Labels: music video
Workshop Solutions: Dual-Shock mount and alternative access to the shoulder buttons.
Papas Bricoleurs: Specialised controller for a child with very limited hand movement.
I was planning to sell some of these items on-line myself, but hearing that AbilityNet are doing the same, I think I will make way and point people their way instead. Supporting the supporters as they say...
Couldn't resist this when I saw it in the shops - a Lucky Lottery Number Picker. Especially as a Lottery Number Generator was one of my earliest accessibility projects back in the 1990's.
This particular switch accessible adaptation is a one off I think, and suited best to people in the UK. Press a button to pick the type of Lottery (e.g. Thunderball, National Lottery, Euro Lottery etc.) then press the accessibility switch to pick your numbers. If you win millions from it - don't forget me!
Secondly comes The Gaming Kitsune reviewing games from the perspective of a gamer using a highly specialised set-up. Both well written, and well worth your time.
If you've been to Knee Bouncers before, it's worth a renewed visit, as they've just undergone a big make over with lots new to discover.
It comes at a price, but I can certainly vouch for its quality. Geoff still produces a version for the PS2 if that's preferable. Available from QED in the UK.
Added to: The Accessible Gaming Shop.
Meanwhile, here's some fun on-line musical instruments/toys that may suit head-tracker and/or some switch use:
The Indian Shankar Drum Ganesh Machine.
Medieval Music Mixer.
The Psychedelic Supperdubber Machine From Outer Space.
Virtual Drum Machines.
The retail price is £120 / €140 and should do the trick for a good number of gamers out there. Very nice indeed. I may well be selling these on-line in the near future. Watch this space.
Added to: The Accessible Gaming Shop.
Here's some adventure based links with an accessibility slant:
Added to the OneSwitch adapters page.
At this early stage, there are five demos to try out free which will give you a real taste of what's to come. Spend some time tinkering with the options and you'll begin to see just how broad the vision is. I'll certainly be keeping a close eye.
It opens: "As the games industry continues to look for that elusive 'Blue Ocean', is it actually missing a core gaming audience that not only enjoys games but also enjoys significant improvement in its quality of life because of them? 360 investigates gamers with disabilities and what's being done to incorporate them."
It closes: "It does seem strange, to say the least, that with all the talk of breaking into new markets and wooing new audiences to gaming, the industry steadfastly ignores a ready-made audience that asks for nothing more than to be able to play these games. Disabled gamers seem to be one of the last great untapped audiences, and leaving them behind could be, if nothing else, a very costly mistake".
Whet your appetite? Then support the supporters and order yourself a copy from Imagine Publishing. Alternatively if you're in the UK, they're on the shelves now at £2.95 a copy.
We are selling raffle tickets for each at the price of $10... We are only selling 50 tickets for EACH one, so there is a 1 in 50 chance to win (or more if you buy more). We will have the winner selected and sent out as close to Christmas as we can (We are shooting for Dec 15th)." More on the compo here.
Excitingly for me, Harmonix also sent some kit my way to see what I could do with it to make it more accessible. Now my daughter and her friends are at school (presently known as "The Rockettes") I've got a chance to pull it apart and see what's what.
Great from the off is that any accessibility switch with a 3.5mm plug (that's almost all these days) can be connected to act as the bass-drum foot-pedal. So if you can't use your feet - you may still be able to use any other part of your body to play.
The next brilliant thing is in it's compatibility with a PC through the USB sockets. I've had the Guitar playing riffs via the Guitar Shred Show and drums playing my own samples quite easily using JoyToKey. Following recent accessible music work with William Pilgrim, we've got something else in the pipe-line that will work with Rock Band controllers and/or accessibility switches. Coming soon...
I would imagine these could work brilliantly alongside an Eye Tracker. The cost however would be quite another thing.
Added to the Accessible Gaming Shop Switch Hardware area. Link via the ever excellent RNT Blog.
Labels: switch equipment
From Symbaloo I discovered a remakably good music search site, called Last.FM, which I've linked to within my Music Search Sites link.
Update: There are versions of symbaloo for a number of languages. Click on the spanner icon to adjust "your settings". Here's the UK and USA versions for a start.
NÚCLEO DE DESENVOLVIMENTO EM TECNOLOGIA ASSISTIVA E ACESSIBILIDADE (Brazil).
