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Reader Comments (22)

Posted: Apr 9th 2009 6:07PM (Unverified) said

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I don't believe concessions should actually be made... as far as I'm concerned, disabled people strive to be considered equal. The moment we start to change things for them, we take away their equality and force them into "special needs" groups.

It would be unfair to make any one group forced into the position of any other, if we wish for true equality amongst gamers, you must ignore any "handicap" that exists outside the gameworld itself.

It's already unfair to Handicapped people that they cannot partake in such activities as "helping a friend move out of a 6th floor walkup", which is why whenever I move I invite my friend who's in a wheel chair to help. However, if he doesn't help, he's not invited to the "pizza and beer" party afterward... that would be unfair to the people who broke their back.

It's a 2 way street, and I don't believe any concessions should be made to change the gameworld in either direction.

Posted: Apr 9th 2009 6:27PM (Unverified) said

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So I guess you're against wheelchair ramps? Cripple boy can just pull himself up the stairs, right? I don't think anyone is suggesting a change of anything, but maybe an option for player interfaces to help people who need them.
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Posted: Apr 9th 2009 9:21PM (Unverified) said

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Wow. Even on the internet I am surprised at such vapid ignorance. No one arguing for giving them an "I Win" button you dolt, they are talking about things like MMOs using only colors to distinguish enemy toughness. If you are color blind, you can't easily tell the difference...

You preach about fairness, but then say you are against changes that would simply level the playing field. Please try to think.
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Posted: Apr 9th 2009 10:57PM (Unverified) said

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WOW, that really falls into the "Dumbest Crap Ever Spewed from Someones Mouth" category. I will say this, my dumb friend, It is real easy to become disabled, and I hope to god that it does not find you. But if it does, I hope to god that you can still play WOW or whatever... What else would you be able to do in your mom's basement?

I went to work one day, minding my own biz, serving my nation, and BOOM, I am on a helo be flown to a hospital for surgery... and this is not in the battlefield, this was right outside DC.

As a disabled person, I beg you to piss off...

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Posted: Apr 10th 2009 12:43PM animagnum said

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I find your logic laughable. Should people who require wheelchairs even be allowed to use them? That would be unfair to people who have to walk on two legs!

Your disabled friend deserves much better.
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Posted: Apr 9th 2009 6:24PM (Unverified) said

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I've been a physically disabled gamer all my life. I've never had trouble playing games for the most part, accept button spammers like God of War where speed of tapping a button is key. I've actually found that compared to people with my disability who don't game, I'm both better in shape physically(gaming does more for your arms than a normal person would recognize), and that some I have even out lived. For the most part, I can overcome physical obstacles if given time in a game. I used to be awful at fps game, both because I'm disabled, and also because I can be tactically dumb in them. I've since adapted and can play on an even level with anyone other than redbull twitch freaks.

I was afraid the Wii and Wii fit would create a trend of more physical games, but I now realize most gamers don't game to get a work out, and that a lot of it is a gimmick to sell products to non-gamers.I'm also not into Rock Band/Guitar Hero so that isn't a real problem for me, but I know it has been for others. Thankfully most MMO's are adaptable enough for disabled people to be able to enjoy them.

I do have a friend who is colorblind red, yellow, and green, which does create a problem in a lot of games. They're all the same color to him, so without other informational notations it can make some things a complete gamble for him. Usually when playing ill just point out the things he needs to know. But if he's solo, at times he's screwed. Unfortunately for him he doesn't like MMO's, which means the games he plays tend to be unmodded and lack any alternative non-color based interfaces.

Also the guy that ran off, I don't believe he said "Fuck that". It seemed he said "What? No I'm not answering that". I probably wouldn't answer either, you can't trust what they'll do with your words.

Posted: Apr 10th 2009 6:02PM (Unverified) said

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Well Dethgar, I am the one that was behind the camera, I am the Mark Barlet in the story, and I was the one asking the question. He did say "F*** that" but because we do our best to keep the site as close to rated PG-13, and I wanted the video picked up by other sites (like MSNBC), I edited it out to show the part where he walked away, I did not want his crap lang on the video.

