Le Bao Pao

Image of the record cover to Chemical Brother's Push The ButtonRNT Blog have recently posted links to two interesting accessible music projects. The French Bao Pao project and the S.W.I.T.C.H. USA project from Dr. Laz.

Would love to see the Bao Pao system of playing applied to the realistic sounds of The Skoog. The next step I guess.


ASCII GRIP V2 in stock

ASCII Grip V2 one hand Playstation controller. Also known as a SAMMY Grip V2.I have a single ASCII Grip V2 one hand controller newly in stock. This coveted rare controller works as standard on Playstation and Playstation 2 and on many other games consoles via joypad adapters. These include the Xbox 360, Gamecube, Dreamcast and as far as I can work out, the Playstation 3.

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AbilityNet GATE: Accessible Games

Black and White photo of Torii Gate of Itsukushima Jinjia (Itsukushima Shrine) located on Itsukushima Island (popularly known as Miyajima) in Japan - Pawel Maciejewski Click on Torii Gate above to take a tenuous link over to AbilityNet's GATE guide to Accessible Games. It's a very splendid start-up resource for those wishing to learn more about accessible gaming. It has some really good videos too including one of the original Star Trigon running on a switch adapted JAMMA rig.


The Changing Places Campaign

"Standard disabled toilets do not meet the needs of all people with a disability - including 40,000 people with profound and multiple learning disabilities [in the UK]. They need Changing Places toilets, with a hoist, changing bench and lots of space. Without them, people are forced to stay at home or to be changed on dirty toilet floors."


"Our Survey Says..."

"Many people profess that they wish to could have a say in the making and designing of video games. Yet rarely is the game industry interested in hearing from folks with disabilities. Instead, games are created by people who are not disabled and have no idea what the true needs of disabled gamers are. How would you like to be one of the people who actually have a say in how games are developed?"

See AbleGamers for the full run down or jump straight into the related disabled gamers survey.


Wii New Super Mario Bros - Accessibility Feature

New Super Mario Brothers - Wii. Accessible Demo Play Mode. Nintendo's "New Super Mario Brothers" for the Wii is due to feature a unique accessibility feature: 'Demo Play'. If part of the game gets too tough, activating this mode will see the game take over and play automatically. Once demo-play has seen you through the tough bit you were stuck on you can de-activate it and resume manual play.

It's a great idea, although I was dismayed to see that Nintendo have patented it. I don't like the idea of an accessibility feature being patented. Good stuff like this should be shared. It's like patenting a wheelchair ramp. That's just not right. Thank goodness no one ever patented the wheel!

Via: Richard Van Tol on the IGDA GASIG list and 1UP.


JoyPad Converters for Retro Consoles

Image of a SEGA Megadrive games controller adapter. Hong Kong's TotoTek have a large number of joypad converters on sale for classic games consoles. These include Megadrive (which also work on an Atari VCS), SEGA Saturn and others. These adapters allow you to play using most (not all) Playstation compatible controllers.

The benefits are in the huge variety of controllers that were made for the PSone and PS2, including one-handed controls and various switch interfaces. If you want one, get one whilst they're still around.

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One Switch Karate

Image of two martial artists, one blocking the other executing a flying kick in front of an ancient Pagoda.Graeme Singh has achived something pretty special with his latest one-switch game "Way of the Empty Hand 2". He has created a fun one-switch fighting game, and in so doing, proved that any arena fighting game can be adapted in a similar way. Sweet...

It's a fairly big download, but immediately justified when you hear the superb music and sound effects. This retro styled game made me smile broadly. Graeme hopes to add some future accessibility tweaks in the near future (making the easiest difficulty level much easier) and to add a two-player mode. I can't wait for that. I can't wait for someone to take this idea to the next stage and make it 3D. Now I'm thinking Tekken 7 with a one-switch option. Namco?! Pretty please?!

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Technical Problems

Image of a martial-arts super-hero called Afrodisiac punching an obstinate super-computer called Megapute. The One Switch Blog is having some slight technical issues. Normal service should resume shortly. In the meanwhile, here's some music and pages from the teletext service.


