting of a man examining a crack in the road that his Jaguar car straddles, door open with female companion and driver looking on concerned. Game Set Watch published a piece recently by Leigh Alexandra entitled 'Analysis: Can Nintendo Take 'Accessibility' Too Far?'. It questions if accessibility features spoil gaming. A depressing stand point and one that I feel misinterprets what greater accessibility can really mean.

Info with thanks to: Scott McKay


"Our Survey Says..."

"Many people profess that they wish to could have a say in the making and designing of video games. Yet rarely is the game industry interested in hearing from folks with disabilities. Instead, games are created by people who are not disabled and have no idea what the true needs of disabled gamers are. How would you like to be one of the people who actually have a say in how games are developed?"

See AbleGamers for the full run down or jump straight into the related disabled gamers survey.


Wii New Super Mario Bros - Accessibility Feature

New Super Mario Brothers - Wii. Accessible Demo Play Mode. Nintendo's "New Super Mario Brothers" for the Wii is due to feature a unique accessibility feature: 'Demo Play'. If part of the game gets too tough, activating this mode will see the game take over and play automatically. Once demo-play has seen you through the tough bit you were stuck on you can de-activate it and resume manual play.

It's a great idea, although I was dismayed to see that Nintendo have patented it. I don't like the idea of an accessibility feature being patented. Good stuff like this should be shared. It's like patenting a wheelchair ramp. That's just not right. Thank goodness no one ever patented the wheel!

Via: Richard Van Tol on the IGDA GASIG list and 1UP.


Videojuegos Accesibles: Porqué Y Cómo Hacerlos

Hand Catching A Bird - by Spanish Artist Joan Miro."Videojuegos accesibles, porqué y cómo hacerlos" which translates to "Accessible Videogames, why and how to develop them". Javier Mairena, a software developer with special interest in accessible videogames development, has written this fine article to reach out in the third most spoken language in the world.

I love receiving news of accessibility work from other parts of the world even when in a language I little understand. The desire for opportunities to play doesn't change around the world whatever the language.

Via: IGDA GASIG Mailing List. See more international articles here.


Forza 3: One Switch Mode

Forza 3 - One Switch Accessible? E3 witnessed the announcement of a "one-button driving assist" mode for Turn 10's Forza Motorsport 3 on the Xbox 360. That. Is. Very. Good. News. Can't wait to see if it is what I hope it is: A current generation racing game that is one-switch playable and fun.

Part of Turn 10's Press release: It’s easy to go for a spin: “Forza Motorsport 3” redefines the racing genre. Simulation games can be too hard for some players. “Forza Motorsport 3” rises above the distinction between simulation and arcade games. Using a myriad of cutting-edge driving and gameplay assist such as auto-braking, gameplay rewind and auto-tuning, “Forza Motorsport 3” delivers an experience where everyone can have fun behind the wheel, regardless of your skill and dexterity. Whether you’re a newcomer or a seasoned racing game pro, “Forza Motorsport 3” caters to how you drive and evolves with you over time as your skills increase.

Many thanks to RetroRemakes twitter for the tip.

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Microsoft's New Controller: Project Natal

Project Natal. Hinted at three years ago, it looks like Microsoft are finally about to deliver an alternative and potentially more intuitive and accessible controller for the Xbox 360. E3 has seen Microsoft demonstrate a camera smart enough to pick up upon gestures, voice and facial expressions.

So what can developers do with it? And will they bother to consider gamers who can't make big sweeping movements? Nintendo got it wrong but offering no sensitivity adjustment. Will Microsoft get it right?

Update: Video below found via AbleGamers. Amazing Lionhead video demo at the BBC.



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