Can someone who’s quadriplegic or hearing impaired play a video game? QUEST TV takes you to the international Game Developers Conference celebrated recently in San Francisco, where a group of gamers used colorful tactics to convince mainstream developers to make video games that are accessible for everyone.

  • Gabriela Quiros

    Hi everyone,

    I wanted to post a correction to a bit of narration in our segment:

    XBOX 360 is by Microsoft and Playstation 3 by Sony, not the other way around, as we unintentionally stated.



    Gabriela Quiros
    Segment Producer

  • Steve


    I find it ironic that a video segment about making video games accessible to the disabled community, especially closed captioned games for the hearing impaired, is not closed captioned. Yet the broadcast version viewed on the TV is. Why is this?


  • Pingback: Kotaku()

  • Steve:

    Your question about closed-captioning web video is absolutely fair. We hope to be doing more to make our content widely accessible.

    Our TV broadcast of the story is closed-captioned and our web version is not currently captioned. The reason (though not an excuse) is that there has been a standard & process for TV closed-captioning for many years, but no one standard for closed-captioning web video across various formats (Quicktime, RealMedia, Adobe Flash, etc.) has emerged.

    Your comment motivated me to do some more research yesterday and there has been progress in this area just in the last few months, even after we launched the show. I did find a promising example at:

    which demos some new captioning capabilities in the newly-released version of our Flash software. I look forward to experimenting with these new features, as soon as I can.

    I also learned that there are 3rd party services that will assist in the captioning, though pricing may be an issue for us as a non-profit. I’ll have to see.

    I would welcome any help or advice on solutions that yourself or others are using in the interim until such standards can be adopted.


    Craig Rosa, QUEST Interactive Producer

  • A very fine video, touching on most of the main points of game accessibility. Can’t say that I agree with Noah Falstein’s thoughts that main-stream developers will likely never embrace accessibility. Many of the features essential to disabled gamers add very little development time if thought out in advance, and can offer much to the main-stream. For example – speed control, reconfigurable controls and closed captions can benefit all gamers.

    Anyway, great work – and honest too – highlighting how far there is to go. Thank you!

    Barrie Ellis, CEO

  • Hi,

    I’m Reid, the person lucky enough to be shown in the video talking about closed captioning and my Doom3[CC] mod. I’ve been thinking about web video subtitling for a while now and Craig is right, there is no standard. There’s a website I think has a lot of potential, but seems to be dead in the water right now. I really like this idea of letting users caption the videos themselves, only because I fear it will take years of legislation to get commercial developers of video content to caption their videos for the web. We’ve already fought this battle in the 70’s and 80’s with TV captioning standards. Funny how history repeats itself.

  • I cannot believe this will work!


Gabriela Quirós

Gabriela Quirós is a video producer for KQED Science and the coordinating producer for Deep Look. She started her journalism career more than 20 years ago as a newspaper reporter in Costa Rica, where she grew up. She won two national reporting awards there for series on C-sections and organic agriculture, and developed a life-long interest in health reporting. She moved to the Bay Area in 1996 to study documentary filmmaking at the University of California-Berkeley, where she received master’s degrees in journalism and Latin American studies. She joined KQED as a TV producer when its science series QUEST started in 2006 and has covered everything from Alzheimer’s to bee die-offs to dark energy. She has won three regional Emmys and has shared awards from the Jackson Hole Wildlife Film Festival, the Society of Professional Journalists and the Society of Environmental Journalists. Independent from her work in KQED's science unit, she produced and directed the hour-long documentary Beautiful Sin, about the surprising story of how Costa Rica became the only country in the world to outlaw in vitro fertilization. The film aired nationally on public television stations in 2015.

Sponsored by

Become a KQED sponsor