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Old 10-27-2008, 02:17 PM   #1
Brawndel
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Smile Going Graphical

Heya folks

I've been considering writing about this for a while now... I'd like to get your prospectives on the matter.
It seems that a number of the newer muds are trying to attract new players by creating clients which are esthetically pleasing. While I understand that your average player is used to windows, which is so widely used because people can understand graphics, and it doesn't take a whole lot of brane-power to figure out that an icon with a picture of a trash can for instance represents recycle bin. I think that your imagination is better than any picture, and it makes me sad to see the imagination pushed aside in favour of attracting players.
I wouldn't mind if the gui client was an option... but several of the mu*s are letting you connect with nothing but their own propriatary graphical clients.
I know that I am byus on the matter, as I happen to be visually impaired (blind), and I can see a trend rolling into motion.
I think that it would amaze most of you to find out how many visually impaired mudders there are out there. We access the computer with a program called a screen-reader, and this ingenius piece of software reads all of the "TEXT" on the screen to us. As it is, there are very few games that are "blind-friendly" and so obviously we are drawn to text-based games (interactive fiction, mu*s, browser based rpgs...) which our screen-readers can access.
There are a number of blind mudders for instance that would like to get involved in the Skotos games, the Simutronics games, and many games have graphical clients that give sighted players an edge in one way or another. It seems that new muds are coming out all of the time that are totally inaccessible to the blind.
My primary goal in writing this message is to inform new creaters of the issue, and to let them know that it would be a great help if they would find a way to make their clients accessible.
I'd also like to take my hat off to those who have gone out of their way to level the playing-field.
KaVir has done a great job making GodWars2 accessible for screenreaders, and some of the players have created sound-packs to create a more immersive environment.
The makers of Miriani, as well as Alter Aeon have done likewise, and honestly when looking on blind gaming forums, it's astounding how many blind gamers play one of these three games.
I'm sorry for rambling on, but I think that this is an issue that not many people consider. Accessibility and equality prove at least to me that the administration really has his/her head on their shoulders.

I'd like to get some feedback if I may, and I am always available to help with accessibility on a project.
Thanks for your time, and please forgive all of the typos.:P

Carry On

Brawny
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Old 10-27-2008, 03:28 PM   #2
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Re: Going Graphical

I believe it's possible to improve the interface for sighted players with a custom client while still retaining accessibility features. I guess it all depends on the technology used and the design of the client.

I know that in Flex for example (which FMud uses), a lot of the display components should be accessible using a screen reader, and Adobe apparently have some scripts for JAWS available too. I have no idea how good the support is, but after reading your post I will definitely enable accessibility features for the next FMud release and would be happy to get any feedback about it.

We also had some blind players stop by Maiden Desmodus during our play test and the feedback we got was positive. Ironically it was to improve accessibility for sighted players that we decided to move away from any kind of ascii art or formatting that relied on fixed width fonts, but this was also welcomed by the blind players.

There are other factors to consider when deciding whether to go with a proprietary client, and I am not sure that I would want to lose compatibility with established MUD clients, but accessibility for visually impaired players is certainly a concern.
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Old 10-27-2008, 06:03 PM   #3
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Re: Going Graphical

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Originally Posted by Brawndel View Post
and honestly when looking on blind gaming forums, it's astounding how many blind gamers play one of these three games.

What are the URLs for the blind gaming forums?
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Old 10-27-2008, 08:04 PM   #4
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Re: Going Graphical

Brawndel,

thank you for starting this thread. I admit I was completely ignorant of this issue. I had no idea how a blind person uses the internet, much less how they play muds. Thank you for the enlightenment. I think I would like to support muds which allow for screen-readers - whose admins are considerate and far-sighted.

*edited* By the way - are there online communities for visually impaired mud players?

Last edited by Violette : 10-27-2008 at 08:07 PM. Reason: question
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Old 10-27-2008, 09:13 PM   #5
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Re: Going Graphical

My head coder and webmaster is legally-blind and utilizes a screen reader so we've been very sensitive to such considerations and it's amazing how many websites and games are not. It's a topic we frequently bring up with when discussing such topics with other developers and staff and something which has also been considered in the revamp of the RPI Network as well. Sure, such considerations take a bit more time, but it also makes the work more accessible. Who can argue against helping people use and access what you want them to use and access anyway, right?

