[games_access] FORUM (was Re: GDC 2008: VERY Bad News)

d. michelle hinn hinn at uiuc.edu
Sat Dec 1 14:16:21 EST 2007

Well, it seems that the IGDA web initiative is pretty dead at the
moment so there's no reason why we can't adopt the site. Can you help
us/me get in touch with the foundation again so that we can work this
out and get our web presence seriously back on track?

Remember -- you've also had to take some time off from working with
the SIG (I know...I have a PhD to finish too but I'm not in as nice a
situation) so please remember that when you criticize about action
not being taken on this and that. Cool?




>Just so you know: the GA forum was left unattended for some time but

>the spam was removed as far as I could see. The forum is still

>pretty popular, it's just that not that many SIG people attend it

>(because it is not an "offical SIG" forum?).


>As I also said in the past: the Accessibility foundation is still

>awaiting to be approached by the GA-SIG for collaborating on GA.com.

>I already explained to a couple of you that with me and Sander

>having left the foundation, most expertise left too. The foundation

>is currently focusing on other projects and does not have the

>resources to maintain this website at the moment. I already

>discussed a possible collaboration with GA-SIG with my boss - EVEN

>to the extend of GA-SIG ADOPTING GA.com and chaing it to a GA-SIG

>format - as if it was its own - with Accessibility only sponsoring

>the website in the form of hosting it. As far as I know, the

>foundation is still up for that. However, IGDA politics intervened

>which resulted in that IGDA GA-SIG still does not have a website to

>call their own. If GA-SIG does not want to collaborate with GA.com

>then I would still suggest to buy www.gasig.org and simply make a

>website under that for as long as IGDA politics keep intervening.









>----- 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 7:20 PM

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




>>No. Not harsh. Just on point. (Programmers are not hired for their

>>social skills.)


>>1. Yes.


>>But this SIG is unique in that it is the one active place that

>>covers multiple challenges, has an international audience, and

>>clearly has the ears of some key industry players. If this SIG has

>>its own concise, specific, answer to "what do you want us

>>developers to do?" please point me to it.


>>2. Again, this SIG has a unique position in that it can credibly

>>publish such a list, that address multiple challenges,

>>internationally, and has the ear of the major developers. Is there

>>any such recognized list of companies and games? Why not from this



>>3. Please.


>>I'm on the Game Accessibility Project forum every day. It's getting

>>spammed without intervention. It's much lower volume than such a

>>fine effort warrants. Richard says he's out of there. It's adrift.


>>And Mark's forum is outstanding, but does not right now have the

>>attention of the industry leaders, or actual developers, that this

>>SIG does. (No criticism, he's doing a wonderful job.) I'm on

>>Audyssey every day and it has a very active set of game developers

>>that help each other all the time. But it's limited to the blind

>>and VI folks.


>>I'd not heard of the RetroRemakes forum (thanks for the tip) but

>>according to its main page, it's most recent post was in August.


>>Show me a forum where mainstream game developers meet to help each

>>other make accessibility happen.


>>The three proposals stand.




>>At 11:47 AM 12/1/2007, you wrote:

>>>A little harsh, John perhaps?


>>>1. Has been covered to various degrees here:






>>>(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:





>>>3. Forums here:






>>>We need the support of more people though!






>>>----- 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


>>>>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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