[games_access] GDC 2008: VERY Bad News

Barrie Ellis barrie.ellis at oneswitch.org.uk
Sat Dec 1 13:10:15 EST 2007

Count me in! And anyone that wishes to help with adding content to the GASIG
Blog - please get in touch!



----- Original Message -----
From: "d. michelle hinn" <hinn at uiuc.edu>
To: "IGDA Games Accessibility SIG Mailing List" <games_access at igda.org>
Sent: Saturday, December 01, 2007 5:59 PM
Subject: Re: [games_access] GDC 2008: VERY Bad News

> Who will be a part of "We"?


> Michelle


>>Hi John. With what you said below I think you hit the nail on the head.


>>Then we definitely need a web site and a forum.



>>-----Original Message-----

>>From: games_access-bounces at igda.org [mailto:games_access-bounces at igda.org]

>>On Behalf Of John Bannick

>>Sent: Saturday, December 01, 2007 11:05 AM

>>To: IGDA Games Accessibility SIG Mailing List

>>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


>>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


>>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



>>>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.




>>>games_access mailing list

>>>games_access at igda.org





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