The results of my research for one of our Armistice Day/Veteran's Day videos, riled up some serious emotions for those who attended and watched this video. We feel this is as good a time as ever to take a look at our game, DDO, and have an open discussion (this means clean) for those in need of adaptive devices and/or simply better programming code, in order to allow them to play DDO.
My video is meant to inspire us ALL, and to get developers and most importantly the industry EXECS that make these kind of decisions to THINK, and ACT. We need ONE big company to make waves, and change the way other developers think.
My question to our playerbase: What can Turbine developers do to make DDO more accessible to those of us with disabilities?
Thank you for your participation.
Our video, which I hope can raise awareness:
FIND HELP if you need it:
Recommended organizations to seek knowledge:
http://www.ablegamers.com/ in the US
http://www.specialeffect.org.uk/ in the UK
VETERANS & ADAPTIVE DEVICES FOR VIDEO GAMING
...what Developers Can Do To Help.
Relatively simple and inexpensive to implement, button-customization functionality is just one of many ways gamemakers can make their products more accessible for players with physical disabilities. And it's not just people born with medical problems who could potentially benefit from the implementation of accessibility standards: Genetic diseases and injuries can affect anybody at any time.
"We have ticking time bombs in our DNA," said Mark Barlet, co-founder of AbleGamers, a nonprofit that has been agitating for gamers with disabilities. "A bad day at work or a split-second at a stoplight on the way to the store and your life could change."
Barlet, who has limited use of his legs because of a spinal cord injury he incurred while on active duty at Andrews Air Force Base near Washington, D.C., says button remapping is just the tip of the iceberg. As games get more complicated, poor design choices can make them difficult even for gamers without disabilities.
"So many games are using button combinations that make it almost impossible for all but the most practiced able-bodied person to play a game, much less a disabled person," Barlet said in an e-mail. "Just because you can use all the buttons at once does not mean you should."
Game designer Reid Kimball, who has worked on titles like Star Wars: The Force Unleashed and Tony Hawk: Ride, said it's sad how rare closed captioning is in games.
"It's cheap to develop compared to other game technology," Kimball told Wired.com in an e-mail. "The players love having it as an option and there's tons of opportunity to innovate in this space."
Nonverbal sound cues
In many games, nonverbal sound cues can be essential for success. AbleGamers' Barlet says text-based representations of a full spectrum of sounds and visual cues would be immensely helpful for the hearing-impaired.
"These are not features that nobody has ever done before, or features that need lots of exploration and research," said game designer Matthew Burns, who has worked on titles in the Call of Duty and Halo series, in an e-mail. The problem, he says, is that accessibility options are often the first thing cut during crunch time, when time and money are at a premium.
"It will continue to be piecemeal and slow unless a large, influential company took a stand and made a conscientious effort to be better about this stuff across the board. "That would be the turning point."
Should Microsoft mandate that all Xbox 360 games ship with certain accessibility options, developers would have no choice but to make them a priority. But he doesn't see this happening.
"We have high-level contacts at one of the big [hardware makers], and they have shown little interest beyond lip service at pushing content producers to think about accessibility," he said.
Still, the issue's not going away.
We have two wars going on, and our soldiers are not all coming back in the same condition as they left. Those men and women are gamers.
** If you guys wanna help Keith or anyone at Muscular Dystrophy Canada, here's their page! : http://www.muscle.ca/national/home.html To learn more about Keith, his fight for MD, here are the full length videos and credits from which my presentation was made:
VIDEO: The Aieron: A Knight's Story
"The Big Idea" by Terry Devine King
"1901 (Remix)" by DLID
"A Season for Learning" by Jesse Chui
"Rising Horizon" by Kevin Browne
"Dream the Dream" by Terry Devine-King/Gavin Harrison
"Love in Morse Code" by Paul Yoon
"Absence of Recourse" by Jesse Chui
The original kickstarter page:
Here's more information about ablegamers.com:
VIDEO: The AbleGamers Foundation - Helping Disabled Gamers Everyday!
AbleGamers works and advocates on behalf of the disability community to increase the accessibility of video games and to achieve further inclusion by those who need special considerations