Everybody's Golf 5 - PS3

ClapHanz - Everybody's Golf 5 for the PS3 Perhaps the first one-switch playable game for the PS3 will be Everybody's Golf 5 from ClapHanz. Due for release in the UK some time soon-ish, and the follow up to the excellent PS2 Everybody's Golf 4. I'm hoping EG5 will be playable with a single switch (with a little help for menus and altering the aim for the occassional impossible shot) as with it's predecessor. Fingers crossed (as usual).

I can't afford a PS3 at present, so I'm unable to offer people accurate accessibility advice for this console. This said, my guess is that a PS3 controller adapter and possibly any PSone or PS2 switch interface would work with this particular game.

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Deaf Gamers

Image of the Deaf Gamers home page. I want to bring attention to the Deaf Gamers web-site today. It's a games review site, obviously aimed at deaf gamers, that needs support. It doesn't need support for content - that's brilliant - loads of reviews, very clearly laid out, with excellent pictures, descriptions and ratings for accessibility.

However - amazingly, it's a one man show - largely funded by the owner, Carl Willetts. He needs financial help so that he can carry on his fine, fine work. His fund raising page can be found here, and at present, it's looking a little like his work is not being appreciated...

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Don't Click It

My brother sent me this fine link to the "DontClick.It" website. I imagine it will be of interest to head tracker and eye tracker users used to finding alternative ways to activate a mouse click. I can see lots of interesting potential ideas here for game designers too.

Perhaps one day Retro Remakes or another organisation might consider running a game programming competition to make the best mouse and no buttons game, as they did the for one switch games? There's certainly room for more head tracker compatible games as you can see at the tiny Game-Accessibility Head Tracker Games forum.

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Able Gamers Interview with Firaxis Games

Jolly Roger image - relating to Pirates.
Mark Barlet of AbleGamers sat down and interviewed mainstream game developers Firaxis Games. It's a very good interview, and most promisingly, they seemed to be listening. More disabled gamers need to be doing the same and start pushing harder to get through. There's not enough of us banging on doors!


Atari VCS Handheld Due for US release

Atari Flashback PortableA nice prototype has been announced around the web of a hand held Atari VCS. It will be possible to run most original Atari games on this machine.

These are old games (as old as 1977), but often very clear and easy to understand. Many Atari games featured multiple difficulty levels and even "special features" aimed at very young gamers. If only modern console games were so thoughtful...

If they stick with the original D9 controller sockets, it will be very easy to make this hand-held Atari largely switch accessible (D.I.Y. switch accessible Atari).

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Compose World for Switch Musicians

Compose World developed by ESP and the Drake Music Project. Image of CD case and ESP and Drake logos.Compose World Create is a new musical creation tool designed to be fully accessible to switch users. It allows musicians to build musical arrangements using select and drop techniques. More than this, I don't know, but you can read more on Compose World here and at the Drake Music Project. Great to see this project come to fruition.

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MERU logo: Medical Engineering Resource Unit.
MERU, The Medical Engineering Resource Unit are having a special open day where people can come and see how they use their design and engineering skills to transform the lives of disabled children and young people.

The event is on Saturday 14th July from 12 noon to 4pm, at their premises in Carshalton, Surrey. The day will include the unveiling of a plaque by their new Patron, Laurence Llewelyn-Bowen, whose father Trefor was one of MERU’s founders.There will be fun activities for all the family, special features for therapists and medical professionals, and refreshments.

MERU would be grateful if you could let them know if you are able to come by emailing: info@meru.org.uk.

I have personally seen some of the fantastic projects they have been working on, including accessible gaming technology. I'll write a little more on their work soon, but if the mean while, I'd highly recommend you visit their web-site and if you can make it, their open day.

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Accessibility Features for new DS?

Image of a Nintendo Dual Screen Handheld Games Console."Japanese magazine Gamelabo reports that Nintendo is developing a revised version of the Nintendo DS specifically for elderly gamers. The DS follow-up is rumoured to feature a larger screen and more readable fonts for users who may have a difficult time playing on the smaller machine. Read more at PortableVideoGamer.com."

