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

d. michelle hinn hinn at uiuc.edu
Sat Dec 1 18:52:56 EST 2007

lol. ;)

Personally...I think that anything that's already done and can save
us from reinventing the wheel is great. What everything comes down to
is using our resources (time being the biggest one right now!)
smartly so I'd rather see us transfer stuff from GA.com to GA-SIG or
whatever than create a whole new site.

I hope no one feels like I'm being anti-suggestions/opinions.
Everyone is welcome to say as much as they want here and whatever
they want. What I want to encourage in the SIG is more individual
volunteerism and ownership. So when there's an issue of something not
getting done or happening and people are getting disappointed and
disgruntled perhaps we could each look towards ourselves and ask "ok,
what can I do now to make this happen? It's an important task that
needs to get done and I'm invested in it."

Of course no one -- yes, not even me ;) -- can do it all. And not
everyone is going to agree with everything (hell, I'd have curled up
into the fetal position and given up long ago if I felt like that had
to happen!). :) But it's hard not to say "ok, well then GO FOR IT"
when people say "we should do this and that." Because I've already
seen this movie -- it creeps onto the SIG list every 3-4 months and
there's a flurry of "yeah, we should..." and "oh yeah why don't
we..." and "I'm mad because we don't...". Then? We lose our cable
connection somehow and it takes months before it gets fixed and by
then -- wouldn't you know it? That same movie is on again. ;)

The SIG is all of us. Let's all start owning it.


>(could that post be more full of typos?!? hihi... that was NOT a

>dyslexia test ;)




>----- Original Message ----- From: "AudioGames.net" <richard at audiogames.net>

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

>Sent: Saturday, December 01, 2007 8:32 PM

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


>>I was not ciriticizing you so don't you don't feel criticized by me

>>;) I don't even know if everyone agrees to that plan anyway...? Do

>>you? It's is just ONE option...


>>Yes, I can help you.



>>----- 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 8:16 PM

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


>>>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 SIG?


>>>>>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


>>>>>>>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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