Jason
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Old 10-27-2008, 10:24 PM   #6
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Re: Going Graphical

The only one I know about is Jiglu, but there must be others for accessible gaming in general. Good topic Brawny.
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Old 10-28-2008, 09:32 PM   #7
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Thumbs up Re: Going Graphical

First of all... I'd like to thank everyone thus far for the constructive and inquiring comments... when writing this, I was sure that I would be flamed out of the park for putting down graphical mud clients.
I'm so glad to see that some of you are thinking this through, and making accessibility a priority.
Ide is right... Jiglu is a popular blind gamers forum... as is AudioGames, your resource for audiogames, games for the blind, games for the visually impaired!, as well as various forums on The Zone BBS - Games, Community, and More!.
I'd also like to let you all know that it is possible to create scripts for the various screenreaders that assist in making difficult environments more blind-friendly. I'm doing my best at the moment to learn exactly how this is done... and I plan on using these skills to make some of the more advanced mud clients out there more accessible. As it is, there are a very few clients that are entirely accessible. MonkeyTerm is popular among blind mudders, as it is easy to add sound effects too, and the various features are pretty easy to access. JMC (Java Mud Client) is another widely used client, especially now that an update has come out that will allow us to set up sound packs, and to control winamp straight from the client. Zmud and Mushclient are sometimes used... but not without scripts, and I don't believe that all features are easily accessible. Gmud is another popular client... generally because of it's simplistic nature. And there is a new mud-client made especially for blind mudders called VIPMud... and though I haven't had much experience with this client (I'm a jmc user myself) I've heard many good things about it.

There is of course the problems within the muds themselves. Some muds offer copius amounts of ascii art. Many muds display help files and street signs with boarders, and some muds display vast wildernesses and maps which are made up of nothing but ascii art. Alter Aeon for example has bypassed this distraction by opening another port with which blind players can connect to the game, and while this port connects to the same game world with the same players, it is extremely lacking in extra spam and unneeded ascii art.
Imagine listening to every bit of text that scrolls onto the screen. This would include room descriptions, combat messages, channel spam, who/score/inventory/equipment lists, as well as the <>%_~ symbols that make up maps and boarders and artistic headings.
Because of the spam, most blind gamers have learned to listen to their screenreaders at a speed of 300 words per minute and up... but sometimes that's not enough.
I hope that I'm not boring you all... I just thought that it would be a good idea to let you all know of the ins and outs of mudding as a blind person.
Thanks again for your input and interest!

Carry on

Brawny
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Old 10-29-2008, 01:15 AM   #8
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Re: Going Graphical

Three things for your consideration.

1. NW has always been a MUD seeking to better the gaming experience for blind players but also for sighted players, as we believe that imagination is the most important reason for playing a MUD. We have a special blind registration on this game specifically catering to such.

2. As above, I started a post about the philosophy of Text vs. Graphics as shown here: http://www.topmudsites.com/forums/ro...ght=book+movie

3. NW promotes a specific MUD client for the Blind called VIPmud which is also a good client for any user found here: GMA Games - VIP Mud
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Old 10-29-2008, 11:03 AM   #9
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Re: Going Graphical

Although Iron Realms has a "pretty" client, all of our games are compatible with any telnet client.

Having said that, if you're interested in getting a lot of players there are very good reasons to build your game with a graphical client. That's all the big MUDs like World of Warcraft and company are, for instance - MUDs with graphical front-ends. There's no chance that WoW would have even a tiny fraction of its present user base were it constrained by the need to also provide an equal experience via a text client.

My other company is developing a MUD with a mandatory 3d graphical client because it is the only way to appeal to the vast majority of the gaming population.

--matt
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Old 10-29-2008, 01:44 PM   #10
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Re: Going Graphical

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My other company is developing a MUD with a mandatory 3d graphical client because it is the only way to appeal to the vast majority of the gaming population.
I think something is wrong when people see graphics as one of the most important parts of a game. To consider how to cater to people that don't are in the majority is vital.

Do you consider customized size of fonts, and how colour blind people would get best experience playing the game? Does your game encourage using the mouse a lot? What about strained arm muscles? Some games I have played require enormous amount of clicking and dragging the mouse around that it is not even funny.

Brawndel would it be possible to play a 3D game if you had 4 speakers? 2 in front of you, and 2 behind. Then you would hear different kind of buzzing noises when moving relative to objects/walls ingame. Subdividing the world into cubes, and having a simple scan after objects in front of the character could let the game call voice synthesizer to summarize what the character see.

A text MUD is a game where you as player guide an ingame character through a 3D world. You never see the 3D world explicitly, but only get it described to you. Using queries you can ask the character to give you more information. Could not a 3D game have such interface as well?

