Tag Archives: dragon con

Disabled Gamers Among Us: A Look At Gaming Accessibility

AbleGamers Logo

AbleGamers Helps Those In Need.

Twenty percent of the video gaming market is alienated by most AAA titles out there. Twenty percent of the market is unable to play certain games; Not because of money, not because of lack of a console, but because of their accessibility. Twenty percent of gamers out there are disabled in some way.

Disability is anything that could prevent you from being accessible to doing something else. Inability to use a body part is fairly common, whether it’s use of a hand, legs, eyes, but even color blindness and Parkinson’s disease are other fairly common problems. Someone that wears glasses can even be considered disabled. A lot of these make several games out there very difficult for this twenty percent.

Everyone is susceptible to it, even later on in life, as aging can cause problems and disabilities. This is referred to as Temporarily Able Bodied, or TABs, as nearly everyone will eventually have a disability in life. Even minor inconveniences can occur earlier in life. For instance, I suffer from minor “tremors” in my hands that prevent me from playing most First Person Shooter Games on a normal keyboard and mouse. I have to use a controller to sustain my grip, as I have a problem double and triple clicking on a mouse.

I attended a panel on Disability in Gaming at DragonCon (in Atlanta, GA) a few weeks back with a great discussion on this issue. Mark Barlet, President of AbleGamers Foundation, was on the panel to discuss what they have been doing to help disabled gamers from a developer angle. Liz Prasad and Ben Jacobs from Tools For Life (at Georgia Tech) discussed the accommodations of proper tools and devices to help disabled gamers enjoy more games, where Laura Levy of Georgia Tech’s Psychology Department discussed the economics of need for this to be a pushed issue. Also in attendance, Chris Larson (Executive Producer at Hi-Rez Studios) and Daniel Fishman (Game Designer at Hi-Rez Studios) discussed their game SMITE and all of the accessibility features they bring to the table.

Mark (of AbleGamers) spends a lot of his time pairing up with developers of video games, discussing how the developers and publishers can maximize their market share among that percentage, as accessibility starts with software and development. Laura Levy agreed that there has to be a market need and necessity for disabled gamers to enjoy games the same way able-bodied gamers can, but it has to be cost effective. The problem with catering to disability is whether it’s profitable or not. If the developer loses money in the process, they would be less inclined to do it.

On the opposite end of the discussion, Chris and Daniel (of Hi-Rez Studios) discussed their newest game, SMITE. SMITE is a MOBA-style game, similar to League of Legends and DOTA 2, that utilizes deities and gods from all different religions and faiths; So, a match featuring Zeus, Odin, and Ra would be fairly common in this game. SMITE features several functions that would cater to disability and accessibility. Chris explained he is color blind, and this can prove to be disastrous in a game like SMITE. Allies’ tags are colored green, where enemies are colored red, which makes it very difficult to play for someone with this quirk. A special screen overlay is available for their game that caters to color blindness, boosting colors and hues, helping visibility.

Not all of their accessibility tools cater only to disability. Many gamers want the option to re-map their controls or change the heads-up display or mini-map. SMITE allows for these functions, and many games out there are following suit. Customization is key among all gamers, not just those with special needs. Closed Captioning is really for the hard of hearing and language barriers, but many gamers utilize it as subtitles for everyday use. SMITE, among many others, allow for a mini-map to become larger, or move to a different part of the HUD.

Liz and Ben (of Tools For Life) discussed devices and options that can be used to help aid against the problems disabled gamers face. Several manufacturers cater to this market, such as Evil Controllers and the Quad Stick. Sony’s own Playstation 4 now even gives accessibility options, such as remapping buttons. Left-handed mice are available from Razer and Corsair, for those that need it. They discussed other thoughts on virtual reality, such as the Oculus VR and even Google Cardboard. Haptics and feedback can be paired with touch screens and tablets, or even the virtual reality, to immerse both able-bodied and disabled gamers alike.