Yanous.com (France); Jean-Jacques Bayle (France); Icom (France).
ELECOK (Germany); ELECOK-Altdorf (Germany).
This fantastic work spread to the news portals of Kotaku. I can't say that I'm 100% impressed with the 'Handicapped PS3 Owner builds Frankenstein controller' heading - but the coverage this has garnered is a great thing. Now Sony - any chances of you lot doing anything for accessibility? Go on - you don't want to be last again do you?
Via: Playstation 3 forum - YouTube video here - Kitsune's Blog gaming blog here.
"Nineteen-year-old Frankie has Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy, a progressive, muscle-wasting condition. As a result, he has severely limited mobility and this means he has to spend most of his time in bed.
During the few hours a day Frankie can spend in a chair, he enjoys playing on his Playstation. However his condition had progressed to the point where it had become impossible for him to use the conventional controller supplied with his console.
Cardiff University, near Frankie's home in Powys, Wales, tried to help by making a custom footswitch but his deteriorating condition meant that within a short time Frankie could no longer use it.
Although Wales is a long way outside MERU's usual area the charity became involved becuase no other organisation had the appropriate skills.
Over 17 months Project Leaders Graham Race and Hayley Smith made several visits to Wales and trialled different solutions.
Eventually they and volunteer engineers Adrian Fisher and Doug Sander devised and made a completely unique solution which would capture Frankie's movements, giving him full use of the Playstation's 18 controls.
It also has the flexibility to let a carer take over some of the functions if Frankie gets tired.
Frankie can now use his switches to play the games he loves."
Sadly Frankie recently died. Full respect to him, his family and MERU for what they strived for and achieved. Support MERU here.
"As you're all no doubt aware, we've dedicated a category to getting some games made to help out the SpecialEffect Games For Helen project. Well, that's not all we fancied doing for the cause.
As well as trying to get a bunch of games banged together, we figured we'd try and go the extra mile and raise some cold hard cash for Special Effect so that they can keep on doing the damn fine work that they do in making games more inclusive and getting more young people out there playing not just our games, but games as a whole.
Now, I know there's a credit crunch, times are hard, it's coming up to Christmas and all that - I also know that not everyone has a few quid to spare. We've set the target pretty low - £500. If enough people chuck in just a few pounds then we'll get there in no time. If you can't afford to donate, and I know that with all the best will in the world sometimes you just can't give - that's fine, no pressure whatsoever people. But if you can spread the word, tell people about it - make a blog post, pass it on, then it'll help us get to that £500 target in no time and I'll be eternally grateful.
We're going through JustGiving - it's the fastest and easiest way to get your cash to the charities and to get the GiftAid for UK donations sorted. Our page is here: http://www.justgiving.com/retroremakes - it's not very pretty, but it doesn't have to be, right?
It's open for 12 months so there's plenty of time to do this and in the very near future I'll be announcing this on the front page, there'll be links on all the competition pages too.
Here's that page again: http://www.justgiving.com/retroremakes
Thanks chaps and dig as deep as you can, spread the word wherever you can. We're all gamers here of one variety or another, lets help bring some games and some smiles to some kids faces."
Oh, these are just brilliant! Shoot Your Mouth Off Films "Dramas and documentaries made with by and for people with disabilities". Have a good sift through their YouTube channel to see the breadth of talent. I hear the next installment of "Stranger Hero" a kung-fu flick starring a "The Rock" look-a-like with down-syndrome is due soon. Fan-bloody-tastic.
From these sites I discovered 101 things to do with a Talking Switch / Big-Mac and "Pete's Stuff" a slew of fun Power Point based stories that can be controlled using switches (e.g. one switch set to SPACE to step forward, with a second switch set to BACKSPACE to go back).
Namco are known in some circles for their Assisitive Technology and Rehabilitainment work. It's fantastic to see them carry this on with such a fun game. More please - oh and some accessibility switch sockets would be great next time too!
Via: Arcade Heroes and MSN Japan
By hooking up your accessibility switch to trigger the left mouse click, all the crazy riffs and licks become available to one switch musicians. Presently the practice and jam modes are available at the Mountain of the Tapping Dwarves. Enjoy yourselves!