One-switch Accessible Dance Dance Revolution

The rough video above demonstrates an off-the-shelf solution for C-SID owners for one-switch dance gaming. The video would have been a lot more fun if you'd seen someone pogo-ing on a single pressure mat to play, but I wasn't going to put myself up for public ridicule. I don't dance if I can possibly help it. It's not a good thing to witness...

Anyway, the solution is to use 3x Stereo headphones splitters/2-into-1 adapters and 3x 3.5mm patch leads (stereo or mono both work) available from the likes of Maplin.

The game is Konami's Dancing Stage Fever on PS2, and demo'ed with old-fart music that I quite like on Easy first then Difficult second. Great features are contrast control options and the ability to play a song through no matter how many arrows you miss. This then enables the game to be played by anyone where you simply try to better your own best score, or that of a group. 

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Low Force / Pressure PS3 Joystick

The video above showcases a very light pressure joystick being used alongside some switches to play Gran Turismo 5. This uses a LEPMIS PS3-SAP interface with the Low Throw Low Force Analogue Joystick and switches. This set-up could work equally well with the Ultra Light switches from Marblesoft.

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Something Special

A photo of children's Something Special T.V. presenter Justin, by a model boat and model blue waves.

Updated info on Something Special cribbed from the SpecialEffect Accessible GameBase: "To celebrate the 100th episode of children's Makaton based television show, Something Special, the BBC launched a fantastic accessible on-line area.

It includes UK signing, symbols, songs, art activities, stories and of course games.

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Skoog Skores

The latest free upgrade (1.30) to the Skoog musical instrument brings "Skores" to life. Within this new feature, you can select a song from a drop down menu, then play guided by a flow of coloured shapes. It works really well in practice and will help a lot of musicians who find traditional music scores far too difficult.

Excitingly, I hear rumours of a one-side to play musical Skores in the works. Can't wait to see and try that out.

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All I Want for Christmas...

Hear Muffs advert from the 1970s. Somewhat daft super-comfy head-phones.

...actually, I might pass on these for the moment, thanks. Via "this isn't happiness".

SpecialEffect at REPLAY 2011

Replay was an exhausting ear-blistering pleasure. It was a privilege to run the SpecialEffect stand populated mostly with games using simplified control methods mostly from my personal geek-a-tronic stash. So what did we have?

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50 Words for Snow

Kate Bush, 50 Words for Snow, LP cover. Bas Relief all in white of a snowman kissing a young woman.

Thanks to Michelle Hinn for pointing me to a place to listen to Kate Bush's absorbing and relaxing "50 Words For Snow" LP. Wonderful.


Ruberman Rodriguez picture of a warm, colourful, messy bedroom, with toys scattered, and child sitting on the floor wearing a blanket over their head, face illuminated by the laptop screen they are peering into intently.

"The first thing you notice when you enter a typical college dorm room is the mess, but what's the second thing you notice? If you answered the game consoles on a pedestal above the mess, you're right. After all, college students spend an average of almost two hours per day playing video games, a pretty big commitment when you remember they have classes, clubs, reading online, jobs, and social lives to see to. Parents and profs have long scoffed at this hobby, seeing it as a time-waster of the highest order, but new research suggests gaming might actually help college students make the grade.

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Earth is Beautiful

One Press Games

At this years REPLAY stand, I wanted to show off a fun one-press game. I've played such games before, like the one-press version of Frogger, which to be honest is not huge fun. The mini-game of duck racing in Shenmue, although pure luck, is fun.

A single press of a single switch rolls an adapted electronic die. The number that appears is the duck that is selected by an assistant taking charge of the extra controls and the race started (with a second press if desired). People had a lot of fun with it. There aren't enough bow-tie racing ducks in the world I decided.

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Sushi Cat

Sushi Cat! by Demeterr Chan. A cute blue round cat being held happily by chop-sticks, about to be dropped on some Sushi treats.

Sushi Cat is Pachinko, Peggle and a very hungry cat all rolled into one. Reviewed over at the Accessible GameBase, this is a great point and click game that doesn't require fast reactions (at least in the early levels I played). For a faster more action-packed version, try Sushi Cat 2. Both are fun and as cute as Uo Poko.


Remember Remember the 5th of November


Tekken 6

Just time for a last little bit of info on the SpecialEffect stand at REPLAY will be that Tekken 6 will be on show for one-switch or two-switch play. Brilliant thing about Tekken 6 is the practice areas, difficulty adjustment and the fact that two-player games can be set-up with just one or two buttons.

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One-Switch Pinball

Gottlieb Pinball made one-switch accessible. Equipment used: C-SID interface with DDR box, Able-Net Big-Red switch and Trabasack.

Gottlieb Pinball made one-switch accessible. Equipment used: C-SID interface (pictured) with DDR box, Able-Net Big-Red switch and Trabasack.

Won't deny it, I'm really looking forward to playing on some of the 50+ pinball machines up for play at REPLAY this weekend. I wasn't planning on running a pinball rig on the SpecialEffect stand, but I can for anyone who asks if they really want to, thanks to our new 4 into 1 box

It works with a switch used to activate both flippers and the plunger all in one, and should work on the vast majority of console pinball games. For much more on accessible pinball click on one of the pictures above.

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Press the Switch

"...remember it’s really important to give your student time to respond… that means waiting. How long you wait depends on the student. How long might it take for a student with complex needs to process what you are asking them to do? How long for them to work out what is required? Sit on your hands for a couple of minutes and see if the student responds".

Such good advice when supporting switch users from Ian Bean at SENICT, where you can read the rest of this post.




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