Valve Does Sign Lanuage for HL2: E3?

Joystiq is reporting that Valve Software is researching sign language for the next episode (3) of Half-Life 2 by conducting a focus group with deaf individuals. The company is looking to understand the language and how it can be used in games. Valve's first use of the new sign language technology will be implemented into the backstory of Alyx as explained in this YouTube video with Gabe Newell.

"[Alyx] had a crush on someone who was hearing impaired, so she taught Dog how to sign so she could practice," Newell said. "Something happened, maybe, the person is off fighting the Combine someplace else, but that's why she and Dog would start signing with each other when they wanted to communicate without making noise, or communicate without other people knowing."

The largest aspect of virtualizing the use of sign language is not only the unique hand movements, but the facial expressions as well. While Valve Software has been one of the more prominent developers in regards to character facial movements, taking on sign language and its nuances is a huge--but ultimately a beneficial--project. Ultimately Valve wants to create a believable, authentic experience, a believable backstory for the heroine.

"It gave us the excuse to build the technology for signing," he said.

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  • doormatderek
    good excuse for the delay! :)
  • meatwad53186

    This isn't for deaf gamers,did you even read the article? It's about making a more believable, realistic, and enveloping experience out of the game, something many developers don't give two shits about these days.
  • xc0mmiex
    seems like the valve is at the cutting edge of game innovation and creating something much deeper and meaningful experience unlike some other game companies that are just trying to rake in a quick buck
  • Other Comments
  • dingumf
    old news yawn
  • doormatderek
    good excuse for the delay! :)
  • Sushi Warrior
    Wow, +50000000 cookies for Valve. What a great idea, this will be a deaf gamer must have. I remember seeing a site with reviews of games for deaf people....