Disabled Gamer Sues Sony

November 10, 2009 -

A disabled, visually-impaired gamer has filed suit against Sony Corporation of America, Sony Computer Entertainment America and Sony Online Entertainment claiming that the defendants are denying people with disabilities equal access to their goods and services.

The suit was filed by plaintiff Alexander Stern on October 23 in the U.S. District Court for the Central District of California. Stern seeks to “put an end to systemic civil rights violations” allegedly perpetrated by the defendants.

Stern claims to have sent both physical and electronic mail to officials at Sony requesting “minor modifications” that would remove the barrier to gaming for disabled people. In the complaint, Stern says that a Sony representative told him that “Sony would not offer any modifications whatsoever for persons with disabilities.”

Among other actions, Stern is seeking an injunction to prohibit Sony from violating the Americans with Disabilities Act, a declaration that Sony owns, operates and maintains equipment that discriminates against the disabled, unspecified damages and to have his lawyer’s fees and expenses paid for.

The plaintiff added in the complaint that games such as World of Warcraft do support access by disabled and/or visually impaired people by “providing visual cues through several simple third-party modifications.” Stern notes that other accessibility features are available and have been implemented by “companies whose resources pale in comparison with Sony’s.”

The suit also names “Does 1 through 10,” as the plaintiff “does not presently know the true names and capacities of the defendants.”


|Via GameSpot|


Comments

Re: Disabled Gamer Sues Sony

Yes, it's "their house", and they can make whatever choices they wish. 

That's simply not the case. Just as the Civil Rights Act forbids those who own and operate public accommodations (hotels, restaurants, department stores, taxicabs, etc.) from discriminating on the basis of race, so too does the Americans with Disabilities Act forbid those who own and operate public accommodations from discriminating on the basis of a disability. Just because it's your International House of Pancakes doesn't mean that you're free to refuse to serve your pancakes to either Asians or the deaf. Nor does it mean that you're free to refuse to make your restrooms accessible to the wheelchair-bound. Those aren't choices you get to make.

Re: Disabled Gamer Sues Sony

I would have to dispute under "within reason".  A bathroom is a set facility.  It serves the business much better to provide a design within the already existing facility as opposed to building a seperate facility for those who would need a different form of access, even in part, to other users.

However, another group of analogies apply to situations I've been faced with.

Being nearsighted, even at my best, I'm unable to see the overhead menu boards in fast food restaurants.  Assuming that I'm unable to access a PC with internet to access menu choices with current specials, should I be able to sue the restaurant/franchise/fast food industry because they don't provide either handheld menus with large print or a computerized menu on the counter (as has been tested in some locations I believe)?  Yeah, I can, and have, asked the person behind the counter to tell me what they have, or what's on special.  And I explain that I'm nearsighted.  I even bought a hunting monocular (hey, it looked cool!) about 20 years ago, and still have it, just so I could carry it with me for such occassions.  The first time I used it at Burger King, I drew a few snickers.  I still went through with my order, but I haven't used it in that way but maybe 2 or 3 times more since.

And how about retailers who place merchandise on the walls behind counters or in locked glass cases?  Should I be able to sue any number of levels of retail businesses because I can't see well at that distance, even writing a foot or two away behind a glass window?  I've asked employees of the business to tell me what games they have in the glass container or movies behind the counter (some drug stores like CVS used to put the newest movies on the wall behind the counter, but they've changed their design recently).  And going to a pawn shop to buy some old cheap DVDs, either I'd get lucky and have a good employee whould bring out the box of DVDs from the glass counter or read the titles to me. 

Still, just how far is "within reason"?  And WHO'S "reason"?

Nightwng2000

NW2K Software

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Nightwng2000 is now admin to the group "Parents For Education, Not Legislation" on MySpace as http://groups.myspace.com/pfenl

Nightwng2000 NW2K Software http://www.facebook.com/nightwing2000 Nightwng2000 is now admin to the group "Parents For Education, Not Legislation" on MySpace as http://groups.myspace.com/pfenl

Re: Disabled Gamer Sues Sony

I agree - and have already stated above - that an unreasonable accommodation shouldn't be required under the ADA. In pure economic terms, there certainly comes a point at which whatever hardship the disabled may suffer and is alleviated by requiring that they be accommodated results in more hardship being placed on the accommodator than the alleviation is worth. Where does this point exist in any given case? I can't tell. But there's always a federal judge who can. And that's precisely towards whom Mr. Stern looks for some clarification.  

Re: Disabled Gamer Sues Sony

"How will this suit affect Sony's PR? "

Probably nowhere near as badly as how they handled Star Wars Galaxies. That was important to people, this isn't.

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-------------------------------------------------- I LIKE the fence. I get 2 groups to laugh at then.

Re: Disabled Gamer Sues Sony

No, it may not be important to YOU or ME, but to some, it may be important.  How important and to how many would be the deciding factor.