One Switch Sound Sample Player

Image of a Fairlight CMI - Pioneering sampling keyboard and sequencer. JoyMusic by AnyCom is a superb sound sample player which includes a one and two-switch playing mode. You can play MP3, WAV or WMA files in a variety of ways. Once set-up JoyMusic can be used to play pre-recorded music, perform music, play chapters of an audio-book, play sound effects for a drama production, drop samples in alongside a DJ's set and more.

You can get a free 30-day trail from AnyCom and then contact them direct to purchase a license. Highly recommended and freshly added to the OneSwitch Switch Accessible Music Area.


Hezi Gangina - Israeli PES Champion Interviewed

1: Would you please tell me a little more about yourself and of your first experiences playing video games?

"My name is Hezi Gangina and I'm 23 years old from Tel-Aviv, Israel. I was born with a disability in my right arm because my birth weight was pretty high (4.3 Kilo's) and the doctors had to do a "Caesarean section", but decided to do a regular birth that caused problems during birth and eventually forcing the doctors to pull me from my arm, which lead to paralysis in my right arm. After a lot of surgeries and about 12 years of physiotherapy I managed to get a bit of ability in my arm.

Ever since I remember myself, I'm very competitive person. Always doing a lot of sports such as soccer, swimming, horse riding, basketball, volleyball, Ping-Pong, bowling and more… but most I enjoyed virtual gaming.
I started playing video games since I was 4 years old on my 286 old computer, on the Megason and in the Arcade."

2: Are there any games that you have found difficult due to playing one-handed? If so, do you think game developers could do anything to make play more comfortable for you?

"Yes, usually FPS (first Person Shooter) are not easy for me to play (because of the use of keyboard and mouse parallelly) but I can still manage to play them.The only game I really cannot play (and really wish I could) is "Guitar Hero". I think that game developers should pay more attention for the disabled gamers needs because of the economic importance (the disabled gamers is a big market with a lot of business potential) and of course the moral importance (gaming for disabled people can motivate them to compete with "regular" people and to give them a fair chance)."

3. Would you please tell me a little more about your achievements playing Pro Evolution Soccer? What does it mean to you?

"To me, winning the Israeli P.E.S championship and to finish "top 16" in the European P.E.S championship was much more than just a "video game achievements", it was about changing the perception of the society about disabled people and I hope that after my story got a lot of the Israeli and the European media attention, it would make some change."

4. Are you aware of other disabled gamers achieving the heights that you have?

"Unfortunately, I did not hear about similar disabled gamers achievements but I'm sure they exist and I can't wait to hear about them."

5. What are your future hopes for video gaming - for yourself - and for other disabled gamers around the world?

"My future hopes for video gaming are that there will be more international video games competitions with accessible games for everyone so disabled gamers could play with non disabled gamers and then to win :)

As for myself, I'm desperately trying to find a sponsor for the basic needs of my future competitions. In conclusion, I wish everyone fun and accessible gaming!"

Many thanks to Hezi Gangina and best wishes finding sponsorship.

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Mind-Controlled Pinball

BBCi Mind Controlled Pinball
I've seen switch adapted pinball and dance mat adapted pinball before but never mind controlled pinball. The photo above shows a man playing using just his thoughts thanks to the Berlin Brain-Computer Interface and an adapted Adams Family pinball table.

You can view a number of related videos at the BBCi or alternatively click on the photo above for a quick to load vid. Apparently deliberate play is very possible, but there is up to a second delay between you trying to activate a flipper and it actually happening. Not quite there yet then... but getting closer.

Via: JustOneMoreGame and Arcade Heros

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Cup of Tea?

Image of a woman having a cup of tea with a life-sized cloth effigy of herself. Spanish art.


Videojuegos Accesibles: Porqué Y Cómo Hacerlos

Hand Catching A Bird - by Spanish Artist Joan Miro."Videojuegos accesibles, porqué y cómo hacerlos" which translates to "Accessible Videogames, why and how to develop them". Javier Mairena, a software developer with special interest in accessible videogames development, has written this fine article to reach out in the third most spoken language in the world.

I love receiving news of accessibility work from other parts of the world even when in a language I little understand. The desire for opportunities to play doesn't change around the world whatever the language.

Via: IGDA GASIG Mailing List. See more by clicking the "international" tag below.


Star Trigon - First Mainstream One Switch Game!