Last edited by Aeran : 10-29-2008 at 01:51 PM.
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Old 10-29-2008, 07:51 PM   #11
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Re: Going Graphical

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I think something is wrong when people see graphics as one of the most important parts of a game. To consider how to cater to people that don't are in the majority is vital.
That depends on what your goals are. Graphics are, flat-out, one of the most important parts of computer/console games for most of the audience for them. Whether the audience is "right" or "wrong" is kind of irrelevant. The text interface and presentation is easily the #1 reason text MUDs represent only a tiny niche in the overall MUD/MMO market.

Quote:
Do you consider customized size of fonts, and how colour blind people would get best experience playing the game?
I'm partially color-blind myself actually, and color-blindness is reasonably prevalent among men, so it's worth taking into consideration, certainly, because at most it requires minor changes to development to accommodate them, in my opinion at least.

Quote:
A text MUD is a game where you as player guide an ingame character through a 3D world. You never see the 3D world explicitly, but only get it described to you. Using queries you can ask the character to give you more information. Could not a 3D game have such interface as well?
Not efficiently and in a cost-effective manner, no, or at least, not without sacrificing a lot of possibility. Imagine playing a first-person-shooter, for instance, like Gears of War under that kind of system. The info the game would have to throw at you is far more than can be communicated verbally. I'm running on vector A, having to dodge around piles of rubble in my way. Meanwhile I'm watching my multiple teammates go here there and everywhere while the enemy does the same thing. Ooops, there's a grenade coming in on trajectory Y and quick, your teammate is being chainsawed to death a few feet to your right while you're keeping an eye on whether anyone's picked up the sniper rifle on the ground over there.

Unfortunately, the maxim that a picture is worth a thousand words comes into play here. It takes a LOT of words to describe, with any degree of detail, what's in a picture that has any degree of complexity (and the 'pictures' that most modern 3d games present are fairly complex), and in a 3d game, what's in that picture can be constantly shifting.

--matt
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Old 10-30-2008, 01:08 AM   #12
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Re: Going Graphical

This thread is I think really important as it puts in perspective all of players requests for more graphics(mine included),
But I believe MUDs should work on pleasing both sides.
I am not a coder,but why not for example have two separate clients,one for graphic interested players,another for players such as Brawndel. All players would play in the same world,but would use different type of clients.
Hope I make sense
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Old 10-30-2008, 04:52 AM   #13
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Post Re: Going Graphical

Quote:
Originally Posted by Aeran View Post
I think something is wrong when people see graphics as one of the most important parts of a game. To consider how to cater to people that don't are in the majority is vital.
Not disagreeing with Aeran directly here, but I feel it important to chime in on this concept. When approaching this idea, what we need to realize is that while MUDs are nice, and they have their niche, to say that graphics in games are a passing fad, or that games like this will naturally endure forever of their own merits is to be like the people from the first half of the last century, who were saying the exact same thing about sound and color in movies. Surely, the classic medium will win out, no? People want to be able to just imagine for themselves what actor's voices sound like, or what color their hair may be. You can paint the pictures and add noises all you want, but nothing beats the power of imagination, right? Unfortunately, that's wrong.

Now, the seeing-impared are a concern in this matter, but just as we have not gone back to silent films to help the deaf, it's unlikely that more than a handful of MUDs can afford to cater to the blind minority, but by all means, any who can manage to run with the equivalent of available subtitles should do their best to do so. I have partied with blind players before in RetroMUD, though only one, and I haven't met any that professed being unable to see elsewhere. Few MUDs are completely friendly to the blind, and indeed, any that takes advantage of the traditional ascii overworld map may run into issues, let alone graphical interfaces on the client and so forth. I'm all for making game adjustments to help those with disabilities to be able to play, but if a MUD designer finds some great feature they can add to their MUD that sets it appart from all the others and gives it added appeal, albeit at the cost of alienating a minority of players, that really is their call. Just the same, if a coder desides that their time of running a MUD is at an end, and it's time to move on to some other kind of game, that's their call too, though we'd all be sad to lose them.

-Kereth, hoping he didn't ramble off topic too far in there.
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Old 10-30-2008, 06:13 AM   #14
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Re: Going Graphical

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Originally Posted by Kereth View Post
Now, the seeing-impared are a concern in this matter, but just as we have not gone back to silent films to help the deaf, it's unlikely that more than a handful of MUDs can afford to cater to the blind minority, but by all means, any who can manage to run with the equivalent of available subtitles should do their best to do so.
Non silent films never excluded deaf people, because like you say there are subtitles now. It is similar with books. Thanks to technology there are audio tapes available. So blind can still access books.