Nightwng2000

NW2K Software

http://www.facebook.com/nightwing2000

Nightwng2000 is now admin to the group "Parents For Education, Not Legislation" on MySpace as http://groups.myspace.com/pfenl

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Re: Disabled Gamer Sues Sony

 [T]here's already precedence that online world's are NOT public places.

Are you sure that those precedents apply to "public accomodations" as that term is used by the ADA? Or are you thinking "public forums" as that term is used in First Amendment jurisprudence?

And merely having a "medical condition" such as a "skin disorder" isn't what the ADA comtemplates when it speaks of a "disability." Your comparison is entirely misplaced. 

Re: Disabled Gamer Sues Sony

" Sony owns, operates and maintains equipment that discriminates against the disabled,"

Who gives a fuck? You do not need this equipment, unless you actually work at Sony or a game developer you will never be required to operate this equipment for your job. Give me one good reason why luxury items should be required to be handicapped accesible.

And before someone says anything let me make something clear. I'm not against cripples being able to play games, I'm against them suing companies that don't make their systems handicapped friendly and pretending some right of theirs has been violated.

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Debates are like merry go rounds. Two people take their positions then they go through the same points over and over and over again. Then when it's over they have the same positions they started in.

---------------------------------------------------- Debates are like merry go rounds. Two people take their positions then they go through the same points over and over and over again. Then when it's over they have the same positions they started in.

Re: Disabled Gamer Sues Sony

Dude get a bigger monitor then. I mean WTF, you can't expect them to 'WOW-ize' every game on the market.

Re: Disabled Gamer Sues Sony

If the plaintiff's functionally blind, what difference would monitor size make to them? A Times Square-sized Jumbotron wouldn't help them see any better, would it? No, it wouldn't. No more than wearing a Harvard College sweat-shirt will help the mentally retarded in forming a coherent and cogent comment for posting to GamePolitics.

Re: Disabled Gamer Sues Sony

Because equality is a principle upon which, at least in theory, America is founded. And, resulting, there is always something abhorrent to that principle in allowing some access to what you call a luxury item while not allowing all others equal access to that same luxury item. It's the same principle upon which it was determined that to allow whites to eat at a cafeteria counter while forbidding other classes to do so was simply un-American. As are all other forms of unreasonable discrimination in granting access to public accommodations un-American.

Re: Disabled Gamer Sues Sony

"There is always something abhorrent to that principle in allowing some access to what you call a luxury item while not allowing all others equal access to that same luxury item."

They are allowing equal acsess, you can have any disability and they will still sell it to you at the same price. The matter here is whether or not you are physically able to use the product.

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Debates are like merry go rounds. Two people take their positions then they go through the same points over and over and over again. Then when it's over they have the same positions they started in.

---------------------------------------------------- Debates are like merry go rounds. Two people take their positions then they go through the same points over and over and over again. Then when it's over they have the same positions they started in.

Re: Disabled Gamer Sues Sony

Being sold a product at the same price as it is sold to others is not the equal access contemplated by the ADA. If it was, then a restaurant owner-operator wouldn't be required to put in a wheelchair ramp as long they were selling their food to the physically disabled and wheelchair-bound at the same price as they were selling it to everyone else. The ADA requires that the ramp be put in so that the physically disabled and wheelchair-bound have as equal an opportunity as everyone else to avail themselves of the food that's being offered for sale by the restaurant and if it takes the owner-operator of the restaurant putting in a ramp for them to do so, then that's what the ADA requires. Not some meaningless bullshit requirement of equal pricing. What good does it do me to know that once I get inside, I can buy a meal at the same price everyone else buys it, if the entrance doorway's too narrow for me to get my wheelchair-bound ass inside?

Re: Disabled Gamer Sues Sony

Unfortunatly, Ameria also has a strong 'blame the victim' meme too.  We have a long history of resenting people who do not quietly 'know their place' and get rather venmous to lessor people who dare to not be happy with their lot.  And as this conversation has shown, some of the nastiest comments come from people who are in a similiar but not as severe situation.   After all, if THEY do not need XYZ, then other people should not either, because being like them, they simply know.  (you esp see this in things like mental dissease or situational poverty... 'I got over this, so all cases must be like mine and thus anyone else who did not, well, it must be their fault'.)

Re: Disabled Gamer Sues Sony

There is no victim here, he cannot use the product that he was not forced to obtain. I'd sympathize if he thought he could us it and wanted a refund but he's trying to force Sony's hand.

---------------------------------------------------- Debates are like merry go rounds. Two people take their positions then they go through the same points over and over and over again. Then when it's over they have the same positions they started in.

---------------------------------------------------- Debates are like merry go rounds. Two people take their positions then they go through the same points over and over and over again. Then when it's over they have the same positions they started in.

