I was recently thinking about how close Nintendo have come to making computer games accessable to those of us who currently find it difficult to find accessable games that keep our interest. Meaning - of course - those of us with vision problems. What prompted my musings on this subject was the Nintendo Wii (hence the title of this blog post).
I'm not sure how things technically work, but the Wii mimics your actions when you hold the special controler, allowing you to interact with the game. There's a certain amount of button pushing involved, but most of this is for menu navigation. And that's where the accessability for the blind becomes an issue. Not because of the buttons, but because of the menus. It's easy to remember which button is which - it has to be done for keyboards and TV remotes - and if you can't remember then there's always the option of bumpons or some sort of braille label. But the menus are the issue. Obviously, to navigate the menus and know what you have highlighted you need to be able to read the text.
But I know what they need to do to stop this being an issue... They need to develope some sort of in-game screen reader. Sort of like a game console version of my Jaws programme (though, cheaper would be preferable). Nothing fancy. Just something that reads out what you've highlighted on the menu. Sort of like how some racing games will speak the "3, 2, 1, Go!" thing when it comes up on the screen.
So, now all we need to do is find out how you go about getting in touch with Nintendo (or even some other computer manufacturer) so we can tell them what it is they need to do for their next games console. Like I said, Nintendo are half way there with the Wii.