Why Don't You D.I.Y.?

Image of a red X-Blaster water pistol adapted with a separate Able-net switch attached.
Via: Carole Thornett of Vranch House School:

"The water pistol I purchased from you back in February was brilliant at computer club this morning. I had switch adapted it [myself] so that everyone could use it, and we filled it up lots of time from a watering can. They now want a second one so that they can have some water fights!

It’s just brilliant – something that most of them could not otherwise do.

I attach a photograph of my adaptation. It is a little 3.5 mm jack socket just above the Hydro Blaster label...The adaptation I did was relatively straightforward".

I love hearing stories of people adapting battery powered equipment themselves to give greater access. It's not that difficult - why not give it a try yourself?

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CamSpace - "Any Game, Any Webcam"

Image of CamSpace logo - with strap line 'Any Game, Any Webcam'."CamSpace is a program that allows the user to control his favorite games and applications with any webcam. Use your body and arbitrary objects to replace the mouse and joystick!".

This could be seen as an EyeToy crossed with JoyToKey - a way to make many games, art, music and more accessible using all different kinds of controllers. Looks really promising!

Via: Sandra Uhling on the GASIG mailing list. Video Here.

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DragonPlus One Handed Controllers Back In Stock

Image of a blue DragonPlus RPG DuoCon2 one handed controller.
I didn't think I'd ever be saying that again! But... from China to Australia to England (I'm doing my bit for global warming) - I have a new batch of DragonPlus RPG DuoCon 2 controllers in stock.

These are excellent one handed controllers, as suitable for left handed gamers as for right - and are not too large in size for most one handed gamers. At £35 each - these are the most affordable one handed controllers for the Playstation 2. With additional adapters, these will work on most other games consoles too. Get them whilst you can...

Via: Accessible Gaming Shop

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Doeo - Head or Eye Tracker Game

Image of cartoon scene - with a ton of pink squared rabit type 'Doeo's popping up all over the place.Doeo = high speed Japanese style madness/fun. Great for head-tracker and eye-tracker gamers with pretty swift reactions. On-line and free at Raitendo and Kongregate.com. Full screen here (and download-able)...

Via: Games Radar 365 Days of Games List

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In Israel

Image of 7 inch single with the Star of David in the centre - 'Israel' by Siouxsie and the Banshees. Aisrael.org have a pretty thorough three part article on game accessibility in Hebrew. It covers physical disabilities and solutions, moving onto barriers facing visually impaired and blind gamers onto deaf gamers. Part 1, Part2 and Part 3 all here.

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Strange Attractors 2



Strange Attractors 2 by Ominous Development, is looking fantastic. It's the follow up to one of the finest one button games ever - Strange Attractors. This time around two switches are needed (emulating the left mouse click and the right mouse click) - and a powerful PC (mine isn't up to the job sadly).

Your controls enable activation of positive or negative gravitational forces in nearby floating objects in order to manipulate your orb about the screen. Take a look at the video clip above for an idea of what you need to do. It's looking very nice indeed, and has already been nominated for an award at PennyArcade.com's PAX-10.

The game has a one button menu system that kicks in after about 5 seconds. For one button gamers - team play may be the solution (one player has positive gravity control, the second negative). I'm also wondering straight away if a 4Noah profile could be used to make this game one-switch compatible. I'll keep you posted.

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CRC Formula 1 Racer

Image of a rocket powered wheel-chair about to race off around the streets of Dublin. Rocket powered wheelchair racing can't be that far off in reality can it? Meanwhile you can do the same on your computer thanks to the CRC Project's really nice one-switch game "CRC Formula 1 Racer".

This is a fun game, and also I think the first time I've ever seen wheelchair users as both spectators and also the lead character in the game. Nice. Instructions, video and more at the CRC Project.

This and other one-switch racing games can be found at the One Switch Library. And the work in progress 4Noah DUI is well worth a look too.

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New Breath Clicking Controller

Image of a person taking a deep breath - from www.listenforjoy.com Inventor Antony Stewart has recently released details of a revolutionary breath clicking device that he has created. It has no name, but after sitting on this invention for a while finding no support, he has decided to let people see what it is he has made, and also to help D.I.Y. enthusiasts duplicate his design.

Designed to be used alongside a head-tracker or other mouse like controller, the breath controlled switch allows the user to replicate the left mouse button using short and long breaths.