Re: Disabled Gamer Sues Sony

I agree, this is practically the same as me buying a PC game only to find I can't run it because my PC isn't up to spec. Then suing them.

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I LIKE the fence. I get 2 groups to laugh at then.

-------------------------------------------------- I LIKE the fence. I get 2 groups to laugh at then.

Re: Disabled Gamer Sues Sony

No, this is far different - no one is saying "he cannot play the game"... He's expecting changes to be made that will impact the whole player base because of his specific issue.

What about recreational plane flying? should he be allowed to do that also? Or maybe 'recreational' driving?

Sometimes - there are just limitations in life. I'm 'disabled' too, but I don't go around crying like a baby because I think various sports should be changed because I'm not able to participate.

So.. ok, maybe I should sue the local softball league because I think I have to get to the bases in softball too quickly and it's 'infringing' on my rights. So we'll make the game stupid for everyone because I want to piss and moan like a spoiled little brat.

I can't move as quickly as others due to some issues I have - doesn't mean I should screw things up for everyone else. The rights of people to play a game like it was intended is just as important.

Or maybe I should enter a marathon and sue to put a .5 MPH 'speed limit' on jogging so I can 'compete'. WTF?

Re: Disabled Gamer Sues Sony

If I understand the technical requests being made, they do not exactly effect the 'whole player base' any more then adding brail to an elevator somehow makes it less of an elevator to everyone else.

Realisticly, there is little profit to be made in supporting the needs of a small group of customers.  If there were not laws like the ADA, there would be little to no accomidation anywhere for the handicapped.  And while these little changes have minimal impact on most people, they make HUGE quality of life differnces to the people the do effect.

Re: Disabled Gamer Sues Sony

From what I can see, the RMT auction site isn't actually run by Sony, it is run by a company called Live Gamer, inc.  It may be that Sony wasn't going to make any changes to accomodate disable users because they don't actually have the ability (or responsibility) to make those changes.

Re: Disabled Gamer Sues Sony

If Live Gamer is subcontracted by or an agent of Sony, then Sony has merely to tell Live Gamer how to run the auction site.

Re: Disabled Gamer Sues Sony

I am not really certain.  They claim several companies as "clients", so I don't know exactly what the legal relationship there is.  It also appears to be an action site remniscent of ebay, where items are on the block for hours or days, and the bidders have to refresh the page in order to receive updates, so I don't know if alert sounds would really be all that helpful.

Re: Disabled Gamer Sues Sony

I think Sony should make it handicapped capable for people that are handicapped or disabled. They are considered gamers too! :)

 

 

"It's better to be hated for who you are, then be loved for who you are not." - Montgomery Gentry

"It's better to be hated for who you are, then be loved for who you are not." - Montgomery Gentry

Re: Disabled Gamer Sues Sony

Yeah, maybe they should make like Nintendo and develop games that play themselves.

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I LIKE the fence. I get 2 groups to laugh at then.

-------------------------------------------------- I LIKE the fence. I get 2 groups to laugh at then.

Re: Disabled Gamer Sues Sony

So if this ends in the plantiff's favour, does that mean discriptive audio will be mandatory for all TV shows/movies instead of optional? Also, I belive Sony has a valid case (I can't believe I just said that) in not allowing modifications, considering that's one of the primary ways of cheating.

This feels akin to asking in Canada that all shows have the option of subtitles in the oposite official language then they are presented in.

Re: Disabled Gamer Sues Sony

No.  TV is not a public accomodation space the way he's claiming a piece of virtual real estate is, whether he can see it or not.  Likewise, a blind person can get in to a movie theater just fine (i.e. he has access to the movie).

I wonder if this will be the key to Sony's counter argument.  The plaintiff still has access to their virtual world, but he can't use that virtual world the way others do.  If a blind person goes to a movie, he can only hear the movie -- he's not guaranteed that he can see the movie due to the ADA.  (As an aside, there's a blind guy in my area that reviews movies on a local radio program -- he's actually rather hilarious.)

I don't know how the ADA will react in conjunction with the "virtual world needs to be fully accessible to the blind" and the "loss of commerce and income" argument.

I should mention that I've always believed that the ADA is a very nice and well-intentioned law, but it's also poorly worded and is open to abuses.

Re: Disabled Gamer Sues Sony

@Nightwing2000: I don't think you get why this lawsuit is just another "only in America" lawsuit.

Regardless of how well Sony makes the PS1, PS2, PS3, PSP, PSPGo, etc, what good is it going to do the accuser when the software (ie. the games) doesn't support visually impaired people?

I don't see very many console games that allow me to increase the font size of text or have any other visual cues. On the contrary because games nowadays are designed for HD tv's, sometimes reading the font can be difficult even for people with good eye sight if you have a SD tv. You don't see them suing Sony, do you?

Re: Disabled Gamer Sues Sony

As I say, the problem with console systems and games is that they are static.  Every effort is made to prevent 3rd party software and options from being made available.  A PC is different in that it is solely the software that blocks 3rd party options and software.