For the record he was the ONLY one that did not answer the question, 80 people to 1. And, if you care, if you watch the guy after the guy that walked away, he starts by saying "Oh!" because he was standing there to go on next when the dude ran off, and he thought the question we were about to ask was off the wall (because he did not hear the question when we asked the ass), given the last guys ignorant reaction... his "Oh" was shock in the guys response... what else I edited out (because it was not relevant) is the "Oh" guy after the AHOLE saying "I don't know what that guys problem was"

And to Ghost, as I said before, I hope to god that you never know what it is to be disabled, but if you do, please be sure you hold yourself to the same standard that you hold us to.
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Posted: Apr 12th 2009 3:44AM (Unverified) said

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Ah alright, I completely forgot about editing, I'm a dolt. :)
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Posted: Apr 9th 2009 8:11PM cray said

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I'm a disabled gamer. I have trouble using all the buttons on game pads for Playstation and Xbox. My knuckles are disfigured in a way that makes it difficult to reach or press the L1-3 and R1-3 buttons. I even had problems with the Sega Genesis paddle because it was huge compared to Nintendo. My difficulties actually started with the introduction of the L and R buttons on the Super Nintendo gamepad. I could press one or the other but not both L and R buttons. As it stands now I can't really use the Wii nunchuck without using 2 hands because its too fat to grasp.

No is suggesting we make games easier, just more options for people with various sizes and shapes of hands. Most disabled gamers play as efficient as they can be which often times more strain than your average gamer. Even with my access to L & R buttons I was still able to beat a lot games.

I think the solution to help gamers is to provide as much as tools, whether its software like subtitles for the voice-overs and cutscenes, having the ability to bind all keys and buttons. I also wouldn't mind seeing more variety in shapees and sizes of gamepads, mice, would even consider gaming with a reasonably priced Wacom tablet if possible.

Posted: Apr 9th 2009 8:40PM mitchgant said

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As a non-disabled gamer this is a subject I have often wondered about. I often thought that MMOs probably offered great opportunities for interaction with others for disabled gamers who were homebound, but never thought of the challenges of color blindness or console controler buttons. I think it might be fair to say that disabled gamers might actually get more out of games than abled gamers, and there should definitely be more effort put into making UIs and controllers to meet their special needs. I am also fairly certain that disabled gamers would not want a simplification of the game play, just a better way to interact with the games they enjoy. I also would be very curious to find out what percentage of MMO populations disabled gamers make up.

Posted: Apr 9th 2009 9:31PM (Unverified) said

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I have thought about this all the time. I have some issues with my wrists and I couldn't imagine not even being able to type or move or interact.

The beauty of MMO's is that they are open to all people from all over the world. I have met people from so many different countries, religions, and financial backgrounds. The last thing I would want to do is limit that wonderful opportunity only to people that could interact in certain limited ways.
The more choices we have as gamers, the more varied the audience which is only a good thing!

Beau Turkey

Posted: Apr 9th 2009 10:04PM LaughingTarget said

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If a company wants to do this as a means to reach more customers, great. However, like forcing a private business to install wheelchair ramps, demanding companies do it is wrong.

Posted: Apr 12th 2009 3:47AM (Unverified) said

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Is it not bad business to avoid installing a wheelchair ramp? In fact I believe its mandatory, especially if they plan on being equal opportunity employers.
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Posted: Apr 10th 2009 2:43AM (Unverified) said

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I remember seeing stats over a few years that there are a higher-percentage of disabled people gaming and in virtual worlds than is the statistical average for the population. And it makes sense. Admittedly not every environment can cater to every kind of disability, but there are a higher percentage of customers in MMOGs with some form of disablement than there are that come through the door of a bricks-and-mortar store.

Posted: Apr 10th 2009 5:33AM Russell Clarke said

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But...Stormwind is full of ramps!

Posted: Apr 10th 2009 11:39AM (Unverified) said

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"However, like forcing a private business to install wheelchair ramps, demanding companies do it is wrong."

Just consider for a second that they are "forced" to do things like install ramps for many, many more reasons than "be nice to the people with disabilities."

Just think for a second...how many reasons could there be for a citizen to have to go inside a building, besides just using their services?

Damn, some of these comments.

Beau

Posted: Apr 10th 2009 1:04PM (Unverified) said

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Of course you all are like "He's anti disabled people! Get him!"

I'm not, I work along side one. We're quite good friends actually...
I gave him a gander at the replies, and he says you all completely missed the point.

If you read correctly, I specifically stated I felt there should be no difference in the GAMEWORLD, including how the game is displayed or played.
I wouldn't expect my buddy here to have given the Wii Balance Board a try, but man did he pull a fast one on me by playing it with his hands.

What you all are trying to do is compare my response to somebody who thinks handicapped people are second class citizens. They're not, if I said that I'd probably get beaten to a pulp cause he's reading what I'm typing.

What I'm saying is that a Game should not be changed to make something easier or harder for any one given group.

