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XBOX Kinect - people in wheelchair don't exist

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    XBOX Kinect - people in wheelchair don't exist

    Here is an article I found after I had a very upsetting time with the Xbox Kinect system.

    Sean was 9 this week has and been in a wheelchair since he was 4. Anyway he decided to buy one of these systems with the money he got as birthday presents and he picked it up yesterday. At no point did the store mention there would be an issue for wheelchair users using the game. Or that the particular game which comes as standard with the game cannot be played if you can't stand. We were not offered and had no reason to ask for a game which a wheelchair user can play. Microsoft are aware of the issue but made no attempt to warn people /retailers of the issues. After an hour trying to play the game we realised that the system was not broken - which would have upset Sean but that it didn't recognise him because he was in a wheelchair - it was like a kick in the teeth.

    What was really upsetting was the game Adventures displays an avatar when you stand up, so the whole family was visually present on the screen except Sean. So Microsofts message to Sean is you can't stand you don't exist. Life is hard enought without this shit. It wouldn't even let him move his hands, we would have found a way to include him if it even acknowledge him - but he doesn't exist. Anyone who reads this forum will know what a fighter Sean is - kick in the teeth like that are not necessary.

    This system is being marketed as a family friendly and inclusive - beg to differ Sean could not have felt more exclued. Firstly this could have been avoided if we had know of possible issues before purchase and secondly where do they come off designing a game to actively exclude disable people.

    I am going to post this in the Computer forum as well - but I didn't want another child or family going through the night we had on Christmas.

    That really sucks. I wondered if it would work when I saw the commercials.
    Emily, C-8 sensory incomplete mom to a 8 year old and a preschooler. TEN! years post.


      you should write an e-mail to Bill gates or, contact a news agency
      C5/C6 Complete since 08/22/09


        Originally posted by Mac85 View Post
        you should write an e-mail to Bill gates or, contact a news agency
        Microsoft didn't write Adventure, Sega did. Microsoft actually is really good about designing accessibility into its products, and Kinectic's platform can support people in wheelchairs. The problem is Sega writes pretty crappy games.


          Sorry for your son. Glad I didn't buy it...
          If you can't handle me at my worst, then you sure as hell don't deserve me at my best.

          Sometimes it is easier to widen doors than it is to open minds.


            i was thinking about getting one, but not now. too bad you wasted your money on it. i did get the Move for my playstation though, it is much cooler than the wii. more movement for a better workout.


              I am so sorry this happened, and following Sean's courage over the last few years and his willingness to put himself out there and do hard work only makes it more of a kick in the teeth that he is denied these moments of relaxation.


                I think this is a media-worthy issue. In fact, I wonder if a claim can be made based on discriminatory practises. People would be appalled if an individual was denied access to a video game based on his/her skin colour, so why is it okay to deny access to the game based on physical ability?

                I understand the premise behind the game and the barriers it faces to make it fully accessible, but things will never change unless we raise a stink about it.

                My heart hurts for your son. I was injured at a young age and my parents did whatever they could to make me feel fully included in all family activities.


                  That definitely sucks...

                  One question though, does Sean have a standing frame at all? If so, will the machine acknowledge him then? Reason I ask is that we often make our son go in his standing frame (or his Levo chair) when he plays on his Wii. We figure that as long as he is "standing" then it is not quite so bad that he spends hours playing!

                  Please note that I'm not trying to make excuses for Microsoft/Sega or whoever, as I totally agree that this problem shouldn't exist in the first place.
                  Gordon, father of son who became t6 paraplegic at the age of 4 in 2007 as a result of surgery to remove a spinal tumour.


                    Originally posted by KiranA View Post
                    I think this is a media-worthy issue. In fact, I wonder if a claim can be made based on discriminatory practises. People would be appalled if an individual was denied access to a video game based on his/her skin colour, so why is it okay to deny access to the game based on physical ability?
                    I don't think this is a media-worthy issue.

                    In wheelchairs we are denied access to all sorts of things which require the ability to stand. If we assume that wheelchair users have a right to play these video games then by that rational people who do not have the use of their hands or their eyes ought to also have equal accommodations made to them as well. Technology cannot stand still just because we cannot stand.

                    It is certainly a terrible situation to put a 9 year old in, but there isn't much that could be done to prevent it.

                    Kinect uses software that recognizes a users joints and tracks them. If you don't have the use of half of your joints, like many of us do, it won't work properly. The only plausible way around this would be to have the system only track your arms, limiting greatly the overall playability of games to the AB consumers. Even then, what about people with only one arm, or half an arm, or one leg. You cannot please everyone, and Kinect was designed for the AB masses.

                    I'm a big video game player, and when Kinect came out I was pretty sure I wouldn't be able to use it. When they released more details about it I was sure I wasn't going to be able to use it. I am afraid that we are near the end of the era in which video games are controlled by hand and the beginning of the era in which they are controlled by the whole body. Bad for us, but perhaps good for the collective American waistline.


                      I played the demo in the store and it "found" me.

                      We did read that most games WILL NOT work with me though, we will most likely get one for the kids and hubby anyways. I rarely play.

                      I am very sorry for your little one
                      L1,2 Para since 9-12-99
                      Mommy to William (2004) Lucas (2008) Nathan (2011)
                      The Wheelchair Mommy Blog


                        I just got one KNOWING there were problem with wheelchairs (i have an 11 year old t-10 para) do a little web research and there are some games and hacks to get it to read. I was blasting Microsoft all over the place until I found out it is up to the game devs to include skeletal tracking for seated users. Microsoft even had a gaggle of wheelchair users come in and test Kinect and offer feedback on alternate gestures for them to implement in the future.

                        Gonna try again tomorrow and I will report back in...


                          I have a Kinect and have been able to play kinect sports in a manual chair in specific bowling, boxing, and ping pong...finding games is hard, but dont give up you'll find something
                          I do like Johnny Walker says and Keep Walking


                            I'm sorry your son was dissapointed.

                            I think there needs to be a reality check here though. Do you really think that every product ever released has to be made completely compatible with every disability? If so, do me a favor and go after ford and chevrolet first for not making wheelchair accesible cars ok? That will be a lot more helpful and we'll go after microsoft when we can all easily drive to the protests.

                            This is not on microsoft or sega. You made an uninformed purchase, that's all.

                            I seriously find it hard to beleive that people are surprised when those with mobility challenges have difficulty using a product that is expressly designed to be operated through whole body movement.
                            Last edited by Zaphod; 27 Aug 2011, 1:43 AM.


                              I understand the frustration. I was disappointed when I found out it couldn't track me, but we bought a Wii instead and there are so many games I can play and even play with kids. Its not a whole body experience, but its fun. There's games like tennis and bowling which are exercise, and use your arms a lot like the real game.

                              You might write the manufacturer and tell your story and ask for your money back, just because you didn't know it wouldn't work for him-not because they were wrong to make it. Then you would have money to buy another game system.
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