What I will say after having used sip/puff controllers to play games, is that I love the idea of something that doesn't give you kids-party-balloon-blowing-marathon-cheeks. Video of the prototype in action here... and forum post here... Surely an AT company out there can see the benefits too!?

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Retro Remakes 2008 Competition

Retro Remakes 2008 Competition. Image of arcade games Berzerk and Centipede glowing brightly.The Official 2008 Retro Remakes Competition will be launched on September the 1st, 2008. Very. Good. News! Can't say too much this side of September, apart from to say that I'm very excited and hopeful. Oh, and to direct you to the official Retro Remakes announcement here...

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Space Invaders - 4Noah



30 years on, 4Noah (and MAME Cheats) makes Taito Space Invaders playable with one switch. See more 4Noah magic at author William Pilgrim's YouTube channel including a (non 4Noah) run through of Namco's Star Trigon.

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SpecialEffect - BBC



"SpecialEffect's Mick Donegan, Helen Oakley and her mum Sandra on BBC South East" - includes a very quick snippet of Sensory Software's 'Switch Friendly Games'.

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"Switch Friendly Games"

Four 'Switch Friendly Games' from Sensory Software.Sensory Software's Switch Friendly Games is a suite of traditional games made more accessible. This package probably has the widest range of options aimed directly at switch gamers that I've ever seen. It's equally great for head-tracker and eye-tracker gamers thanks to it's pure mouse based interface available simultaneously. That is nice.

The games? "Minesweeper and Solitaire one player games, whilst 4-in-a-Row, Sea Battle, Chess and Othello are for two players. These can be played by two switch users, each with their own switch(es) and switch options."

What is great about these games is that they don't rush you. You can play completely at your own pace. However, they are games of logic, so do require a fair amount of understanding. This said, there are some very good difficulty level adjustments. All this does come at a price. £60 from QED Ltd. Perhaps a little steep... There again, there's nothing better out there of this type.

I'd love to see a "Switch Friendly Games 2" feature some more no-rush games, that are open to gamers that don't get on so well with pure logic games. Bowling, Peggle, Pool, Crazy Golf and more could work really well. How about it SS?

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D.I.Y. Games Console Switch Interface Deluxe

Image of an adapted SEGA Dreamcast Arcade Stick - Adapted for accessibility switch use. I've finally uploaded the D.I.Y. guide for my Games Console Switch Interface Deluxe (C-SID). It's a big job, and probably not for beginners. You'll find easier guides for smaller projects at my D.I.Y. assistive technology index.

I've also uploaded the basic instructions for using this controller. Find all these links at the shop page. A much easier guide is planned for a much more basic switch interface. Watch this space.

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The Glow Company UK

Image of a rocket shaped table lamp. The Glow Company UK sell some really nice stuff for all ages. They have some great cause and effect devices (such as the Sputnik Rocket Lamp above) which would work well with a switch and on/off switching box (such as the Power Link 2).

Other bits I really liked: Aqua Glow Bath Light, Glow in the Dark Light Pulls, Spa Lights and Glow in the Dark Paint. More glow company links in the Shops section of my links.

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1975: Steeplechase - the first one-switch game?

Image of Atari's 1975 Arcade Video Game - Steeple Chase.The first ever commercial one switch playable game is Atari's Steeplechase from 1975. Up to six players could crowd around the machine, using a single illuminated button to make their horse jump on-coming hurdles. There's a short video-clip up on Google Video - don't expect too much obviously!

It's a very basic game, but actually quite competitive fun. The nearest equivalent is a version written for the Atari VCS - which can be played on the superb 'Stella' emulator.

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Foot Controlled Pinball

Image of pinball game 'The Shadow' being played by a gamer using a Dance Mat. One off pinball game "The Shadow" made playable with a dance mat. Hard work I would guess.

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Magic Marbles 2

Magic Marbles 2 Magic Marbles 2 is an on-line puzzle game that could be ideal for many eye-tracker and head-tracker gamers. Why good for eye-tracker gamers? Well, full screen (press F11 if using Internet Explorer), the balls are a nice big size to select (by dwelling over for a set length of time). There's also no rush to take your turn. Quite an enjoyable little diversion.

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Improved Talking Tins

Image of a circular red plastic 'Talk Pod' aka Talking Tin. Talking Products have recently introduced an improved Talking Tin (or Talk Pod as they are now known). These have 30 seconds recording time and can record multple-messages that can be played back sequentially.

These should adapt for switch use just as the older yellow version, by following the OneSwitch Do It Yourself guide.

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