[games_access] GDC: in retrospect

d. michelle hinn hinn at uiuc.edu
Tue Mar 13 15:46:33 EDT 2007

Eelke and everyone --

>>That being taken care off, I'd like to open up the discussion on the future

>>of this SIG, because frankly I am a bit worried where we are heading. First

>>of all, Michelle and numerous other SIG members have done a very good job

>>organizing all sorts of events in the past, but we can't ignore the fact

>>that the attendance at our events is still very low. This lack of attendance

>>(and I'm not even talking about how people rate our events) will affect our

>>ability to organize more events in the future. The media coverage we had at

>>this GDC is good, but whether that will reach the people that we are trying

>>to influence is open for discussion, unless will wright's parents watch

>>local tv ;-) I wonder whether the time spent in front of the camera could

>>have been better spent handing out flyers for accessibility idol (like I

>>originally suggested to).

That would have been great if someone/anyone could have made a flier.
Nothing was preventing anyone from saying "hey, should I make a
flier?" before GDC and I'd asked people for that. Richard originally
was going to but he was about equally as over taxed as I was. I agree
that we didn't need to spend that much time in front of the camera.
The most frustrating part is that I couldn't get rid of them. I asked
and asked and then I got angry and yelled at them and they still
persisted. Meanwhile almost everyone was asking me to get rid of them
-- next time I'll be more clear and ask the 6 feet 11 members to be
my "voice" and really get rid of them.

Also...why didn't you just do that, Eelke (make and pass out fliers)?
I guess I'm frustrated at hearing your comments when you didn't
really step up to the plate. I'm sorry about this personal jab but
it's true -- It was very frustrating especially when you were so
surprised that no one else heard the keynotes. We were taking down
OUR OWN session while you were at other sessions. So yeah, I'm
striking out a bit but it needs to be put out there. Next year I will
get people's commitments to GDC in writing or something before I will
give out a $2000 pass. You are right -- I didn't ask and I should
have. But when asked it was already too late to help. So yeah I'm
pissed off but I'll get over it. I just need some time. I'm not
saying AT ALL that we should table the discussion. We should talk
about it and now because in a few weeks we'll have to pitch for GDC
2008. And things are still fresh in everyone's minds. But so's the
pain. So I'm going to yell for a bit. And I'm sorry. But I can't keep
it in or it will kill me and kill my desire to stay. No, I'm not
going anywhere and I feel more angry than ever. But I'm also angry
with some of you.

>>When only 25 people (of which 10 left) attend our top event (accessibility

>>idol) I think we cannot ignore the fact that we are doing something wrong.

>>We can blame the low attendance on poor scheduling but considering the large

>>number of events (6 in total) opening up a room with no talks scheduled, out

>>of 15.000 people present at GDC at least the same number of people should

>>randomly walk in. Now I don't know about figures in the past since I have

>>only joined 6 months ago (which I heard were even lower) but even "growing"

>>at this rate is not acceptable, because that would mean that we have to wait

>>until GDC 2020 before we have a 100 people, meaning that gears of war 5 god

>>of war 6 will still be inaccessible until then.

I agree BUT it's also hard for me to hear it because I feel
responsible for it. I should have yelled and screamed about the lack
of attention that CMP gave us when I begged them to change the
signage months ago. Again, this has been a tough year for me and my
"default" is to just say "fuck it, I'll just do it" rather than wait
for people to volunteer.

>>Accessibility is important now and the sooner we are successful the better

>>for gamers with disabilities. People pay good money to attend this

>>conference and they demand high quality talks that are beneficial to their

>>organization, we should recognize that. There is no reason to put the blame

>>one anyone, as no doubt everybody's intentions in this SIG are excellent,

>>but I think we fail as as an organization if we don't look back upon our

>>past events and identify what works and what doesn't work and let's all

>>decide on a shared vision on what we should organize, where, why and how. In

>>my opinion we have done the same trick over and over again without the

>>desired success. We tried to sell accessibility into different formats and

>>it still doesn't work, the low attendance of accessibility idols being proof

>>of that. We have the message but we don't have the audience. Why do we still

>>work on the message and not focus on getting the audience?

The only thing I have to say about this is will you be doing this
Eelke? I mean will these all just be words or are you committed to
helping me make this a reality? I think it's time for people to get
really honest with themselves -- how much time will any one of us put
in this year?

>>I have outlined a plan (which I dub ACCESSIBILITY 2.0) consisting of 5

>>action points & clear goals that will put this SIG back on track, make it as

>>successful as other SIGS (education/writing), increase the attendance at

>>our events, and putting accessibility on the roadmap of game developers like

>>we set out to.

Oy...wow, that did hurt.

>>Before I share my vision with you i'd like to know whether I'm alone in the

>>observation that things should change. I don't want to waste anyone's time

>>and If people are happy to continue along the chosen path, I respect that.

>>Someone else has a different vision? share it! at least the benefits of

>>writing this email is that we have a dialogue on the future of this SIG,

>>which can only be good, because we all want accessible games right?

What chosen path? There is no chosen path, only what members are
willing to put in with regard to time. Words are great and we should
get them all out onto the table now. But action is really where we
fall on. I need to know who is actually committed to these things or
it's just a moot exercise and THAT WILL hurt me. If we discuss all
this now and don't do them, I will take it personally. Because I
don't know what else to think. We have this same damn discussion
every year and when push comes to shove...nothing. So tell me,
everyone, what are you willing to do?


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