I'm not sure what precisely the problem he is having with the Auction system as I don't participate in the auctions.  Text size perhaps?

And, yes, there is a greater limitation on the Visual options available on console games.  While some options such as Brightness and Gamma do make a difference to some, PC options such as resolution, larger font, even color correction for red/green are usually unavailable to console gamers.  Usually, the TV/monitor itself has more options than what is available in the console game.  But it still doesn't affect things such as Text font size.

I gotta say, if he turned it into a Class Action suit, I wouldn't be signing up for it. 

And I also think the modifications should be options, not set requirements for everyone, or even every circumstance.

And I also wouldn't argue in favor of forcing console system makers and console software makers to be forced to accept 3rd party software/hardware.  Especially since it tends to lead to other... mods.  It would be better PR for them to offer the options within their software/hardware.  But, hey, I'm not the one running the companies.

It's funny, too, that some of the Gamespot commenters refer to cars.  They apparently haven't looked up the various prototypes in vehicle design which COULD, eventually, open the door to more visually impaired individuals actually becoming "drivers".  :)

Nightwng2000

NW2K Software

http://www.facebook.com/nightwing2000

Nightwng2000 is now admin to the group "Parents For Education, Not Legislation" on MySpace as http://groups.myspace.com/pfenl

Nightwng2000 NW2K Software http://www.facebook.com/nightwing2000 Nightwng2000 is now admin to the group "Parents For Education, Not Legislation" on MySpace as http://groups.myspace.com/pfenl

Re: Disabled Gamer Sues Sony

What if his gripe isn't directed at console gaming but, rather, at Sony's on-line gaming communities? Doesn't Sony have the ability to control/dictate the substance of those games? At least to the extent needed to add audible cues? And it's not a rhetorical question. I know squat about an on-line game. But I'd imagine that if his gripe is limited to console gaming only, he'll have a difficult time establishing that there's a "public accommodation" at issue.

Re: Disabled Gamer Sues Sony

His gripe is that he can't use Everquests auction site to sell in-game items for real money, therefore he is "losing money". The "I'm disabled" BS is just smoke & mirrors to get a sympathy vote.

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I LIKE the fence. I get 2 groups to laugh at then.

-------------------------------------------------- I LIKE the fence. I get 2 groups to laugh at then.

Re: Disabled Gamer Sues Sony

Is that his only gripe? Or is that merely a small part of a larger gripe having to do with an inability to fully access the gaming experience because his disability is not being reasonably accommodated by Sony? And unlike that numb-nut who alleged claustrophobia in a obvious attempt to garner sympathy when he claimed that his free speech rights were violated when he was banned from an on-line community, I wouldn't say that this plaintiff is merely throwing in his disability for the same specious reasons. His disability goes to the very heart of his claim. But for his disability, he wouldn't have the claim.

Re: Disabled Gamer Sues Sony

But for the fact he is "losing money because he can't use the auction site" he wouldn't be making the claim. Notice how he isn't suing Yukes or THQ over their WWE games despite getting much the same reaction from them that he got from Sony.

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I LIKE the fence. I get 2 groups to laugh at then.

-------------------------------------------------- I LIKE the fence. I get 2 groups to laugh at then.

Re: Disabled Gamer Sues Sony

I wouldn't impute motive on the basis of a decision to sue one defendant and not others. The possible reasons for that decision are myriad and don't all necessarily implicate financial gain. Moreover, if the loss of money resulting from the alleged denial of access to the auction site and the recovery of that loss is his primary motivation, then he's not very well motivated by pecuniary gain. How much can that loss possibly be worth?  

Re: Disabled Gamer Sues Sony

Him not being able to see the site is not the same as being denied access to it. It's not like they are blocking him from accessing it because he is blind, any more than movie theatres don't stop blind peole from paying for a ticket and going in.

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I LIKE the fence. I get 2 groups to laugh at then.

-------------------------------------------------- I LIKE the fence. I get 2 groups to laugh at then.

Re: Disabled Gamer Sues Sony

He's not saying that because he can't see the site, he's being denied access to the site. He's saying that there are reasonable accommodations for his inability to see the site (e.g., audible cues) which Sony can but won't implement and which, if implemented, would give him greater access to the goods and services available at the site than he would have in their absence.

Just like a blind person can require, under the ADA, that the elevator in the movie theatre be equipped with Braille buttons and/or audible signals. This accommodation does nothing to assist the blind person in being able to see the movie being screened, but it does help to ensure that they have as much of an ability as the sighted to sit in front of the screen. That's what the ADA was intended to ensure. That, to the extent possible, the blind and the sighted have an equal opportunity to sit in front of the screen.    

Re: Disabled Gamer Sues Sony

And, just as the braille helps the blind patron make their way through the physical building, to not see the movie, this guy can get to the websites and games Sony produces, and not see them to play. Nothing is stopping him from accessing the materials.

