Beat the Beat Rhythm Paradise

The great video from Gav Tan at SpecialEffect is of the Wii game Beat the Beat Rhythm Paradise for the Wii. With an adapted Wii remote this can be played with one or two-switches providing you have lightening fast reactions.

Slightly easier one-switch playable rhythm games from the past include Um Jammer Lammy on easy mode, and most Konami Dancing Stage (aka DDR) games with a suitably adapted controller.

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Using Switches Guide

Trabasack Curve with additional Media Mount and speaking switch.

Duncan Edwards of the excellent Trabasack company has recently produced a free "Using Switches: An Introduction to Assistive Switch Technology" guide.

It's a great starting point for people who are new to switches, and highly recommended. Pick it up here.

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I absolutely love the Wii driving game solution above, created by Frank McGillan of This is the first time I have seen such a method for giving access to motion-control only games. A long standing problem for many.

The Wii remote is mounted onto a pivot point, which I'm guessing is the turning mechanism from a standard Remote Controlled vehicle. This presently gives control over a single axis of movement, which suits driving games very well.

Additional access is given to two buttons via surface mounted actuators, which I've only seen done before with a rare GameBoy Advance adapter (see page 6 of this article).

This is a brilliant solution, and offers up a number of exciting future possibilities... Could two pivot points be put in place to give control over the likes of PS3 Flower on a Six-Axis controlled game (see PS3 Flower around the 2:55 mark)? Could the actuator power be ramped up and used on public push-button devices (e.g. pinball machines, fruit machines, bank machines and so on)?

Link via MERU'S August 2012 Friend's Update. Added to the Accessible Gaming Shop.

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Call for Open Letters to the Gaming Industry

An Open Letter To The Industry, with classic game characters in the back ground.

"The AbleGamers Foundation is calling for open letters to the gaming industry about how important game accessibility is to you. These letters will be included in an upcoming AbleGamers project. Please remember, these letters are either personal pleas/reasoning OR personal stories underscoring why accessible gaming matters to you or someone you care for.

Email entries to no later then 11:59 EST Aug 31, 2012." - Via Steve Spohn on the IGDA GASIG mailing list.


Finding a Voice (1982)

Above is another fascinating historical AAC video, cribbed from communication pioneer John Eulenberg's Vocaman YouTube channel.

The story is narrated by Dick Boydell, a British computer scientist who has Cerebral Palsy. He talks of his past, and of the joy an adapted train-set brought him as a child. He communicates in the main using a Possum type-writer using his feet. In his trip to the Artificial Language Lab at Michigan State University, he gets a taste of the future to come during a range of meetings, but also of the frustrations of 1982 technology.

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AAC in 1974 and 1982

Two fascinating AAC (Augmentative and alternative communication) videos from nearly 30 and 40 years ago.

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