Via: Game-Accessibility.com

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New Accessible Game Reviews at Special Effect

Special Effect logo, beneath an image of a young boy in a wheelchair playing an accessible game.If you've not seen, I have been trickle-posting some accessible game reviews up at the Special Effect Gamebase. So far I have posted reviews for Alice Amazed, Aurikon, Chirality and most recently, Pinball Soccer.

It still desperately needs game reviewers to join up and start writing. Gamers can submit reviews by joining the web-site or if this proves tricky, by e-mailing me via www.OneSwitch.org.uk.

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Techno Talk 2007

Photo of Toby Hewson of JustDifferent.org

Had my first experience of the "Techno Talk" event in Kent on Tuesday, aimed at school kids in Kent who use communicator systems. I was there providing the gaming gear across six tables, which I managed as if they were spinning plates at times.

I really enjoyed the whole day, but the talk by Toby Hewson really needs blogging first. This is a young guy with Cerebral Palsy who had been using an electronic communicator for about four years.

He spoke via his speech synthesiser and body language to the kids about his life and some of his thoughts. It was really inspirational, and quite funny at times too. Take a look at his organisation "JustDifferent.org" for more on his superb work and efforts.



Image of a googly toy monster frightening a much smaller toy figurine - (c) Grace Weston.
Wonderful photographs by Grace Weston. Be warned, some are a little dark. I like.


Technical Issues

BBC 1967 Test Card: (c) BBC, ITC & BREMA 1967 - BBC Research & Development Department - Do not duplicate without this credit.You may notice a number of broken links at OneSwitch.org.uk if you are trying to download JoyToKey or games from the library. For this I appologise. To date, this software has been hosted by the very kind, but enigmatic, 9572AD's, on his web-site www.idiombox.com as the web-site package I have for OneSwitch simply didn't have the room.

Unfortunately there are problems now with Idiombox that I don't entirely understand. All I can say is that things are trying to be fixed. Fingers crossed...


Pinball Soccer

Pinball SoccerWildSnake Software have a pretty nice football based pinball game for one or two players which you can trial for free from their web-site.

As with Microsoft's excellent 'Pinball Arcade' it's possible to re-define the game controls and whilst doing so, assign multiple controls onto a single key. Thus, one-switch play is possible for one and two player games.

What the game misses (beyond a highly accessible menu system) is speed control. Unfortunately this game doesn't work with CPU Killer so you're a bit stuffed if you find this game too quick.

Switch Accessible Radio Controlled Pinball coming soon...

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Switch Adapted Water Pistol - more ideas...

Switch Adapted Water Pistol - more ideas...Okay, it's a bit cheeky, but I've just pinched some "Squirt Gun Application Ideas" dated 1994 from AbleNet and added them to the ideas list for my X-Blaster. The list now goes:

Water your plants; Play target practice outdoors or in your bath; Use watered down coloured inks to create splatter art; Cool your dog down on a hot day; Clean a dirty relative; Spray your neighbour then hide; Wash a car (very slowly); Fill the bird bath; Rinse off the dishes; Fill water balloons; Squirt yourself; Fill an animal's water dish; Spray clothes for ironing; Cool off a friend after exercising; Give players a drink at athletic events; Write water messages on the pavement; Shoot at paper targets; Wet down someone's hair when getting a haircut; Have fun!

...And if you live in London, you could get involved with the bonkers, "Water Gun Wars" / "Street Wars" event, or set-up your own.

22.06.07: Just added a D.I.Y. guide for people wishing to adapt their own water blaster.

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Head Tracker Activities

Head Tracker Activities. Dub SelectorI'm a big fan of Dub, Reggae and Ska, so I loved discovering a head-tracker compatible Dub Music Creation tool via TLWMSN. Click on the image above for instant Dub niceness.

Kate at TLWMSN has also uploaded some brilliant on-line head-tracker compatible resources that may appeal to a broad range of ages and abilities, copy and pasted below. These could work for switch users too with a little assistance:

Reactive Colours
Jackson Pollock On-line Art Generator

Horse Harmony - Surreal Horse Music
Infinite Wheel - Fantastic Dub Music Creator
Virtual Bubble Wrap

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Adventure Game Studio

Spooks - an Adventure Game compatible with Head-Trackers, Eye-Trackers and other Accessible Controllers.Adventure Game Studio is a development tool that enables people to design mouse controlled adventure games. Their web-site promotes the games that people have designed using it, which are available for free download.