As sympathetic as I am to his inability to play the games he wants to, I don't see how Sony could be forced to accommodate him. These are products that are designed for a particular use case and they may not accommodate everyone.

Sony, just show the court this article: Blind video game star prepares for Mortal (Kombat) competition in Japan

Will, meet way.

Re: Disabled Gamer Sues Sony

But if he, because of his disability, is being denied something which others who aren't disabled are able to enjoy in Sony's public accommodation (assuming it is in law a public accommodation) and that denial can be reasonably rectified by Sony, then the ADA requires them to so rectify. If not, he's being discriminated against by Sony on the basis of his disability, which the ADA prohibits. It's not enough to say that nothing stops him from accessing the materials. He has to be able to access them in a manner functionally equal to all others, if providing that equality of functional access is reasonably within Sony's ability.

So, if he is somehow unable to play the game in the same manner a non-disabled person can play it and this inabilty can be fixed by Sony and it is within reason to impose on them the requirement that they fix it, then fix it they must.

 

Re: Disabled Gamer Sues Sony

What you are saying now contradicts the example you gave earlier:

Just like a blind person can require, under the ADA, that the elevator in the movie theatre be equipped with Braille buttons and/or audible signals. This accommodation does nothing to assist the blind person in being able to see the movie being screened, but it does help to ensure that they have as much of an ability as the sighted to sit in front of the screen. That's what the ADA was intended to ensure. That, to the extent possible, the blind and the sighted have an equal opportunity to sit in front of the screen.   

The blind and the sighted have an equal opportunity to sit in front of Sony's materials.  How is it ok in your example for a movie theater to allow a blind person to easily find their way to a theater, sit in a seat, and have every ability as the sighted to sit in front of the screen but not ok in the Sony case.  This person can, obviously, get the game, make their way to screen they want and have every chance to participate, except that they can't see.

Should the movie theater start having descriptive audio tracks that say, "The villain is now leaving the left side of the screen through a door. The good guy is now taking out a gun and shooting at the villain.", etc. to accommodate the blind patron that goes to the movie?  If those accommodations in some way adversely effect the gameplay for everyone else, should it be allowed?

Re: Disabled Gamer Sues Sony

I didn't intend to be understood to say that sitting in from of the monitor upon which the gaming experience is displayed is the primacy of the goods/services offered by the on-line game. I'd suspect that on-line gamers expect something more than just the ability to sit in front of their monitors and see game content. I'd suspect that they expect to actually play the game as the essence of what the on-line game offers them. My point, made in response to DarkSaber point that the blind gamer can never see the game and therefore shouldn't expect to be accommodated, was that even if the blind theatre patron cannot ever see the movie, the theatre is still required to accommodate them as much as possible in allowing them access to the goods/services they offer, the primacy of which is to sit in front of the movie screen. Because, in the example of the movie theatre, sitting in front of the screen is the primacy of the goods/services that the theatre offers. But in the case of the on-line gaming community, playing the game is the primacy of the goods/services. If the blind movie threatre should be accommodated, then the same holds true for the blind gamer, who should be accomodated to the extent reasonably possible in allowing them access to the primacy of what the on-line game offers, which is to play the game. 

Re: Disabled Gamer Sues Sony

And if the primacy is to play the game, I have already cited one such case in which a totally blind game player is one of the best Mortal Kombat players in the world.

As well, if that primacy also included the ability to interact with the control mechanisms to play the game, there is nothing limiting him either.

This is a case of the finest hair splitting I have seen in a long time and I can not see how any reasonable court could side with the plaintiff.

Re: Disabled Gamer Sues Sony

So what if one of the best Mortal Kombat players in the world is totally blind? Of what possible import is that? It means nothing. It means as much as if you were to say that there's a blind guy in New York City who uses the subway without the aid of a seeing-eye dog and therefore there's no need to exempt seeing-eye dogs from the rule that no animals are allowed in the subway system. Or that there a paraplegic guy in Albuquerque who doesn't use a wheelchair because he walks everywhere he needs to go on his hands and therefore there is no need to require that buildings have wheelchair ramps. Are you saying that because one person with a disability can do "X," everyone else with same disability should also be able to do "X?" That's completely illogical and nonsensical. But if you think it isn't and you have the full use of your legs, then I expect you to run the 100 meters in the same time as Usain Bolt. 

And so what if he can interact with the control mechanisms? That's not what he's complaining about. He saying that he's not able to see the content because he's visually impaired and therefore needs audible cues to compensate for that inability. That he can interact with the control mechanisms is a complete non-issue. It is wholly irrelevant to the claim he makes. Or are you operating under the assumption that because he isn't 100% incapable of playing the game, he should get zero accommodation? That's about as sound as your "Blind Mortal Kombat Player" argument. 

