Tuesday, 3 June 2008

Disability in a virtual world

Having been pointed from Brian Kelly's blog to an interesting video on youtube about a mobility impaired Second Life user, I found this news article about a paralysed man walking in second life really fascinating.

Proof that Web 2.0 isn't just about social networking and throwing sheep at your friends in Facebook.

Is disability only an issue in the non-virtual world? About time it wasn't.


Anonymous said...

As communication in SL is (mainly) typed several deaf members have commented in the various SL fora that they are on a level playing field in SL.

When "Voice" audio communication was introduced many hearing -impaired residents were unhappy. A comment in a forum posting said that Voice would make deaf residents into second class citizens of SL.

In fact it hasn't proved to be an issue since a lot of us don't/won't use Voice (including under-age members and all the folk with cross-gendered avatars)!

Ruth said...

I've never used SL, but that's interesting, although I'd say voice would be useful for those who have issues of manual dexterity. You really need to have both options open. I rarely 'talk' online, making more use of IM via keyboard.

I've a friend with a hearing impairment though who struggles sometimes to get people to communicate with her in anything other than the telephone. We spend a lot of time chatting rather than talking in Skype or MSN and she rather wishes people in business she has to talk to would be willing to do the same.