IGDA Game Accessibility Special Interest Group

Guante Pulsador

Image of a switch adapted translucent blue joypad, next to a white gloved hand, that has a wire, and tow contacts stitched into the thumb and forefinger area. Text reads, Access Able Games.

AccessAble Games have recently unveiled a simple touch sensitive switching system that can be stitched into the likes of gloves, sweat-bands and so on. It's an inexpensive solution that may well suit many. AccessAble Games are happy to support people around the world looking for alternative set-ups, as well as in helping them to find suitable games.

You can see more people who are offering a service to build Tailor Made Game Controllers at the OneSwitch.org.uk Accessible Gaming Shop.

Link via: Accessible GameBase forums.

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Accessible Gaming at EuroGamer Expo 2010

High up photo of the EuroGamer Expo hall in 2009, full of people and games machines. The text reads 'EuroGamer Expo 2010, partnered with HMV. Links with the attendance of the Accessible GameBase.

Accessible Gaming will be making a showing at the public EuroGamer Expo 2010 in London's Earls Court thanks to the fantastic Accessible GameBase.

If you'd like a sneak preview of the accessible gear that will be on show between Friday the 1st and Sunday the 3rd of October, just click the large picture above.

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My Golf Game

VTree's My Golf Game has been on my keep-an-eye-on list for some time. Well it's out and looks very nice indeed. Accessibility features include a range of input methods, including a one-switch mode (game-play only - not for the menus I'm sorry to say) and a range of difficulty levels. There's a promo over at AbleGamers to get a cheaper copy which can save you a few quid.

More golf accessibility? It's possible to play Everybody's Golf for PSone and PS2 in one-switch style (again without fully accessible menus) using a PC, emulator and 4Noah utility. For something much easier to get going, I'd highly recommend trying out the 2D mini-golf accessible classic Mini Golf 1-Button Style by Danjo, which is fully one-switch compatible.

For those thinking of producing their own accessible golf game, I recommend taking a look at our GASIG Top 3 Accessibility Tips for a Golf game.


AbleGames 2010

Image of a young man beaming, flanked by two on-lookers, whilst he plays an adapted pinball machine using a single accessibility switch.
Image of a jokey/nervous helper hiding behind a vecro vest from a Nerf Foam Bullet barrage, triggered by people using accessibility switches to fire at her.
Two young children playing a Wii Mario Kart. One using a standard steering wheel, the other using a cap mounted controller, enabling alternative access to the game.
Image of a young lad beaming brightly whilst playing a Wii Ski game using a chair controller. Flanked by two helpers who are also smiling broadly.
Image of an ex. Denver Nugget basketball player and a young lad playing against each other on Hoop Stars, one-switch basketball game. Both smiling, but with intently competitive looks on their faces.The photos above are just a small sample from the hundreds taken at the AbleGames 2010 event. Following last years amazing event, I was really curious to see if Assistive Technology Partners' could live up to the 2009 show. They definitely did and more!

Here's a run down of the equipment used, and how things went.

6 Nintendo Wii stations

Each projected onto a wall for the “big screen” effect.
2 with our “seating system on a Fit Board” contraptions.
2 with switch adapted Guitar Hero (one with drums and microphone).
2 with WiiMotes strapped to hats, arms, etc. for racing and sports.

6 Computer stations

Each with a switch interface and switches, a variety of adapted mice/joysticks and head trackers. One with a cardboard carrel to block light/glare and remove distractions, for kids with vision impairments.
Each with the following games: Aurikon, Hoop Stars, Mario Dash, One Switch Mini Golf, Star Wars, TIG Duels, Sonic Zoom (for kids with vision impairments), Peggle, SEN Switcher, Whack-A-Monty-Mole.

2 Switch adapted Nerf machine-gun stations
Both with Velcro tipped darts, targets, and vests for moving targets to wear. Mounted on “universal mounts” (Bogen arms).

2 Switch adapted pinball tables
Stern's Spiderman and William's Medieval Madness. One standard height, one with legs cut down to kid/wheelchair height. Adapted so that one switch jack controlled both flippers.

1 “Splatball” station
A homemade slingshot that could be fired by pressing a large board, which shot paintballs at targets. Several people recommended paintball for kids with vision impairments, due to the sound, smell, and tactile feedback.

Plus a large variety of switch toys, iPads with games and other fun apps, switch adapted “colour spinner” painting toy, etc.

"A local Boy Scout troop served lunch, and one of them helped organize for his Eagle Scout project. The daughter of one of our therapists ran a “kids corner” for siblings of participants and children of staff and volunteers. Two retired NBA players from the Denver Nuggets came to play Hoop Stars with the kids, pose for pictures, sign autographs, and play as Nerf gun targets. At the end of the day, each participant got a certificate with his or her personal title (Best Smile, Basketball Champ, etc.), a trophy, and a CD with all of the computer games and some other resources. We gave away the computers from the computer stations, and are keeping a list of people who want computers, so that I can continue to prepare donated ones as I get them, and give them out.

Everyone seemed to have a great time, and I think we had something that each participant could enjoy."


PlayGamer Magazine featuring Accessible GameBase

Image of PlayGamer issue 15 for PS3. Featuring an article on gaming charities including SpecialEffect's Accessible GameBase.
Image of Bill Donegan looking around from an accessible gaming set-up that includes a One Hand Controller, head-tracker, eye-tracker and large yellow domed switch. Fantastic to see Bill Donegan, the guy behind the bulk of content on the Accessible GameBase, recognised in the gaming press. PlayGamer magazine have published a four page spread on gaming charities in issue 15 which is still in UK shops now.

Column inches are shared between the SpecialEffect Accessible GameBase, GamesAid and CODE. Of course, accessible gaming is not purely something for charities to tackle alone. In my view, it's simply the right thing for developers to be taking into account from day one. But until that day...


Reconfigurable Controls

Image of Gran Turismo 5 Prologue's initial controller reconfiguration screen. Offering control over Vibration and both player 1 and player 2 joypad set-ups. Nice!
Image of Gran Turismo 5 Prologue's main controller reconfiguration screen. Everything looks like it can be remapped pretty much where ever you want it. Very nice!
So few games offer reconfigurable controls, which is bonkers when you consider: 1. How many alternative controllers can be attached to modern games consoles. 2. How many different people there are in the world who may like to use a different set-up (small hands, left-handed, limited use of hands, those using one-handed controllers, etc.).

Really good to see on the Accessible GameBase that Gran Turismo 5 Prologue has a pretty versatile set-up system. Even better would be a latching accelerator and auto-braking, but even so, great work Polyphony! More please everyone else!!

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