The great thing about these games is that they can be played by Head-Tracker gamers, Eye-Tracker users and so on. See my Accessible Gaming Shop section on Head, Mouth and Eye Controls for more.

IndyGamer ran a great Top 10 Adventure Game Studio games list recently, that includes full links to the games, and even 'Walk Through' cheat guides for some. This includes my favourite, the gothic adventure 'Spooks'.

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PS2 to PS3 adapter

Pelican PS2 to PS3 controller adapter.Another PS2 to PS3 adapter, this one from Pelican. Looks like this may be the most compatible to date.

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Coming Soon Free CameraMouse!

Jordan is moving her chin to move the white arrow (mouse pointer) to pop the bubble that contains a bird. This is a commercial program for children

I've taken this wholesale from the TLWMSN blog:

"Today I went to a great workshop presented by Maureen Gates from Boston College. She showed us a fantastic piece of software, actually many pieces of software, CameraMouse and games for CameraMouse. CameraMouse is software that interprets any movement in front of an off the shelf webcam to mouse movements.

Although it is generally used as a head mouse, it can be used with any body part that can move in four directions (up, down, left, right).CameraMouse was developed as a spin off of Eagle Eyes, which allows uses to move a mouse by amplifying the muscle movements of the eyes. (Eagle Eyes is available for free (provided evidence that a student can benefit) from the Opportunity Foundation.)CameraMouse can be used with even the slightest movement, so slight that when set to the "extreme" level just looking where you want to mouse to go moves your head enough to move the mouse.

For users with extraneous movements it can be set to allow more freedom. CameraMouse has a built in auto-click/dwell feature that eliminates the need for a switch or other method of clicking. You can also limit the window that CameraMouse moves around in so that the user doesn't accidentally close programs. All of these features are fully programmable.

When working with CameraMouse you are given plenty of games to teach everything from cause and effect to grade level academics. There are even special internet browsers and an online gaming program that allows users to compete in various CameraMouse and/or Eagle Eyes games.

CameraMouse is NOT available right this minute but BC will offer it free of charge (not just free for 30 days, free period) for download in about a month - keep checking here or there site for more info.So if you are about to spend anywhere from $180 for a TrackIR to $400 for QualiEYE (practically the same as CameraMouse - I tried both) to $8,000 for an ERICA or TOBII you might want to wait a month!"

And for a list of games that should be accessible in this way, see the Game-Accessibility.com forum on head-tracker compatible games.

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Cheap Switch Adapted R/C Car

Radio Control Car - An orange 'Low-rides' Dodge Charger.As my switch adapted Tumbler car's now come in at £80, I wanted to find something to put in my shop that was a lot cheaper. I found these Chad Valley "Low Rides" R/C cars in UK Woolworths, which look great and are fairly easy to adapt for plug in switches. It's no where near as powerful and manic as the Hitari Tumblers, but at £25 it's a lot more affordable.

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Blind Students Using Playstation Controller

Bandai KidsStation - large four button controller from Japan.There's a great blog post at TLWMSN regarding their use of an adapted 'Bandai KidsStation' controller as a Music controller for blind students. If you're yet to see the Teaching Learners with Multiple Special Needs blog, you must. It's one of the best resources of it's type and has certainly taught me a thing or two.

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Once a Gamer, Always a Gamer

The Washington Post have just run a fine short film on Robert Florio, who is an active member of the IGDA's Game Accessibility Special Interest Group:

"Although Robert Florio was paralysed at the age of 14 after a swimming accident, he remains an avid gamer. He is currently completing a bachelors degree in video game art and design and hopes to create games that are accessible to people living with disabilities".

The opening game you can see in this film is the one-switch game "Strange Attractors" by Ominous Developments.

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Doggy Poo - Korean Animation

Quite cute actually...




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