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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Taleweaver

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This thread has made my day. Retroactively, even (I only read it now, even though it was already up when I woke up this morning).

I read the other thread and gisted from the few comments that actually brought some sources into it that it wasn't the doom and gloom that the OP assumed it was. And perhaps still assumes, because I certainly failed to convince him otherwise. :unsure:
 
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james50a

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Im pretty sure this law is a good thing. Fairly certain it mandates that it makes switch communication illegal going forward as the mike to phone to switch bullcrap is 100% not compliant
 
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This basically adds options so more people can access such services with less effort. Why would anyone be upset about this? This is great news. Think more "adding closed captioning" and "universal design" and less...whatever it is making you angry.
Well it's because it is government interference in the free market. There are several reasons that I'm upset by this:
  1. Video games have been a self-regulated industry for a long time now, and seeing government overstep their bounds yet again in the name of "charity" is saddening. If a business wants to expand the customer base, they would add these features on their own, and many already do. Plus, with it being required, most will just do the bare minimum to skirt around the law and it won't help anyone that much.
  2. A minor inconvenience at best for the large publishers, this will hurt indies who wish to include online features in their games. Just another barrier of entry favoring big business over small. Many indie games will now not include any online communication or any online features at all because they may not have the manpower, time, money, or legal counsel to ensure that they are following all regulations. This is similar to the way the ADA (Americans with Disabilities Act) hurts small businesses and provides a disincentive to competing with the big guys. If anyone's seen Penn & Teller: Bullshit!, they have an episode all about that which mirrors my thoughts on the subject.
  3. While I'm all for regulation that actually protects workers and consumers from shady business practices, this is not one of those. This is an attempt to make charity a compelled act, rather than an axtual charitable one. Hell, as we've seen with EA and the Belgian authorities, many of the large publishers may just find it more cost-effective to just pay the fines instead of implementing or removing features. So in reality, it's just government racketeering in the guise of good will towards man.
 
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Coto

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Don’t worry. Government will fix that text problem.
So you laughing at the government support of the disabled people? Even if they steal money, they are trying, and not promoting hate speech on a video game forum. (which makes no sense)

Can´t wait to see your kids ending up handicapped or impaired, I know you will be the first one pledging from support from the government or people.
 

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But the government isn't directly intervening? As far as I can tell, the most that will happen is a fine and it's only focussed on communication, so I can't see any issue here, to be honest.
Fine’s is not intervening, it doesn’t count.

So you laughing at the government support of the disabled people? Even if they steal money, they are trying, and not promoting hate speech on a video game forum. (which makes no sense)

Can´t wait to see your kids ending up handicapped or impaired, I know you will be the first one pledging from support from the government or people.
I have family members that are mentally retarded. So I already know what it’s like.
 

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A minor inconvenience at best for the large publishers, this will hurt indies who wish to include online features in their games. Just another barrier of entry favoring big business over small. Many indie games will now not include any online communication or any online features at all because they may not have the manpower, time, money, or legal counsel to ensure that they are following all regulations. This is similar to the way the ADA (Americans with Disabilities Act) hurts small businesses and provides a disincentive to competing with the big guys. If anyone's seen Penn & Teller: Bullshit!, they have an episode all about that which mirrors my thoughts on the subject.

Sorry, but you seem to be speaking out of your ass here.
How will it hurt indies? By standardising a practice of communication that better allows disabled gamers to communicate with others, all indie devs have to do is copy what the rest of the industry is doing, which won't be hard if literally everyone else is doing it. It won't require manpower if support is there at the foundations for more accessible communication.
It's like saying that ramps for wheelchair users are bad for small businesses because it costs money, it will only be a boon to businesses to implement a method to allow more customers into their stores etc.

Fine’s is not intervening, it doesn’t count.


I have family members that are mentally retarded. So I already know what it’s like.

Then what is the problem?
 
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But the government isn't directly intervening? As far as I can tell, the most that will happen is a fine and it's only focussed on communication, so I can't see any issue here, to be honest.
Yep, a fine that EA and friends will just pay and not actually implement anything. This only hurts studios that can't afford to pay the fines, nor afford to implement the features. Plus, a lot of games are starting to include accessibility features already. Why? Because they want to expand their customer base. The free market at work. There was no reason to make it a law. "If someone saws 'there ought to be a law,' there probably oughtn't" -Penn Jillette

So you laughing at the government support of the disabled people? Even if they steal money, they are trying, and not promoting hate speech on a video game forum. (which makes no sense)

Can´t wait to see your kids ending up handicapped or impaired, I know you will be the first one pledging from support from the government or people.
Lol "hate speech." Don't get me started on that one.
 
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TheDarkGreninja

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Yep, a fine that EA and friends will just pay and not actually implement anything. This only hurts studios that can't afford to pay the fines, nor afford to implement the features. Plus, a lot of games are starting to include accessibility features already. Why? Because they want to expand their customer base. The free market at work. There was no reason to make it a law. "If someone saws 'there ought to be a law,' there probably oughtn't" -Penn Jillette


Lol "hate speech." Don't get me started on that one.

Well you don't know what the fine is so how can you say that with confidence?
Furthermore, this law is already found in other forms of media and hasn't caused the catastrophic damage you claim it could cause to small businesses there.
Honestly, it looks to be more of an issue of wanting to be free of the government rather than pure logical thought of the issue.
 

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Sorry, but you seem to be speaking out of your ass here.
How will it hurt indies? By standardising a practice of communication that better allows disabled gamers to communicate with others, all indie devs have to do is copy what the rest of the industry is doing, which won't be hard if literally everyone else is doing it. It won't require manpower if support is there at the foundations for more accessible communication.
It's like saying that ramps for wheelchair users are bad for small businesses because it costs money, it will only be a boon to businesses to implement a method to allow more customers into their stores etc.



Then what is the problem?
Nothing actually I wasn’t criticizing the law.
 
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Sorry, but you seem to be speaking out of your ass here.
How will it hurt indies? By standardising a practice of communication that better allows disabled gamers to communicate with others, all indie devs have to do is copy what the rest of the industry is doing, which won't be hard if literally everyone else is doing it. It won't require manpower if support is there at the foundations for more accessible communication.
It's like saying that ramps for wheelchair users are bad for small businesses because it costs money, it will only be a boon to businesses to implement a method to allow more customers into their stores etc.



Then what is the problem?
You think the US Government is going to take the time to do that? How would they make any money from fines that way?
 
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