It's for the same reason they should not dumb down American Idol so that somebody with a voice box can compete on the same level... or that Jeopardy's questions remain too complicated for the average person (I'm horrible at Jeopardy)... or that the wheel still has to be manually spun on Wheel of Fortune... I can go on with examples.

It's not to keep certain groups from competing, it's to keep the game the way it's supposed to be. Regretfully, it means some people don't always get to play...

Posted: Apr 10th 2009 4:09PM (Unverified) said

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Ghost,

Please allow me to enlighten your extremely dim view. First, separating the two groups of players would be called segregation. In case you have forgotten, being segregated is not a good thing.

Second, just because you work with someone who is disabled or as you put it "one," you do not have the right to make assumptions as to what is best for the disabled community.

Third, your examples will prove to be my best ammunition. American Idol recently voted off Scott. Scott was legally blind, American Idol made concessions such as escorting him around the stage; the contestants also assisted him where they could when they could.
Jeopardy has had more than one disabled individual on their program. The most notable is a blind contestant that has also been on who wants to be a millionaire. For him, they added a small noise so that he would know when the lights lit up for the contestants to buzz in.
Wheel of Fortune recently had someone there had deformities of the hands. This person was allowed to have a "helper" to spin the wheel for him, he went on to win the game.

So, please. Keep providing examples of things that people should have to do on their own and I will keep schooling you on what happens in the real world. I have a lot more experience with being disabled than you do son.

Oh, and for the record. Anyone who is disabled should be able to play WII balance board, if they are physically able. There should be and probably are very degrees of difficulty. In fact, most wii video games have varying degrees of difficulty. Feel free to explain to me how this is any different.

No disabled gamer wants the integrity of the videogame to be harmed. The key word here is options. Options should be present in every videogame possible so that those who are disabled can turn the options on to make the game playable.

I'm sorry you don't feel the need to have these options in the game. Do you happen to wear glasses? Because if you do, you chose that option to be able to see better.

The sooner you realize that trying to equate the quality in the game world to real-life is as ludicrous as believing SpongeBob SquarePants is real the better. Do you understand what I'm saying? Disabled individuals seek refuge in video games to experience things that are not possible in real life.

Quite honestly, it is beyond my capabilities to understand someone that does not see the benefit of allowing people to experience things where they can. Should we dis allow braille? If someone can't read because they are unable to see than they should not be able to enjoy the same books that you do. if only someone had the option to purchase the exact same book, with the option of having the printer raised... oh wait, they do.

If it helps you sleep better to think that we are just lynching you because you are "anti-handicapped" then please continue to think so. I am flaming you because you are showing extreme ignorance beyond the level that I can tolerate.

Steve
www.ablegamers.com

Posted: Apr 10th 2009 4:12PM (Unverified) said

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I think in general that making it possible to design UIs to be more flexible to handle different kinds of physical and visual disabilities would be useful. I mean, how many here have to wear glasses to drive or read? That's a common disability, and oddly enough there's many MMOs and single player games that offer UI scaling to some extent.

Would it be harder to offer someone who is color blind a non-color based UI consideration system for an MMO? Not really. Some already use other visual cues to the toughness of mobs, it's just a matter of designing it a bit more for colorblindness and to document it thoroughly for the potential color blind player.

The same could be said for people with some disability that impairs hand movements, offering something akin to a more intuitive UI (sorta like a quick menu system used in NWN 1) wouldn't be too hard to design and document either.

It's all about how many customers with these disabilities that they have and how much value is added to the experience for these customers. So, I don't understand the myopic post of the first commenter. It's as if he read a completely different article altogether...

Posted: Apr 10th 2009 11:04PM (Unverified) said

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As a guild leader this topic actually came up for me when we had a deaf member who (obviously) couldn't hear instructions over vent; and nobody can stop mid-fight to type out a change in instructions for him. He played a DK and was fine as long as we didn't adapt or alter our approach to anything; he had been playing a hunter before wotlk, and as a dps he really didn't need to be notified of anything so it was fine.

Becoming a DK he wanted to tank, which requires a lot more interaction and after having him wipe us a few times we decided we're not going to handicap 24 people to accomodate 1, so he went back to being a dps.

Similarly for arena, he couldn't go very far with his teams because of the communication gap.

I dunno what blizzard or any company can really do to help the deaf, text to speech is always iffy and they still have to stop and read it, taking their eyes off the situation etc.

He was a really good player but we had to relegate him to non-interactive tasks because it was a liability to have him in a role that required adaptation via communication.

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