Quote:
I'm all for making game adjustments to help those with disabilities to be able to play, but if a MUD designer finds some great feature they can add to their MUD that sets it appart from all the others and gives it added appeal, albeit at the cost of alienating a minority of players, that really is their call.
Sure, but when adding a new feature the designer should consider accessibility issues and what to do about them. For example ascii maps can be disabled on many MUDs and you usually don't really have to use them to get around.

Take a look at a town. They are usually adapted so that people in wheelchair can get around. For example there might be elevators and the roads might have less "bumps". There are also towns that, supposedly, don't handle these issues at all. In those towns disabled people might pretty much be locked away into some house and never get out much.

This is really no cost issue. It is an ethical issue. Is it ethical to only have the majority in mind because that is where the money/honey is?

Last edited by Aeran : 10-30-2008 at 06:19 AM.
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Old 10-30-2008, 08:23 AM   #15
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Smile Re: Going Graphical

Quote:
Non silent films never excluded deaf people, because like you say there are subtitles now. It is similar with books. Thanks to technology there are audio tapes available. So blind can still access books.
Exactly my point, actually. You can make subtitles for movies and audio tapes for books, but nobody goes back to making movies that are strictly silent just to accomodate those who cannot hear.

Similarly, accessibility issues are always a concern, but to use a hypothetical example, say your game designer finds a way to, with their own custom client, incorporate a semi-graphical element to gameplay, like pseudo-real time battle animations, or converting their overworld to an ascii map completely in place of room descriptions. Depending on the execution, this or numerous other ideas of this nature may prove to have some appeal for a game, but they could also completely exclude a blind player. One cannot justifiably say that it is unethical to make a game with these features, at least not without saying that graphic MMOs are unethical in this way, or that comic books descriminate against the blind or audiotapes against the deaf, or saying that a MUD written in English descriminates against people who don't speak that language.

Game designers have the job or providing good content for their players. It is a job they choose to do, and one which they may or may not get paid for. While it is awesome when they go to extra lengths to provide content that is completely universal, they are not morally bound to that. Many MUDs have no blind players at all. If they want blind players, they'll have to do something to accomodate them, including eliminating graphical interfaces, keeping color non-vital, keeping necessary text from scrolling faster than it can be processed with a screen reader, and so forth. Game designers need to weigh the amount of time this will take to construct, or the amount of gameplay quality that will be lost, against the actually likelihood and number of potential seeing-impared players who may come their way.

Now, let's extend the town analogy real quick. Elevators and such things are placed in public buildings because people who cannot use the stairs need them to get around. This is a good thing to have. Signs are written in braille so that people who cannot see can still read them. This is fantastic. Stoplights, however, are not available in braille. Why not? Seeing is required to drive. It's just part of how driving works. Now, we still allow cars, because people who can see can use them. Just the same, we still allow graphical games and graphical functions in games, because people who can see can play them.

Again, to reiterate, one of the great advantages of MUDs is that they can still be played by people even without the ability to play a graphical game, whether that is because their computer can't handle it, because they cannot see, or whatever else. Any MUD designer needs to realize that when they employ graphics, they are giving up these last real advantages they possess over MMO's and similar games. The power of imagination is not going to be a substitute forever, just as it was not with silent, black-and-white films. This also needs to be taken into the balance.
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Old 10-30-2008, 09:37 AM   #16
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Re: Going Graphical

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Again, to reiterate, one of the great advantages of MUDs is that they can still be played by people even without the ability to play a graphical game, whether that is because their computer can't handle it, because they cannot see, or whatever else. Any MUD designer needs to realize that when they employ graphics, they are giving up these last real advantages they possess over MMO's and similar games. The power of imagination is not going to be a substitute forever, just as it was not with silent, black-and-white films. This also needs to be taken into the balance.
That may be true, but the single biggest advantage text MUDs have over graphical games is how cheap they are to develop and operate. The big graphical MMORPGs require huge numbers of players to be commercially viable; they simply can't afford to cater to the minority who enjoy enforced roleplay, permadeath or unlimited PK for example... or players who are blind for that matter.
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Old 10-30-2008, 11:32 AM   #17
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Re: Going Graphical

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Non silent films never excluded deaf people, because like you say there are subtitles now. It is similar with books. Thanks to technology there are audio tapes available. So blind can still access books.
Subtitles only convey some of what's going on on-screen, and both books and movies are non-interactive forms of entertainment. They do not require you to react (often quickly) to visual cues.

