[games_access] GDC 2008: VERY Bad News

d. michelle hinn hinn at uiuc.edu
Sat Dec 1 12:31:24 EST 2007


Agreed, Barrie -- we need the support of more PEOPLE WORKING not just
people saying what needs to be done. It's easy to come up with lists
and lists of ideas -- we have no shortage of those. We do have a
severe shortage of people willing to put in their personal time if
they really do believe in fighting for this issue. I'd like to see
ideas presented with "and this is what I will do to help get this
started in the SIG..." or "here's what I just did and I hope SIG
members can help this grow..." rather than "The SIG Should Do..."

Michelle


>A little harsh, John perhaps?

>

>1. Has been covered to various degrees here:

>

>http://www.oneswitch.org.uk/2/ARTICLES/physical-barriers.htm

>http://www.ics.forth.gr/hci/ua-games/game-over/

>http://www.helpyouplay.com/welcome.html

>

>(and other places too).

>

>2. Is is a good point. But there's so few mainstream developers

>making deliberate accessibity efforts that take into account

>specific disabilities. Here's a list of some:

>

>http://www.oneswitch.org.uk/2/pioneers.htm

>http://gameaccessibility.blogspot.com/

>

>3. Forums here:

>

>http://www.game-accessibility.com/forum/

>http://www.retroremakes.com/forum2/forumdisplay.php?f=84

>http://ablegamers.com/component/option,com_fireboard/Itemid,606/

>

>We need the support of more people though!

>

>Barrie

>www.OneSwitch.org.uk

>www.igda.org/accessibility

>

>----- Original Message ----- From: "John Bannick" <jbannick at 7128.com>

>To: "IGDA Games Accessibility SIG Mailing List" <games_access at igda.org>

>Sent: Saturday, December 01, 2007 4:05 PM

>Subject: Re: [games_access] GDC 2008: VERY Bad News

>

>>Reid is right.

>>

>>There are developers right now who want their work to be accessible.

>>

>>This SIG could right now facilitate that by:

>>

>>1. Providing, distributing, and publicizing a concise, specific set

>>of functional criteria that define what means accessible.

>>2. Compiling, publishing, and publicizing an annual list of which

>>companies and games meet those criteria.

>>3. Maintaining a forum (The currently rather drifting Game

>>Accessibility Project comes to mind) where developers can go for

>>immediate help.

>>

>>I'm a developer of games that are accessible.

>>Have shipped 22 different revenue-generating products in a wide

>>variety of vertical markets in the last 30 years.

>>Am neither stupid nor lazy.

>>And don't see any of the 3 above items.

>>

>>None of the 3 items should take long to build as a first cut.

>>

>>And if not from this SIG, then from where?

>>

>>John Bannick

>>CTO

>>7-128 Software

>>

>>

>>At 02:26 AM 12/1/2007, you wrote:

>>>Please, can we stop with the negative talk about GDC and the game

>>>industry? I work in the game industry for LucasArts. Just last week I

>>>talked to a highly respected programmer and he's 100% behind us and

>>>wants to talk about what we can do to improve accessibility in our

>>>games after our current milestone is finished. There are dozens of

>>>people at LucasArts that support game accessibility. Nintendo totally

>>>gets it, EA Games totally gets it with their Family Play modes in

>>>their sports games. Peter Molyneux gets it, Will Wright... the list

>>>goes on and on.

>>>

>>>It's offensive to me when people of this SIG accuse developers of not

>>>caring because WE DO CARE. The last thing you want to do is insult the

>>>people you have to work with. It's the quickest way to turn them away

>>>from our cause.

>>>

>>>So, instead of complaining, lets do something about it! First,

>>>everyone here needs to understand what it's like for developers and

>>>why it's so hard for them to adopt accessibility features.

>>>

>>>1. Limited financial resources - Games are very expensive to make and

>>>any new features adds to the cost. Before you can add accessibility

>>>features you must have a game and that's where most of the money is

>>>spent first.

>>>

>>>2. Limited time - Game development is incredibly complex and hard to

>>>tame. No matter how much extra time gets budgeted into the production

>>>schedule, it always runs out well before all tasks are complete. When

>>>this happens, features get cut in order to save the core of the game

>>>and again, without a game, there can't be any accessibility features.

>>>Because this usually happens so late, there isn't enough time to work

>>>on accessibility features before the game has to ship.

>>>

>>>3. Limited information - Even if a developer was pro-active and

>>>scheduled the development of accessibility features into the games'

>>>development schedule, there's still a major lack of knowledge and

>>>tools that enable them to do their job. The SIG has been thinking

>>>about accessibility features for years and we have all the solutions,

>>>but developers don't yet. We need to make ourselves known and readily

>>>available to help them.

>>>

>>>What can we do to solve these issues? We need to develop our

>>>relationships with developers and offer our assistance. Our attempts

>>>to work with GarageGames is a good start. When a new game is announced

>>>we should contact them and offer our expertise.

>>>

>>>We have GOT to get a website up so that we can communicate our

>>>abilities and expertise to our target audiences (game developers).

>>>

>>>But there are technical issues and many of us are volunteers and so

>>>things move very slowly.

>>>

>>>Several of us are writing guidelines for implementing certain features

>>>but again, this is a slow process. Others are doing research. Going to

>>>conferences is awesome. Writing articles to Gamasutra is great as

>>>well.

>>>

>>>Eitan is right, we have to "sell" our expertise. It's not that

>>>developers don't care, they don't know that they SHOULD care.

>>>

>>>-Reid

>>>_______________________________________________

>>>games_access mailing list

>>>games_access at igda.org

>>>http://seven.pairlist.net/mailman/listinfo/games_access

>>>

>>>

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>>

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