IGDA Game Accessibility Special Interest Group

A World First for Game Accessibility

Game Developer's Association of Australia: Game Accessibility Award in 2013

GDAA logo: Game Developer's Association of Australia: Game Accessibility Award in 2013

17 September 2013, this fantastic news cribbed direct from the GDAA site: Australia is leading the world in making games accessibility a priority. The latest demonstration of commitment to enabling a wider cross section of the community be catered for when playing games is the inaugural Accessibility Award announced by the Game Developers’ Association of Australia (GDAA) as part of the 2013 Australian Game Developer Awards. This follows on from the inclusion of accessibility considerations by Film Victoria and Screen Australia when allocating funding to game development projects.

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Crowd Funded Accessible Game Campaign Needs Support

My Carnival hopes to become a video game for children with Cystic Fibrosis. If it reaches it's funding total, it will be released free of charge on PC. It's a laudable project, by the proven and brilliant AccessAble Games, but it needs support or it won't happen this way. 12 days to go at the time of writing...

Via: Javier Mairena on the IGDA GASIG mailing list. Poster below.

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Affordable Eye Tracking with Developer Tools

Fancy an eye-gaze unit that is the price of an Xbox or PC Kinect and $60? Sounds good doesn't it? The NUIA eyeCharm from 4tiitoo.com is looking to be just that.

The device will come with developer tools including a scripting language to set-up controls that will interface with other main-stream eye tracker units. There's three weeks to go to help them reach their goal of $100,000.

Link with thanks to Techni Myoko.


Accessible Design at Global Game Jam 2013

Screen shot from A Wise Choice: A laughing range of mountains is the back-drop. Hovering in the foreground in front of some lush grass and a withered tree is a floating monkey mug of tea. The text below reads, 'Well hello!... you look... Different. Well, I suppose we are all different in our own little ways, but you look.... wholly not from this world..."
Global Game Jam is an annual game hack weekend, where teams around the world are given a common theme to work to (this year's was 'heart beat'), and divide into teams to produce an entire end to end functioning game by the end of the 48 hours. Read on...

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Kenji Eno (1970-2013)

Sad news to hear that game accessibility advocate and pioneer Kenji Eno died this week at the age of 42. Kenji produced the first ever audio game to make its way onto a games console, RealSound: Kaze No Regret (aka The Regret of the Wind). Here's a brief excerpt from a 2008 interview with 1UP.com:

1UP: After D, you surprised Warp's fans by creating an offbeat Sega Saturn adventure game, Real Sound.

KE: Oh, that's a funky game.

1UP: Yeah, not only was it funky, it was also a game without any visuals. What inspired it, and how did you get Sega to publish it?

KE: After I released D, people were always expecting more CG graphics from me, and I got tired of that. I didn't want people to think that they could predict what Warp would do next. Also, I had a chance to visit people who are visually disabled, and I learned that there are blind people who play action games. Of course, they're not able to have the full experience, and they're kind of trying to force themselves to be able to play, but they're making the effort. So I thought that if you turn off the monitor, both of you are just hearing the game. So after you finish the game, you can have an equal conversation about it with a blind person. That's an inspiration behind this game as well.

So Sega was asking for exclusive rights to the game, and I said, "OK, if you'll donate a thousand Saturns to blind people, then I'll donate a thousand games along with the Saturns." And my condition was that if Sega would go for this idea, I would make that game Sega exclusive. So, that's how this happened. It's been several years now, and of course the contract probably isn't valid anymore, but the reason that I haven't done anything with this game is that I made this promise with Sega back in the day, and it's exclusive because of those conditions.


Game Accessibility Information Symbol

Game Accessibility Information Symbol

The symbol above is a public domain method of marking any computer product (game, controller, utility, console and so on), as having easy to reach accessibility information.

This can support potential end-users of a gaming product decide if it might suit their own personal abilities. It will hopefully also support developers to better promote the accessibility of their own gaming ware.

A simple example of this would be for an indie game developer to  include the symbol on their game's home-page, alongside a short hyper-link pointing to a game review that includes a break down of game accessibility.

See the "Game Accessibility Information Symbol" web-page to learn more, and to down-load the image pack.

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Slalom, the Videogame

Wheelchair Slalom is a sport for people with cerebral palsy, in which the players go through a course made up of various obstacles and tests in the shortest time possible.

'Slalom, the Videogame' provides an insight into the sport without the need for space, time and personnel required for its practice.
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