Re: Disabled Gamer Sues Sony

If he is 100% incapable of playing the game then he should get whatever accommodation Sony deems necessary to include in their product.  He has access, has every opportunity to sit in front of the screen, to use the control mechanisms, and try to play the game that Sony intended.  Just because he is blind and has a beef with mechanisms he feels would be of benefit to him, does not entitle him to those mechanisms.

Are you saying that because one person with a disability can do "X," everyone else with same disability should also be able to do "X?"

Are you saying that because one person with a disability feels they need X then a company should be forced to provide that, even no one else is asking for it?  Or, at best, an extreme minority?

But if you think it isn't and you have the full use of your legs, then I expect you to run the 100 meters in the same time as Usain Bolt.

No, that's not fair.  I will file a lawsuit demanding that the laws of time and distance should be changed to accommodate me because Usain Bolt has access (faster legs and better training) than I do.  Anyone know a good lawyer?

Oh, and again, if the audible concessions that are made available in said game to him offers an extreme advantage to non-blind players in a manner that throws off the balance of the game, possibly damaging the game reputation and, thus, sales, should his accommodation be met?

Re: Disabled Gamer Sues Sony

If he is 100% incapable of playing the game then he should get whatever accommodation Sony deems necessary to include in their product.  He has access, has every opportunity to sit in front of the screen, to use the control mechanisms, and try to play the game that Sony intended.  Just because he is blind and has a beef with mechanisms he feels would be of benefit to him, does not entitle him to those mechanisms.

If you're basing your argument on some moral or normative or religious or economic principle,  perhaps you should instead be casting it within the the framework of the principles set forth by the ADA (the law upon which the plaintiff's bases his lawsuit) because what you suggest is nowhere near how things work as provided for in the ADA. He doesn't need to be 100% incapable of playing the game and he doesn't get what Sony thinks he should get. He only needs to be disabled as defined by the ADA and he gets whatever accommodations the ADA says he should get. That's what the ADA says. 

Are you saying that because one person with a disability feels they need X then a company should be forced to provide that, even no one else is asking for it?  Or, at best, an extreme minority?

No, that's not what I'm saying. But that is precisely what the ADA says. There's no requirement under the ADA that a minimum "X" number of disabled persons must see a need for accommodation before the accommodation is required. One disabled person bringing a successful lawsuit under the ADA is enough to force the desired accommodation. And what the ADA says is all-important as the determinative basis for the outcome in this case. Not what I say or what you say.

Oh, and again, if the audible concessions that are made available in said game to him offers an extreme advantage to non-blind players in a manner that throws off the balance of the game, possibly damaging the game reputation and, thus, sales, should his accommodation be met?

Yes, if indeed the ADA says he's entitled to such an accommodation, then the accomodation must -not "should" - be met. As long as the accommodation is reasonable, the ADA doesn't concern itself with the impact to the non-disabled. That the wheelchair ramp uglies up the front of your building is just too bad as far as the ADA is concerned. That you have to give up limited parking spaces in your lot to provide an infrequently used handicap spot doesn't matter under the ADA. That your non-disabled customers are made uncomfortable by the presence of disabled customers and your business is therefore negatively impacted is of absolutely no import to the analysis required by the ADA.

While you are certainly entitled to your personal opinions about how things should or shouldn't be, perhaps you should bear in mind that the plaintiff brings his lawsuit under the ADA. That's the law which governs, not your personal opinion on how the world should be ordered. If you aren't analyzing the merits and demerits of the plaintiff's case against the backdrop of the ADA, then you're not doing much more than flattering your own personal sense of right and wrong. 

Re: Disabled Gamer Sues Sony

As long as the accommodation is reasonable, the ADA doesn't concern itself with the impact to the non-disabled. That the wheelchair ramp uglies up the front of your building is just too bad as far as the ADA is concerned. That you have to give up limited parking spaces in your lot to provide an infrequently used handicap spot doesn't matter under the ADA. That your non-disabled customers are made uncomfortable by the presence of disabled customers and your business is therefore negatively impacted is of absolutely no import to the analysis required by the ADA.

So the ADA does not take into account the impact of such demands on any patrons other than the disabled.  Got it.  Way to view it from one side only. As to the discussion of wheelchair ramps, parking spaces, etc. is not the same thing here, at all, as it in no way exempts able-bodied people from using the facilities, just (perhaps) inconvenienced.

If all of this is such an issue, why don't we have treadmills at gyms that are sized to hold a wheelchair, all cars with handicapped amenities in them, etc.?

And perhaps you are right and I am flattering my personal sense of right and wrong.  To that end, the plaintiff is filing a lawsuit that is tantamount to pitching a fit because big bad Sony did not cater to his request.

Let me ask you something, what if Sony agreed to the requests and then, as a result of additional development costs, charges the plaintiff 5x the retail price for the game to cover said changes.  Is that ok?  Why should I have to pay for features I don't need in a game just because an extreme minority of the player base does?