Star Trigon - If you are a supporter and player of one-switch games, prepare yourself for some very good news. Namco have just released a PC version of their cult coin-op Star Trigon WITH a deliberate one-switch accessibility mode. All menus and game play can be made accessible with the SPACE BAR alone. You can download and have a free play for 30 minutes. That's extremely nice!

It's also an absolute first from a main-stream game developer, unless you count Air Attack from 1979 for the Commodore Pet! Namco have been long term supporters of game accessibility and 'rehabilitainment' through their Hustle-Club in Japan. To my knowledge this is the first time that they have brought their accessibility work to the mainstream. Good on you Namco and long may you carry on!

The game itself is huge fun with really cheerful music and graphics. Highly recommended. AbleGamers review coming soon too.

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Special Effect

Access 10 - Special Effect mockup Gamebase web-site You may or may not know but Special Effect are looking for your support. Fund raising is an essential part. I've put myself up to do a bit with a 10km hobble/run. It would be lovely if you'd consider sponsoring me as I'm so close to my target.

Special Effect are also looking for people to help with their hope of creating a "The SpecialEffect Gamebase". They need help with this much needed project, so if you can, please, step forward.


SpecialEffect Game For Helen

SpecialEffect Roadshows

Jake Hughes' Adapted Adapted X-Arcade

Adapted X-Arcade Stick for Accessibility Switches. Above is a picture of Jake Hughes' twice adapted X-Arcade stick. It's quite a radical departure from the adapted X-Arcade I initially sent out about four years ago. Really impressed with what they have achieved. Jake is now having a new controller built from scratch by Geoff Harbach of LEPMIS. Very much looking forward to seeing that. Great slippers by the way!


Scott McKay Accessible Games

Scott McKay Switch Games Scott McKay, programmer of switch soccer, got in touch recently to let me know of some of his other work. There's his Retro Remakes Game for Helen entry, Carnival, alongside Switch Mini-Golf and an updated Switch Soccer now with sound effects and speed control.

Alongside this is a fun Spider Man themed head-tracker trainer and more. Keep up the good work, Scott.

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Non-Commercial Break

Leroy Vinnegar - Glass of WaterToo many G.A. blog posts alert. Click Leroy for a very nice downloadable break. I love the sounds of jazz-funk electric piano. Via: Franklin Mint Blog.


Forza 3: One Button Driving Assist?

Forza 3 - One Switch Accessible? E3 witnessed the announcement of a "one-button driving assist" mode for Turn 10's Forza Motorsport 3 on the Xbox 360. That. Is. Very. Good. News. Can't wait to see if it is what I hope it is: A current generation racing game that is one-switch playable and fun.

Part of Turn 10's Press release: It’s easy to go for a spin: “Forza Motorsport 3” redefines the racing genre. Simulation games can be too hard for some players. “Forza Motorsport 3” rises above the distinction between simulation and arcade games. Using a myriad of cutting-edge driving and gameplay assist such as auto-braking, gameplay rewind and auto-tuning, “Forza Motorsport 3” delivers an experience where everyone can have fun behind the wheel, regardless of your skill and dexterity. Whether you’re a newcomer or a seasoned racing game pro, “Forza Motorsport 3” caters to how you drive and evolves with you over time as your skills increase.

Many thanks to RetroRemakes twitter for the tip.

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Microsoft's New Controller: Project Natal

Project Natal. Hinted at three years ago, it looks like Microsoft are finally about to deliver an alternative and potentially more intuitive and accessible controller for the Xbox 360. E3 has seen Microsoft demonstrate a camera smart enough to pick up upon gestures, voice and facial expressions.

So what can developers do with it? And will they bother to consider gamers who can't make big sweeping movements? Nintendo got it wrong by offering no sensitivity adjustment. Will Microsoft get it right?

Update: Video below found via AbleGamers. Amazing Lionhead video demo bottom via the BBC.


"Destroy Centaur"

Image of pinball backglass from Bally's 1981 'Centaur'. Half-man/Half-Motorbike with Woman with fly-eyes in tight leather. Very Heavy Metal.Bally's Centaur pinball table amazed me as a kid as it sounded like nothing else on earth back in 1981/82. Thanks to Future Pinball and "light66" you can play a really close version of the original game less a few sound samples. For a much more accessible version, try downloading the one-switch version here.

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