Informática para Educación Especial

Informática para Educación EspecialI love finding international blogs that share an interest in accessible gaming and assistive technology. "Informática para Educación Especial" is a Spanish based blog which has some great posts and links. It translates into English quite well too using Google's translate services.

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Sega Megadrive Separate Controller

Sega Megadrive/Genesis Prototype Separate Controller. Curiosity item: A prototype separated controller for the SEGA Megadrive/Genesis. The later HORI Separate controller seems to be very similar. This type of controller suits gamers unable to bring both hands together, but would also suit left handed gamers quite well and would allow for shared control over a game. This was on eBay with an asking price of 500 US dollars. I think I'll let it go!

Via: Secret Underground Game Pad

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"How's Your News?"

D.I.Y. One Switch Hand Held Game

D.I.Y. One Switch Hand Held Game. Image of a yellow sweet pot - adapted with an all in one screen and push button - with a picture of a green fish displayed.Popsci.com have posted a D.I.Y. guide to create a mini hand-held one button games machine. The version above is housed in a plastic pot for sweets and plays as follows:

"In Red Fish, Green Fish, Blue Fish—SHARK!, the ScreenKey displays bit-mapped images of aquatic life. When a fishy figure appears, press the button. But don’t press it when you see the shark—that means game over. The further you go, the faster the images will flash on the screen and the harder it will get."

Via: Tim Chase from the IGDA GASIG mailing list.

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Game Accessibility Train

Image of a Mother and child waiting for a train to perhaps take them away from a very strange almost prehistoric train station. A few quick links to recent Game Accessibility conferences gone by - with plenty to delve deeper into:

HCT of University of Sussex, UK - May 2008 Game Accessibility Workshop report. My quick personal write up.

Games for Health 2008 - Slideshare.
Michelle Hinn's write up of the event.

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Head Controlled Scalextric / Slot-cars

Image of a man racing a Scalextric style slot-car around a minature track using a chest mounted chin controller.The photo above shows a mechanical adaptation to a slot-racing controller, enabling the player to adjust the speed of their car using their chin. There's a Flickr photo-stream which much like Ben Heck's Guitar Hero pedal - isn't quite a D.I.Y. guide - but gives enough of an idea for some to get going with their own take on of this project. Excellent work!

For those interested in one-switch Scalextric - I have had some success with this using a Starsky and Hutch set. Your car can be controlled in quite a few different ways.

A: Press your switch to trigger maximum speed. Requires very fast reactions and skill to stop the car from flying off the track and smashing into the nearest piece of furniture or pet.

B: Press your switch to trigger a reduced top speed. Thanks to magnets the car will never leave the track unless you crash into your opponent at the central cross over.

C: Press your switch to activate TURBO. Your car can be set to constantly trickle around the track at a much reduced speed - until the switch is pressed. Requires a fair bit of judicious skill.
I'll post a D.I.Y. guide in the near-ish future.


Photo and related threads via: OWH Slot Car Talk and Joe's Track Thread.

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Guitar Hero for one handed play

One hand - one foot Guitar Hero.Ben Heck has made a lovely job on making Guitar Hero more accessible for gamers unable to use both hands to play. It's not quite a D.I.Y. guide that he's posted on his web-site, but there's enough to get going with for some. Daft video here and AbleGamers video here.

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Traditional Games for Head/Eye Tracker Play

Buckaroo! MB Games / Hasbro traditional game.
Following on from the Croc Dentist post, I thought I'd continue to share with you the Hasbro traditional games made head-tracker / eye-tracker compatible. Not deliberately adapted, obviously, but these are mouse based games that may suit you. You could potentially set these up against people playing the real thing - which is making me long for a two player option with these games...

Bopit Extreme 2 (pointer and clicks - fast paced game - 1 player)
Buckaroo! (pointer and dragging needed - 1 or more players
Croc Dentist (pointer and clicks - 1 or more players)
Elefun (pointer only - fairly quick reactions needed - 1 player)
Jenga (pointer and clicks - at your own pace - 1 or more players)
Kerplunk (pointer and clicks - at your own pace - 1 player)
Operation (pointer and dragging needed - at your own pace - difficult)
Whac a Mole (pointer and clicks - fast paced game - 1 player)
More difficult games:

Battleship (pointer and clicks - at your own pace - SPACE bar optional extra - 1 player); Connect 4 (pointer and dragging needed - at your own pace - but skilled control needed); Downfall (pointer and short and long clicks - at your own pace - but skilled control needed); Mastermind (pointer and dragging - at your own pace - but quite tough to play in comparison).

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Fusion Man

Swiss pilot Yves Rossy, who calls himself 'Fusion Man', becomes the first person to fly with jet-fuel powered wings strapped to his back. He completed several loops at 300km/h (186mph) above the Alps.Swiss pilot Yves Rossy, who calls himself "Fusion Man", becomes the first person to fly with jet-fuel powered wings strapped to his back. He completed several loops at 300km/h (186mph) above the Alps. Wow!