Re: Disabled Gamer Sues Sony

As to the discussion of wheelchair ramps, parking spaces, etc. is not the same thing here, at all, as it in no way exempts able-bodied people from using the facilities, just (perhaps) inconvenienced.

Putting aside the fact that your point as originally made never said anything about non-disabled players being "exempted" from the game (what you originally said and to which I originally responded was of an accommodation that "offers an extreme advantage to non-blind players in a manner that throws off the balance of the game, possibly damaging the game reputation and, thus, sales"), if the plaintiff is accommodated in the manner in which he seeks to be accommodated (i.e., audible cues are added to the game) how would that exempt the non-disable from also playing the game? Do the audible cues found in many elevators which literally tell riders which floor the elevator car has arrived at exempt the non-visually impaired from also riding on that elevator car? 

Let me ask you something, what if Sony agreed to the requests and then, as a result of additional development costs, charges the plaintiff 5x the retail price for the game to cover said changes.  Is that ok? 

No, that would be just a slightly different form of discrimination than the sort which initially prompted the complaint.

Why should I have to pay for features I don't need in a game just because an extreme minority of the player base does?

You pay for that wheelchair ramp you never use in front of every brick-and mortar business you patronize, don't you? You think those businesses absorb the cost of that ramp installation? Or pass it down to their wheelchair customers only? They don't. They pass that cost down to all their customers.

Re: Disabled Gamer Sues Sony

He wasn't the one who wrote the letter to Yukes/THQ about the WWE game.  Check the Gamespot article.

Nightwng2000

NW2K Software

http://www.facebook.com/nightwing2000

Nightwng2000 is now admin to the group "Parents For Education, Not Legislation" on MySpace as http://groups.myspace.com/pfenl

Nightwng2000 NW2K Software http://www.facebook.com/nightwing2000 Nightwng2000 is now admin to the group "Parents For Education, Not Legislation" on MySpace as http://groups.myspace.com/pfenl

Re: Disabled Gamer Sues Sony

So he did, but the point still stands. If he cared about making a meaningful change for visually-impaired people he wouldn't just be targetting the one company who makes a game he was hoping to make money from and can't because he can't see it.

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I LIKE the fence. I get 2 groups to laugh at then.

-------------------------------------------------- I LIKE the fence. I get 2 groups to laugh at then.

Re: Disabled Gamer Sues Sony

Well, being prevented from making money IS part of the point behind the law.

It also makes a suit more viable since proving damages when it is just 'entertainment' or 'virtual' is generally more difficult since you tend to get the 'but it is not real, so you are not actually impacted' argument.

By attaching concrete economic impact to the suit, he brings it under more conventional ideas of what it means to not have access to something.

Re: Disabled Gamer Sues Sony

Nobody, able-bodied or otherwise has a "right" to make money on the side from using some luxury entertainment software

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I LIKE the fence. I get 2 groups to laugh at then.

-------------------------------------------------- I LIKE the fence. I get 2 groups to laugh at then.

Re: Disabled Gamer Sues Sony

Rights are whatever the law decides they are.

The ADA extends all sorts of rights to the handicapped and requires buisnesses that would not normally provide access to do so.

After all, no one has the right to buy a hamburger, but build a resturant without wheelchair access and you will get in trouble.

Re: Disabled Gamer Sues Sony

He's suing over Everquest, a game developed and published by Sony.

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I LIKE the fence. I get 2 groups to laugh at then.

-------------------------------------------------- I LIKE the fence. I get 2 groups to laugh at then.

Re: Disabled Gamer Sues Sony

As a Legally Blind individual, I'm SOMEWHAT embarassed by the lawsuit.  But not totally, depending on some of the facts of the case.

For example, Singling out a company for not providing direct access while many others are also not providing direct access seems... off at the least and stupid at the worst.

Look at the comment about WoW.  Blizzard, while offering SOME direct fixes for those with a variety of visual problems, does not solve every problem.  It's even stated that in some cases, it's 3RD PARTY mods.  Of course, Blizzard could block those mods if they wanted to.

With a PC, providing, or refusing to provide (blocking access to), 3rd party access lessens a blow, or makes it worse for, the company that makes the primary product.

Darksaber mentions a deaf person and music.  While suing a music production company for not providing direct alternate sensations to the music experience might seem wrong, suing because the music production company openly and intentionaly blocks the use of that music on 3rd party devices that translate the sound to other forms of media (such as vibration or voice to text) might be more reasonable.

A console, however, is different.  Many are blocking access to 3rd party hardware/software.  So, the primary software and/or hardware maker are responsible for providing or not providing access.

A "brick and mortar" symbolism is more appropriate because a console, hardware and software, are more static than a PC.  The question becomes just how responsible does a company have to be?  What is "within reason"?  Yes, it's a visual medium.  You can't easily translate a high graphic system to touch.  But, larger print options?  Color options?  What is and what isn't "within reason"?