Mark Barlet, President of AbleGamers

Mark Barlet, President of AbleGamers

Mark’s non-profit company, AbleGamers Foundation, helps find other ways for disability and inconvenience. When asked what impact the AbleGamers has really had, Mark responded, “Before we came along, no one was really putting any real world work into these challenges. It was all academic and rarely made it out of the classroom.” He explained that he helps to make sure the structure and groundwork within games allows for more players with disabilities to enjoy these games just as much as an able-bodied person can. Mark also pointed out there is a 48-page document, written by AbleGamers, readily available for free, called Includification.com, that game developers can use to make their games more accessible (or as he puts it, “a total guide for how to include more people.”). “It is easy to include basic accessibility,” he added. “Just do good game design.”

Those with disability can request a grant to help them obtain tools to make their lives better from AbleGamers’ website, ablegamers.com, or if you are not approved for the grant, they can get you in contact with the manufacturers and vendors that sell the peripherals to help better your life. The AbleGamers Fellowship, on the other hand, is a new cause that awards two $10K scholarships to disabled gamers in need. The resources are there.

Twenty percent of the gaming market can’t play many of new games out there. That twenty percent would really like to, though. Accessibility is a need and necessity in this day and age that developers need to stop avoiding.

Help Identify a Person of Interest in Dragon Con Assault

635772389215854080-DragonConWe’re helping put out the alert that Atlanta Police need help identifying a man who may be connected to a sexual assault at Dragon Con which took place in Atlanta, Georgia this past weekend.

The assault occurred early Sunday “

Dragon Con

Their statement said:

(via 11 Alive and AJC)

Check Out this Army of X-Men Cosplay from DragonCon

Distractotron put together this video at DragonCon 2014, getting as many X-Men (and their villains) together in one place. Very cool stuff, and fantastic cosplay!

(via Kotaku)

Dragon Con 2014: U.S. Rep John Lewis and Andrew Aydin Discuss March

Congressman John Lewis was joined by his co-author Andrew Aydin to discuss their graphic novel March at this year’s Dragon Con. We’ve got audio of the panel which was moderated by Tom Heintjes, publisher of Hogan’s Alley magazine.

(via Cartoonician)

Zenescope’s 2014 Age of Darkness Tour

zenescopeZenescope Entertainment has announced its tour dates for the 2014 Age of Darkness TourAge of Darkness encompasses their Grimm Fairy Tales series which features classic characters and locales (Wonderland, Neverland, Oz, Robyn Hood, Red Riding Hood, Van Helsing, Captain Hook, the Dark Queen, etc) that have all been operating in their own titles. Age of Darkness books bring these characters together in a modern setting for a story that will have an impact the Zenescope titles across the board. The culmination will be in Grimm Fairy Tales #100. Let the countdown begin!

Wizard World Portland – Portland, OR – January 24th-26th
Amazing Arizona Comic Con – Phoenix, AZ – January 24th-26th
Wizard World New Orleans – New Orleans, LA – February 7th-9th
Wizard World Sacramento – Sacramento, CA – March 7th-9th
London Super Comic Con – London, England – March 15th-16th
Mega Con – Orlando, FL -March 21st-23rd
Emerald City Comic Con – Seattle, WA – March 28th -30th
Wizard World Louisville – Louisville, KY – March 28th-30th
Wizard World St. Louis- ST, Louis, MO – April 4th-6th
Marble City Comic Con – Knoxville, TN – April 11th-13th
Salt Lake Comic Con – Salt Lake City, UT – April 17th-19th
WonderCon – Anaheim, CA – April 18th-20th
C2E2 – Chicago, IL – April 25th-27th
Calgary Comic and Entertainment Expo – Calgary, AB – April 24th-27th
Wizard World Minneapolis – Minneapolis, MN – May 2nd-4th
Motor City Comic Con – Farmington Hills, MI – May 16th-18th
Indiana Pop Con – Indianapolis, IN – May 30th-June 1st
Wizard World Atlanta – Atlanta, GA – May 30th- June 1st
Phoenix Comic Con – Phoenix, AZ – June 5th-8th
Denver Comic Con – Denver, CO – June 13th-15th
Wizard World Philly – Philadelphia, PA – June 19th-22nd
Florida Super Con – Miami, FL – July 3rd-6th
San Diego Comic Con – San Diego, CA – July 23rd-27th
Boston Comic Con – Boston, MA – August 8th-10th
Wizard World Chicago – Chicago, IL – August 21st-24th
Fan Expo – Toronto, ON – August 28th-31st
Dragon Con – Atlanta, GA – August 29th-Sept. 1st
Wizard World Richmond – Richmond, VA – September 12th-14th
Cincy Comic Expo – Cincinnati, OH – September 19th-21st
Pittsburgh Comic Con – Pittsburg, PA – September 26th-28th
Wizard World Nashville – Nashville, TN – September 26th-28th
Alamo City Comic Con – San Antonio, TX – September 26th-28th
Wizard World Austin – Austin, TX – October 2nd – 4th
New York Comic Con – New York, NY – October 9th-12th
Wizard World Ohio – Cincinnati, OH – October 31st-November 2nd
Comikaze – Los Angeles, CA – October 31st- November 2nd
Wizard World Tulsa – Tulsa, OK – November 7th-9th
Wizard World Reno – Reno, NV – November 21st -23rd

