Research Summary

To summarise my research, I have found that most deaf people seem to be isolated from society, communicate primary via text methods, such as SMS or e-mail, they have a preference to older games due to their lesser focus on audio and larger focus on visual aspects of the games, and that they are usually upset or frustrated that many modern games don’t have accessibility for deaf people. I also found that most obvious way of making a game more accessible to a deaf audience is through subtitles, closed captions and subliminal cues, as the most important things that seem to be missed in a game can be rectified through these. Subtitles can very easily help a deaf person follow a games plot or storyline, as well as help to track objectives, inventory and much more. When using subtitles, the text used should be in a readable font with very clear and simple text formatting, with a high contrast between the text itself and the background. White text with a black border seems to fit on all backgrounds, and is relatively easy to read. However, the text colour may need to be changed to help identify the speakers, as the speaker will need to be identified in most dialogue, to help identify the context and the mood of the scene. Visual indication should also be used for communication in games outside of story and dialogue, such as when the game needs to point out a path or an objective, or players need to talk to each other. Objectives should be very clearly highlighted and important locations should be marked clearly. In the case of a multiplayer game, a text chat should be provided. Any audio cue that is included in the game should be accompanied by a visual cue of some sort, such as a red tint for taking damage or a screen shake when a trap is triggered. Another thing that should be easily identified visually is effects, whether they are positive or negative, such as a flame for something that is burning or a green tint for poison. Another thing that I found in a game that I would like to apply to my project is the enhancement of the game through visual effects, such as a fade out effect when a battle starts, as they are helpful to the experience, even if they aren’t necessary. I also found that when dialogue is too long, it can make me lose interest in a game due to the speed of reading vs the speed of listening to dialogue, so while I should apply subtitles where there is dialogue, I should try to keep the dialogue itself to a minimum.