I especially had difficulty playing video/computer games for the last 5 years thanks to a blooming of cataracts in my left eye.  Very depressing as I had been a pretty darn good street racing gamer.

In March, the cataract was removed from the left eye.  I'm 20/200 (which is what it was before the cataract bloomed) with a High Definition clarity.  The right eye is somewhat obscured by cataract, driving it down from it's normal 20/200 to about 20/400.  Now that the left eye is cleared up, I'm enjoying driving again.  And playing Saints Row 2, GTA IV, Dungeons & Dragons Online, and others.  Some games like DDO are difficult with the writing.  And WoW tends to be worse since I couldn't get mods to work.  But I'm still playing, and no worries about a lawsuit.  :)

BTW, I'm Bewen in DDO on the K server (I forget it's full name) and don't be upset if I don't respond to chats.  I can't focus on the chat and do other things because I'm only really looking out of one eye (left).    So, apologies in advance.  :)

Nightwng2000

NW2K Software

http://www.facebook.com/nightwing2000

Nightwng2000 is now admin to the group "Parents For Education, Not Legislation" on MySpace as http://groups.myspace.com/pfenl

Nightwng2000 NW2K Software http://www.facebook.com/nightwing2000 Nightwng2000 is now admin to the group "Parents For Education, Not Legislation" on MySpace as http://groups.myspace.com/pfenl
 
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NeenekoJust look at how interviews are handled. Media tends to pit someone who is at best a journalist, but usually entertainer, against an expert, and it is presented and percieved as if they are equals.10/25/2014 - 7:38am
Neeneko@MC - Focusing on perpetrator does nothing for prevention, the media and public lack the domain knowledge and event details to draw any useful conclusions. All we get are armchair risk experts.10/25/2014 - 7:36am
Neeneko@AE - no name or picture, I like it.10/25/2014 - 7:34am
PHX Corp@MW and AE The news media needs to stop promoting the Shooters. period10/25/2014 - 7:16am
Andrew EisenWhen I write about these massacres, I don't use the shooter's name or picture. I'm not saying everyone has to play it that way but that's how I prefer to do it.10/25/2014 - 12:44am
Andrew EisenYep, it's why the news media stopped spotlighting numbnuts who run out on the field during sporting events.10/25/2014 - 12:01am
Matthew Wilsonin media research its called the copycat effect. it simply says that if the news covers one mass shooting shooter, it increases the likelihood of another person going on a mass shooting.10/25/2014 - 12:00am
Andrew EisenAgreed. It bugs me that I know the names, faces and personal histories of a bunch of mass shooters but I couldn't tell you the name of or recognize a photo of a single one of their victims.10/24/2014 - 11:51pm
AvalongodAgree with Quiknkold. @Mecha...if that worked we would have figured out how to prevent these long ago.10/24/2014 - 11:32pm
MechaCrashUnfortunately, you have to focus on the perpetrator to figure out the whys so you can try to prevent it from happening again.10/24/2014 - 10:55pm
quiknkoldpoor girl. poor victims. rather focus on them then the shooter. giving too much thought to the monster takes away from the victims.10/24/2014 - 10:15pm
Andrew EisenFor what it's worth, early reports are painting the motive as "he was pissed that a particular girl wouldn't date him."10/24/2014 - 10:12pm
quiknkoldwell then I suck as a man cause I ask for help when necessary :P10/24/2014 - 10:07pm
Technogeek(That said, mostly I was making the smartass evopsych comment because your post seemed like the kind of just-so story that has come to dominate 99% of its usage.)10/24/2014 - 10:04pm
TechnogeekHell, Liam Neeson built his modern career around it. Cultural factors likely play a far greater role than you appear willing to admit.10/24/2014 - 10:03pm
TechnogeekSeriously, though, the idea of "because women are protectors and that's why they never commit school shootings" is, at best, grossly overreductive. There's nothing inherently feminine about being willing to kill in order to protect one's offspring.10/24/2014 - 10:03pm
MechaCrashThe "toxic masculinity" thing refers to how you have to SUCK IT UP AND BE A MAN because seeking help is seen as weakness, which means you suck at manliness, so it builds and builds and builds until something finally snaps.10/24/2014 - 10:01pm
quiknkoldthere, I'm done. And thats what Christmas is all about, Charlie Brown10/24/2014 - 9:54pm
quiknkoldand I am not spouting Evopsych, technogeek. tbh I never heard the phrase till you said it. I'm going off my observations.10/24/2014 - 9:54pm
quiknkoldmoreover, the guy who did this isnt even white. He was native american according to the news report I read. Also that he went for a specific target. That's a much different picture than a certain Sandy Hook guy who will not be named10/24/2014 - 9:53pm
 

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