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Support for handicaped people

   I would like to generate a new discussion.  I know that I
   might risk my (virtual) life but I admit reading MSDN News.
   I found an interessting article named "But Can They Hear It?"
   by George O. Allen.  One of the things that the article said
   was that programs must use visual sound cues for the hearing
   impaired people.  He also said that games should do that.
   Now the problem that I see is that not many games give the
   same output to deaf people as to the others.   This also
   made me think about creating games for blind and visually
   impaired persons.

   Most of the games that I play today like 3D Shooters (3DS)
   and Real Time Strategy (RTS) or turn based games like X-COM
   that allow both parties to play in the same turn use sound
   to transmit information to the player.  This information
   usually warns the player about the proximity of enemies.
   The only game that gives good visual cues that I know is
   BattleZone (Activision).  It uses the radar map to show
   if an unit is attacked.  The others play sounds (monsters
   for 3DS or battle sounds for RTS) that let you know something
   is happening.  Of course RTS have a map but in Red Alert and
   Starcraft this is zoomed to a small area and if not it only
   shows you the position of enemy buildings.  In 3DS sounds
   let you know you are close to an enemy or that someone is
   shooting at you.  This could be arranged.  If the developers
   put a feature that allows deaf people "see sounds", even if
   it is not by default it could be much easier to play games.
   For a RTS there can be a message line on bottom that says
   "Tank under attack"  and the map then shows the position of
   the tank.  For 3DS the sounds could be closed captioned and
   they can be displayed on the part of the screen where the
   the sound comes from.  If there are many monsters, only one
   message from each place should be displayed.

   Are there games for blind people ?  I don't know of any.
   I think that Role Playing Games (RPG) are a good style
   for them because the games can describe what happens and
   they just make decisions.  What about other type of games ?
   Strategy, RTS, adventure ?

   I think we should think about these people and offer support
   in our games for them.  They will have another entertainment
   and will be more interessted in using computers, maybe that
   will be a good thing.

                                		Teodor Dutchevici