Imagine trying to walk through a 3d forest without bumping into trees with subtitles. The position of everything in the scene that isn't your avatar changes relative to your avatar, constantly. Subtitles, or a gaming equivalent thereof, are not suitable for describing rapidly changing 3d environments (what you see changes constantly as you move around) with any efficiency. Try shutting your eyes and playing WoW or Gears of War. Have a friend narrate for you. Good luck.

Quote:
This is really no cost issue. It is an ethical issue. Is it ethical to only have the majority in mind because that is where the money/honey is?
Of course it's a cost issue. Any feature is a cost issue, in time and, if you're paying people, money.

If you wanted to be truly egalitarian you'd translate your game into every language on earth, so has not to discriminate against those who don't speak the language your game is written in and thus can't play it, or ensure that your game could be played with a joystick for those who, say, have horrible arthritis in their fingers. You're not going to do those things though because the cost in time and money is too high.

--matt
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Old 10-30-2008, 12:01 PM   #18
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Re: Going Graphical

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Now, let's extend the town analogy real quick. Elevators and such things are placed in public buildings because people who cannot use the stairs need them to get around. This is a good thing to have. Signs are written in braille so that people who cannot see can still read them. This is fantastic. Stoplights, however, are not available in braille. Why not? Seeing is required to drive. It's just part of how driving works. Now, we still allow cars, because people who can see can use them. Just the same, we still allow graphical games and graphical functions in games, because people who can see can play them.
That's the thing. Elevators are placed there as an alternative to the stairs. For example public lecturing rooms might have extra speakers that people with limited hearing can use. People with trouble to drive a car, can have someone else drive it for them. There exist an alternative there as well.

What alternatives does graphical games have to aid people? From what I have seen the amount of work to help people in smaller user groups is close to nothing. Yet these are the groups that likely could benefit from these games the most.

Quote:
Originally Posted by the_logos View Post
Imagine trying to walk through a 3d forest without bumping into trees with subtitles. The position of everything in the scene that isn't your avatar changes relative to your avatar, constantly. Subtitles, or a gaming equivalent thereof, are not suitable for describing rapidly changing 3d environments (what you see changes constantly as you move around) with any efficiency. Try shutting your eyes and playing WoW or Gears of War. Have a friend narrate for you. Good luck.
Is not that something a blind person has to go through each time he/she goes outdoors in real life? I do not know the solution here. However I think these issues are worth to ponder about. For example with force feedback mouse you could probably hand out a lot of extra information.

Quote:
If you wanted to be truly egalitarian you'd translate your game into every language on earth, so has not to discriminate against those who don't speak the language your game is written in and thus can't play it, or ensure that your game could be played with a joystick for those who, say, have horrible arthritis in their fingers. You're not going to do those things though because the cost in time and money is too high.
A lot of websites are provided in many different languages today. Personally I prefer to read in English for some reason. However the issue mainly here is that of people with a handicap. People can usually learn English decent enough to get around. Someone with a handicap is pretty stuck with the handicap.

It is in my belief that all software developers ought to at the very least consider these issues, even if they can't afford to implement many things to solve them.

Last edited by Aeran : 10-30-2008 at 12:19 PM.
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Old 10-30-2008, 12:14 PM   #19
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Wink Re: Going Graphical

Aeran is right about audio gaming for visually impaired gamers. There are hundreds of games out there that are purely sound based, generally creating an audio landscape, and with surround sound, the worlds really come to life. One of my personal favorites is a game called GMA Tank Commandor. The game puts you in control of a tank, and gives you missions to complete. While traveling around, you come in contact with helicopters, other tanks, intelegence bases, tank traps, etc. You have at your disposal weapons varying from missiles, to machine guns, to land mines, to armor peercing shells. All in all, it is a very rich environment.
This game and others by the same company can be found at Welcome to G M A Games.
The problem is that most people who get involved in the creation of audio games for the blind are hobbiests. There are no commercial multiplayer games to my knowledge, the majority of the games are single-player, and relatively easy to complete.
I'd also like to clear something up if I may. The blind gaming community is not a "small minority." While googling for figures, I came across this website.
Facts and Figures on Americans with Vision Loss - American Foundation for the Blind
From what this website says, there are an estimated 21.2 million individuals with vision loss in the United states alone. Of these 21.2 million, there is a 75 percent unemployment rate. It's hard to get around as a blind person, transportation is hard to come by, so what do these people do? They find entertainment in one form or another. This may include tv, braille/recorded audio books, and spending time on the computer.
The point that I'm trying to make is that there are thousands upon thousands of visually impaired people who turn to gaming... and the obvious form of which comes in the way of accessible, socially stimulating entertainment. For example. The toastsoft mu* called Miriani averages over 70 players at any given time. From my dealings with other visually impaired gamers, I would guess that over 80 percent of these players are blind or visually impaired. Similar cases are noted across the board.