The company will be exhibiting several exclusives, many artist signings and plenty of giveaways and coupons. The company also screens the Grimm Fairy Tales Animated pilot and holds a panel at many of these conventions.

Around the Tubes

How was everyone’s Labor Day? Any new comics tomorrow you’re interested in?

Around the Tubes

Cnet – Rounding up CNET’s pictorial coverage of Dragon Con – There was a hell of a lot of coverage of this convention this year, it trended on Yahoo.

People – Cleveland Man Pays for Daughter’s Wedding By Selling Spider-Man Comic – Might need to go this route. What’s a “Death of Superman” bagged worth?

The Mary Sue – Bryan Cranston Shoots Down Those Pesky Lex Luthor Rumors – And there goes the last credibility of a few sites.

Bleeding Cool – Create Your Own X-Wedding With George Perez, Ming Doyle, Tim Seeley, Nick Bradshaw, Danica Brine, Paul Ryan, Bill Wilingham and Jack Purcell – So cool.

Around the Tubes Reviews

Fear.net – The American Vampire Anthology #1

Bleeding Cool – The American Vampire Anthology #1

Fandom Post – BPRD 1948

SciFi Now – Young Avengers Vol 1: Style

Aspen Heads to Dragon Con 2013 With an Aquarium Beach Party

In celebration of their tenth anniversary and Fathom’s 15th Anniversary, Aspen Comics in association with Dragon Con 2013 will be hosting an Aspen Comics Beach Party at the landmark Georgia Aquarium on Saturday, August 31st. Featuring DJ Spider, an Aspen-themed costume contest, and a special live dive with the whale sharks by the creators behind Fathom, Soulfire and other notable Aspen hits, this is a one-of-a-kind night to commemorate ten years of Aspen Comics at Dragon Con.

Aspen creators Frank Mastromauro, Peter Steigerwald, Siya Oum, Alex Konat and Jordan Gunderson will be appearing at the Aspen Comics Booth in Artist’s Alley as well as the Aspen Comics Beach Party, and offering new Dragon Con 2013 exclusives as well as free sketches and live cosplay photo ops throughout the weekend.

In addition to the special Beach Party event and booth appearances, the publisher will be offering three new exclusive books for the show, beginning with the world premiere of their seventh “10 for 10” title, Overtaken, with a special issue one Dragon Con 2013 cover by Siya Oum, limited to 200 copies. Also, Aspen will be offering an All New Fathom #2 Dragon Con 2013 exclusive cover by Alex Konat and Peter Steigerwald, limited to 200 copies.

Aspen will also be offering the latest Aspen Tour Print 2013 Anniversary Edition by Michael Turner and Peter Steigerwald, limited to 75 editions, as well as a new lineup of their industry-leading art prints.

The Aspen Comics Booth in Artist’s Alley will also be featuring free live cosplay photo ops with cosplayers Jenifer Ann and Heather 1337 throughout the weekend as they will be appearing as Aspen’s popular heroines, Soulfire’s Grace and Fathom’s Kiani

Aspen Beach Party Costume Contest Contestants will be judged and awarded Aspen Comics prize packages including items such as original art, statues, signed comics and rare exclusives in the following contests:

Categories specific to Aspen Comics:

–Judge’s Special Grand Prize

–Best Aspen Comics Character themed costume/s.

