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FCC Grants ESA CVAA Waiver Extension

The Federal Communications Commission has issued the waiver extension that was recently requested by the Entertainment Software Association to postpone a requirement that videogames comply with accessibility requirements in the United States mandated by the 21st Century Communications and Video Accessibility Act (thanks Gamasutra). This is the third such extension, and is said to be the final pass on these requirements. Word is:

By this Order, the Consumer and Governmental Affairs Bureau (CGB or Bureau) of the Federal Communications Commission (FCC or Commission) grants to the Entertainment Software Association (ESA) a one-year extension of its current waiver of the Commission’s accessibility requirements for advanced communications services (ACS) and equipment for video game software.

This class waiver will expire December 31, 2018, and is conditioned on ESA’s submission of a mid-year progress report to the Bureau on July 2, 2018.

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5. Re: FCC Grants ESA CVAA Waiver Extension Dec 28, 2017, 09:26 Prez
 
I'm all for everyday quality of life activities like riding the bus, going to the grocery store, using the restroom, and using an atm having government-mandated accessibility requirements. But I can't get behind this being forced into the gaming industry which is a decidedly non-critical leisure activity. Personally I'd suggest the path that a lot of modern videogame reviewers take in giving shout-outs to developers for adding accessibility enhancements to their games as kind of a reward for good behavior. This should become a standard review item just like framerate and graphics in all reviews; it seems like a far less intrusive and draconian step than government mandates.  
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4. Re: FCC Grants ESA CVAA Waiver Extension Dec 28, 2017, 03:37 eRe4s3r
 
Cutter wrote on Dec 27, 2017, 20:36:
As for the blind I don't understand how or why they'd want to play the majority of games anyway.
Majority of games? That's a broad hazy definition just like "blind" can mean many things, legally blind people are not 100% blind usually, most they can still see contrasts, as long as games have audio queues for everything important and high contrast they can play the games, and yes, that is also accessibility

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XwPveJ53ces

Racing games per definition would be a great fit for blind people. Just like any other game with high contrasts and not a lot of twitchy reactions tied to reading something. (QTE's are probably a killer argument, although with audio queues tied to specific keys, probably not even that)

This comment was edited on Dec 28, 2017, 03:54.
 
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3. Re: FCC Grants ESA CVAA Waiver Extension Dec 28, 2017, 03:22 jdreyer
 
Cutter wrote on Dec 27, 2017, 20:36:
Normally I'm all for accessibility but there has to be common sense and limits. If creating accessible games was profitable they'd have done it by now. I would suspect that even without a feasibility study it simply has to be a money losing situation. As it applies to the deaf, most games have subtitles anyway. As for the blind I don't understand how or why they'd want to play the majority of games anyway.

Pretty sure that adding accessibility is always a money losing situation: ramps into buildings, handicap restroom stalls, push button doors, etc. We have regulations to make things easier for those less fortunate because it's the right thing to do, and as Western nations we can afford it.

It's going to be the same for games. Just like with other accessibility regulations: businesses under a certain size will be exempt, as it will be too much of a financial burden. However, there's no reason for EA, Actiblizz, or Ubi being exempt from these.
 
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2. Re: FCC Grants ESA CVAA Waiver Extension Dec 27, 2017, 20:36 Cutter
 
Normally I'm all for accessibility but there has to be common sense and limits. If creating accessible games was profitable they'd have done it by now. I would suspect that even without a feasibility study it simply has to be a money losing situation. As it applies to the deaf, most games have subtitles anyway. As for the blind I don't understand how or why they'd want to play the majority of games anyway.
 
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1. Re: FCC Grants ESA CVAA Waiver Extension Dec 27, 2017, 20:24 Kxmode
 
Or... businesses, who specialize in porting video games to ACA-compliant devices, can contract with businesses to offer these services; heavily subsidized by the federal government.  
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