Graphical environments are all fine and good for those who are attracted by such things... but there aught to be an alternative for those who aren't.

Nearly every public zone is dissibility friendly. Busy streets and non-accessible traffic lights can be scary... but every blind individual is taught "mobility" skills by the state. From my first day of kindergarten, I was taken out into the city, taught to use a white cane, and learned to navigate the streets and intersections as well as a sighted person. I graduated from the mobility program when I graduated highschool... and the same is done for every person with any level of visual impairment.
I'm sorry about my continued ramblings... I've never been any sort of activest... I'm just a layed-back college student. But I've been playing muds since 1992, and I love the mudding world. I would just like people to know about the world that they never see or think about.
Thanks everyone again for your responses!

Carry On

Brawny
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Old 10-30-2008, 01:48 PM   #20
Kereth
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Smile Re: Going Graphical

Some very good points here. The only things I have to add are that

A. force feedback, audio, and other things still put blind players at a great disadvantage if they are coded as an alternate interface for the gamer stumbling through the 3d forest. Sure, you can move around, but although blind people get mobility training to help them get around a city, they don't get it to fight a group of twenty hobgoblins with crossbows in the woodland. Just like the car thing, yes, people can drive you around, but technology is still something short in those cases of allowing people to take the wheel on most graphical games just yet.

B. 21.2 million people in the united states is an impressive figure, but there are over 300 million people in the united states, which still puts them as a minority (about 7%). Now, interestingly enough, I tried taking the United States unemployment rate against the total population to see what percentage of unemployed persons would actually be blind, and I discovered that the United States unemployment rate (about 4% as of November 2007) placed against the population says that even if every unemployed person in the country was blind, they still couldn't make up 75% of those blind people, so my attempted comparison there fails, either because the 75% is only of a specific subset of that group, or because the unemployment rate has changed too drastically since 2007 and has hit the blind population much harder than everyone else (highly likely).

Regardless, to consult cases of games like Miriani (although maybe you typoed the name? The game I get on the search shows connection statistics of only 16-20 players on average), it's not actually the case "across the board," as you mentioned. Requirements to be easily accessible for the visually impared, even on a MUD is more strict that some people realize (obviously not Brawndel, of course, who will be familiar with the problems by now, no doubt). To use the "overworld map" situation, for example, which is one that's been a problem for blind gamer I've talked to before. RetroMUD uses ascii overworld maps on an expansive overworld. Locating special locations by just wandering around and hoping you stumble across a room with a useful exit even without a screen reader and just not looking at the map, is no easy job. This was countered by having macros provided to travel to various key locations on the overworld. Before these macros were provided, the game was pretty much inaccessible to blind people, and still is without another player to provide the assistance. Even then, there are issues with lengthy battle spam and other messages which can sometimes scroll across the screen quite quickly and be hard to keep up with without the ability to look for key colors to pick out the useful information. Because of problems like this, MUDs that are easy to use without reliance on colors or tend to get more players who need those things that MUDs that don't.

We need more of them.

Still, the majority of the larger MUDs, even on TMS, when surveyed, will profess to have little to no sight-impared players at all.

Now, to my point, we need more games to be accessible to the seeing-impaired. Really, we do. The trouble in getting it is that according to Brawndel, the total number of blind people in the U.S. is roughly the same as the global population of speakers of the Sami language (the language of the Lapps, the indiginous people of Northern Finland), and obviously, that number hasn't been big enough for any video games at all to be translated into Sami, to my knowledge, which would be a much simpler task than adapting those same games for use by the blind. MUDs, to the contrary, provide an excellent middle ground, a set of games that can have a larger target audience, while still being accessible by that smaller group. The complaint, then, if I understand it, is that too many games aren't staying on that middle ground.

Well, more should keep the middle ground, but those that don't shouldn't be condemned for it. The hybrid text/graphic games could potentially be a new genre of gaming on their own, and one that is not necessarily to be discouraged, just because not everyone can use it. So long as MUDs that cater to them continue to get players that cannot see, there will always be MUDs that they can play, if only because those same players keep them alive.
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