Via:
BBC News (picture 10)

eDimensional one handed controller nearly here?

eDimensional one handed controller nearly here? Image of Ben Heck's one handed controller with circular interchangable control modules.The near-final prototype of the production model Access Controller from eDimensional. Direct inquiries to access@edimensional.com

Via: BenHeck.com

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Herder - on-line and one switch

Herder - on-line one switch game. Herder has it's origins in the classic game Snake but plays with a single button. The goal is slightly different: round up all free floating red or blue circles (spin clockwise to herd blue circles and anti-clockwise to herd red circles). It's abstract and enjoyable.

Possible improvements? It would be great to see a full-screen version, and ideally - to get rid of the need for the mouse clicks to adjust the sound and music, and the inaccessible (to most one-switch gamers) high-score system.

YouTube video: Herder - a one button flash game

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Big Ball of String - Banner redesign

You may have noticed my shiny-new banners at the top of the OneSwitch Blog. These come with thanks to the highly talented artist Brian Brasher of Etherbrian. Quite likely I'll be running off a T-shirt or two in the near-ish future with these designs.

As for the origins of the design, it's a modern take on of art from a child-hood favourite book of mine, "The Big Ball of String". This is a simple book about a boy's obssession to collect the biggest ball of string he possibly can. He gets sick, his Mum tells him he must stay in bed, so he hooks up his string so that he can do everything from Bed (obviously not staying in bed at all to get it all working). Thanks Brian - mighty fine job - hope others like it too.

Multi-Touch-Screen Missile Command



The future of interactive white boards? Via: Arcade Heroes

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A meme (sounds like "Gene")

Mark Rothko Art.

I was "tagged" to complete this "meme" by Kate at her Teaching Learners with Multiple Special Needs blog. I wouldn't normally get involved with anything like this (feels a bit like a chain-letter) - but I really like Kate and her work - so I've been won over.

The Rules…1. The rules of the game get posted at the beginning. 2. Each player answers the questions about themselves. 3. At the end of the post, the player then tags 5-6 people and posts their names, then goes to their blogs and leaves them a comment, letting them know they’ve been tagged and asking them to read the player's blog. 4. Let the person who tagged you know when you’ve posted your answer.

1. What was I doing 10 years ago?

In 1998 I moved out of my Mum and Dad's and into the big wide world. I bought a flat in Leigh-on-Sea, a short walk from the beach. I remember friends and family helping me move in whilst Pulp's "Help the Aged" played on the radio.

Took a holiday to Beirut in Lebanon to see an old friend who was working out there. Got heat stroke - but loved my stay.

Working in Thurrock Care a "Special Care Unit" working for about 15 severely learning and/or physically disabled adults. Created the Dog Betting System and programmed a switch accessible number generator on their ancient (even then) BBC Micro. The formative years of One Switch.


2. What are my 5 things on my to-do list for today (not in any particular order):

Tidy up my work-room which is a tip after last weeks "Accessible Gaming Workshop".
Go for a 10 minute run.
Finish an illuminated switch adaptation for an artist in Glasgow.
See "Nims Island" with my partner and our daughter.
Try to catch up on some e-mails.

3. Snacks I enjoy... Bournville Dark Chocolate, Flapjacks, Perfect fruit.

4. Things I would do if I were a billionaire... Support artists to brighten up the world - plough cash into making fun things more accessible - spoil friends and family - sort out all the problems of the world (following Ian Dury's "You'll See Glimpses" template).

5. Three of my bad habits: Being messy - being un-sociable at times - tooting my car's horn too much.

6. 5 places I have lived: Always in Essex, UK - Canvey Island, Rayleigh, Westcliff, Leigh-on-Sea - but for a short month - Tirnaveni in Romania.

7. 5 jobs I have had: Computer operator/programmer - Road worker - Paper boy - Painter/Decorator - Mobile Volunteer Bureau driver.

8. 6 people I want to know more about (with blogs), because I'm just that nosy: Danigo Thierry of Réseau Nouvelles Technologies; Michelle Hinn of the IGDA's GASIG; Mark Barlet and Stephanie Walker of AbleGamers.com.... Yes I know that's not six - I told you I could be un-sociable!

Games Accessibility Workshop: Play, Discuss, Design

Games Accessibility Workshop: Interact Lab, University of Sussex"This workshop will bring together professional games developers, accessible games designers and disabled gamers to play, discuss and design accessible games.

A variety of accessible games will be available for demonstration. Barrie Ellis of One Switch [hello!] will be showing some of his unique one-button controllers for use with consoles such as the Sony Playstation. Richard Vahrman of Locomatrix will be talking about his GPS games and Jez Harris from Relentless will be talking about their hit game Buzz!

Discuss the games with the interdisciplinary audience. Experts in the areas of games technology, accessibility and human-computer interaction among others will be present.

Do you have an idea for a game? Feel free to sketch concepts, create storyboards or propose new concepts ingames design aspects such as controllers, graphics or sound.

SPACE IS LIMITED!. E-mail Hilary Smith to reserve your place."

Via: Interact Lab - University of Sussex

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