MonkeyGaming, an accessible gaming project

My name is Stuart Beveridge, I am currently working for a charity based in Scotland called Fife Society for the Blind. We began a project last year called MonkeyGaming. Monkey Gaming is designed to create a network of blind and partially sighted people in Scotland who can come together on a regular basis to discuss our gaming experiences. Our main aim is to influence the gaming design industry to make games universally accessible. We believe that people with sight loss should be able to engage fully with immersive, game play experiences, just like our sighted friends. We are trying to achieve this by building a product, a dedicated channel which will gather followers and contributors to create and share new gaming knowledge and experiences. This channel should also provide an effective platform to bring audio developments in games to a wider audience.

We are currently producing a series of audio podcasts about our experiences of playing mainstream, on-line and audio games. In the past, we have also been in contact with companies like KidFriendlySoftware and SomethinElse, who are innovative gaming design companies who build games using innovative audio techniques. In addition we are using the social media platforms Twitter and Facebook, to promote the channel and engage with visually impaired gamers throughout the world.
Finally, we are contacting gaming developers, who have not yet built accessibility into there games. We are making these developers aware of how to make there games accessible, and asking if it would be possible. So far, with one or two exceptions, the response has been fantastic!

You can visit our dedicated Audioboom channel by going to the website:

www.audioboom.com

and then just searching for MonkeyGamingFSB.

This should then bring up a list of all of our current podcasts.

We would love to hear from you about any gaming experiences you may be willing to share!

Also, if you would like to contribute to any of our future podcasts, or have any ideas for future material, please don't hesitate to contact me!

email:

stuart.beveridge@fifesociety.com

Telephone:

01592 644979.

Your help would be very welcome and much valued and appreciated!

Forum: 

#1 Hello,

Hello,
I could not find the search link in the audioboom website. Can you please give a direct link? I am interested in your podcasts. Thank you.

#2 Hi. I do not know how to send

Hi. I do not know how to send links, but you can find the search fun three links from the top. When you press that, it will say text field, but you need to swipe right to find the text field and presses to edit it.

#4 Oh my gosh, these are so

Oh my gosh, these are so cool1 ,i'm listening to the mine sweeper one! Another one that would be cool would be Hatchi1 it is one of my favorite games.

#5 For Paige

Thank you very much for your comments Page. Glad you are enjoying the podcasts!

I will definitely try the Hatchi game and hopefully I can get some assistance for podcasting about this game. I am also aware that I really need to start doing podcasts on the Blindfold series of games, as it is fantastic to have a developer like Marty Schultz who has the interests of visually impaired gamers at the heart of everything he creates.

#6 Why are so many iOS games not accessible to visually impaired pe

I was recently contacted by someone who wondered why so many games were inaccessible for visually impaired gamers.

Here is part of the response I sent in reply.

There are only a very small handful of accessible games out there for visually impaired gamers and I frequently become frustrated with this.

In the past, I have downloaded a lot of free games from main stream as well as Indy developers, and have found that all of there games are completely inaccessible.

There are a number of reasons for this. The main reason being that the developers are completely unaware that blind people can eeven use computers, let alone use iPhones or play games. They are also unaware that screen readers such as VoiceOver even exist. So really, what I am trying to say is that due to genuine ignorance on the developers part, we are not included in their thinking when they are building their games.

To try and make a difference with this, I have contacted a number of developers in the past and explained about VoiceOver which as you probably know is the built-in screen reader for all Apple devices. As I said in the forum topic, the response has been generally encouraging, but while they say they will look into making their games accessible, I have in about 99 % of the cases yet to see any sign of this.

However, if more and more visually impaired people contact more gaming developers and give information on Screen Readers etc, my belief is that they will eventually have to listen and hopefully include us in their thinking?

There are a number of other reasons why developers don't make more of their games accessible which usually comes down to cost issues as well as the type of gaming engine they use.

#7 Suggestion for Blindfold Shuffleboard

Here is an email I recently sent to the developer of the Blindfold Games Series. The email suggests a way in which his game Blindfold Shuffleboard might be improved. Does anyone have any views on this?

"I have been playing and enjoying Blindfold Shuffleboard for a while now.

I have been thinking about the way the game is played a lot and wondered if it would be possible to randomise who shoves the first disc? Just in my opinion, this would make the game even more fun and interesting.

The reason I am suggesting this, is that at the moment, the human player always shoves the first disc. This means that the gameplay always allows the computer to shove the last disc up the court. This means that the computer always has the advantage over the player, as it always has the final say on the outcome of the game. I think it would be great if the computer sometimes shoved the first disc, as then at least sometimes the player would have the advantage on the last disc. Again in my opinion, this option would add a greater variety of gameplay and give the human player something else to think about during a game of Shuffleboard."

#8 Great Podcasts

Hi Stuart, I only just started listening to your audio game podcasts and I really appriciate the effort you've put into them. In fact, I've just bought Lifeline after hearing how much you enjoyed it so thanks for letting us know.