–Best Fathom themed costume/s.

–Best Michael Turner Cover Recreation costume/s.

Categories not specific to Aspen Comics:

–Best Male Costume.

–Best Female Costume.

–Best Kids Costume.

–Best Boys 13+ costume.

–Best Girls 13+ costume.

AllNew_FATHOM-02d-Konat-DragonCon_1 Grace-Cosplay OVERTAKEN-01f_Oum-DragonCon_1

Aspen Heads to Dragon Con 2013 with an Aquarium Beach Party

10 for 10 LOGO slideIn celebration of their tenth anniversary and Fathom’s 15th Anniversary, Aspen Comics in association with Dragon Con 2013 will be hosting an Aspen Comics Beach Party at the landmark Georgia Aquarium on Saturday, August 31st. Featuring DJ Spider, an Aspen-themed costume contest, and a special live dive with the whale sharks by the creators behind Fathom, Soulfire and other notable Aspen hits, this is a one-of-a-kind night to commemorate ten years of Aspen Comics at Dragon Con.

Aspen creators Frank Mastromauro, Peter Steigerwald, Siya Oum, Alex Konat and Jordan Gunderson will be appearing at the Aspen Comics table in Artist’s Alley as well as the Aspen Comics Beach Party, and offering new Dragon Con 2013 exclusives as well as free sketches and live cosplay photo ops throughout the weekend.

In addition to the special Beach Party event and booth appearances, the publisher will be offering three new exclusive books for the show, beginning with the world premiere of their seventh “10 for 10” title, Overtaken, with a special issue one Dragon Con 2013 cover by Siya Oum, limited to 200 copies. Also, Aspen will be offering an All New Fathom #2 Dragon Con 2013 exclusive cover by Alex Konat and Peter Steigerwald, limited to 200 copies, as well as a BubbleGun #3 Dragon Con 2013 cover by Paolo Pantalena and Peter Steigerwald, limited to 200 copies.

Aspen will also be offering the latest Aspen Tour Print 2013 Anniversary Edition by Michael Turner and Peter Steigerwald, limited to 75 editions, as well as a new lineup of their industry-leading art prints.

Aspen Beach Party Costume Contest Contestants will be judged and awarded Aspen Comics prize packages including items such as original art, statues, signed comics and rare exclusives in the following contests:

Categories specific to Aspen Comics:

  • Judge’s Special Grand Prize
  • Best Aspen Comics Character themed costume/s.
  • Best Fathom themed costume/s.
  • Best Michael Turner Cover Recreation costume/s.

Categories not specific to Aspen Comics:

  • Best Male Costume.
  • Best Female Costume.
  • Best Kids Costume.
  • Best Boys 13+ costume.
  • Best Girls 13+ costume.

Around the Tubes

Tomorrow is new comic book day! What’s everyone getting?

Around the Tubes

MTV Geek – Op-Ed: Why The Archaia/Boom Merger Might Work Out Well For EveryoneIt’s a good thing folks.

CBR – Dan Vado Discusses the Future of SLG Publishing A good read and great company to support.

Spinoff Online – Deadpool is ‘Like the Worst Relationship I’ve Ever Had,’ Says Ryan ReynoldsI want this movie with Reynolds!!!

Stash My Comics – Geek Cinema: Confessions of a Terrible Critic An interesting a funny read.

Deadline – Lakeshore Acquires Movie Rights To Graphic Novel ‘The Sword’I’m waiting for the complete bottom of the barrel to be optioned.

The Beat – Dragon*Con officially splits with accused molester Ed Kramer — UPDATED About time.

 

Around the Tubes Reviews

CBR – Earth 2 #14

Superman Helps Batman Propose to Batgirl

Vodpod videos no longer available.

Actor Dean Cain who infamously played Superman on Lois & Clark: The New Adventures of Superman helped cosplayer Ruby Rinekso propose to his girlfriend Jennifer Haviland at Dragon*Con during the DC Comics Characters Photo Shoot. Rineski was going to be dressed as 19060s Batman while Haviland would be cosplaying Batgirl from the same series. Watch and smile.

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