US legislation requires new games' communication aspects to be accessible to those with disabilities


The start of 2019 brings about a new change involving future video game releases. In 2010, a law called the Communications and Video Visibility Act was passed in the United States which required media to be accessible to those of varying or disabled capabilities. Since then, the Electronic Software Association, (ESA), has appealed for a waiver that allowed video games to be exempt from this law. However, as of 2019, the waiver has expired, and all video games with development cycles starting in 2019, or pre-existing games with major updates in 2019 must adhere to the CVAA, lest they be fined by the FCC.

  • Games that enter development after this date must be fully compliant.
  • Games already in development after this date but released after it must be as compliant as possible, how far through development the game was at Dec 31st may be taken into account in case of a complaint.
  • Games released before this date that receive substantial updates after it must also be compliant.

Something to note, is that the CVAA does not force all games to cater or tailor their gameplay to those with disabilities, but instead it means that communications aspects within gaming must be accessible. Game chats will need to ensure certain things, with examples such as their in-game chat UI's being readable to those with eyesight issues, or that voice communication is easy to use if it's an option as an alternative to reading chatlogs, or gaming chats having a text-to-speech toggle. This law focuses on the social aspect of gaming, rather than gameplay.

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EmulateLife

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Good. I have autism. Hopefully they can dumb down plot twists and reduce complex storytelling into black and white categories like pokemon.

With all due respect, why not stick to games that fit your liking instead of trying to make all games be a certain way? There's tons of different games that appeal to tons of different people. Some of us like complex stories, why try to change that?

That would be like changing books to be in one category. It might make a small group happy but a larger group unhappy. Would you really want that?
 
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Xzi

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Hmmmmm....

Force in the guise of humanitarianism. When have I not seen this played out before?
Ohnoes, online chat in games/chat apps will be forced to add accessibility options like Windows has had for decades. Surely this means facism imminent! /s
 

smileyhead

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And how are they going to make voice chat accessible to hearing impaired? Voice recognition? That won't end well.
It works pretty well on WeChat. I’m guessing most developers will buy some sort of voice recognition software library.
 
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ThoD

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I admit it's not as bad as that other thread stated leaving out such an important note as it being only for the communication aspect, but then again there are limits to what you can implement without making the chat functions stupidly complex... Best choice would be a special optional patch to enable functions for disabled people without affecting how the game works for everyone else.
 

RedBlueGreen

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so maybe game text will be larger? There is no reason why game text has to be font size 5. The text has not increased in size with the resolution
Yeah I hate having to sit 2 metres away from my TV to read text despite having great eyesight. Honestly with this new regulation, I think we should be able to change the colours of both text and text boxes as well as adjust opacity, because small white text on a translucent grey or translucent black background is absolute hell to read.
 

Mythical

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I could appreciate a setting for people with certain disabilities or problems such as eyesight and whatnot (I've seen some games with colorblind mode) Seems nice and honestly unless I'm missing something not too big of a deal either
 
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ThoD

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Yeah I hate having to sit 2 metres away from my TV to read text despite having great eyesight. Honestly with this new regulation, I think we should be able to change the colours of both text and text boxes as well as adjust opacity, because small white text on a translucent grey or translucent black background is absolute hell to read.
I don't mind text in 99% of the games, but some games just take the piss with fonts, just look at the Total War games having fonts so tiny you can hardly read them even if you sit 5cm away from the screen and it's a crapton of text on top! An option to make fonts bigger wouldn't be a bad thing and some games already do that, which is pretty nice. If it's just additions like that here and there, I think it's fine.
 

JeepX87

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It will be probably GBATEMP: Safe Space Edition

Also add in-game cheats to make easier for people with disabilities to beat the game.

Just kidding!!! :rofl2::rofl2::rofl2:

Anyway, as Deaf gamer that relies on ASL to communicate, it would be interesting news, so it means they want to mandate on subtitles in all games.
 
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