[games_access] GDC: in retrospect

Ben Sawyer bsawyer at dmill.com
Wed Mar 14 05:36:24 EDT 2007

Michelle wrote,

Ok...I'm sorry about the vent but I really needed to get these things
out there. I don't want us to turn into a SIG that is not about
accessibility for those with disabilities and I don't want us to lose
focus on the mainstream game industry because that is what we are about.

So I would object to this in some regards that I think are important...

1. Accessibility should be promoted as a path to general game
innovation as well for all players. Controller mechanics other types
of play ideas etc. If you don't you're missing a really cool message
to what you do. You will gain further significance by showing how
your ideas go beyond even the conceptions you have for them.

We incorporated this message into our serious games messaging and its
working well. You could easily do the same.

2. While I agree the focus should be on the mainstream game industry
you need to look heavily at alternative areas as you are a bit with
serious games and games for health. The fact is these elements are
parts of the mainstream game industry. In fact one could argue many
offshoots and derivatives are growing faster then the core industry.
Sometimes the best run is an end run.

3. The mainstream game industry doesn't always make it to GDC. I've
had huge success at much smaller events and you might want to figure
out how to get to and network at the smaller events like D.I.C.E.,
Edinburgh, Nordic Game, etc. IGDA meetings like Boston Post Mortem,
etc. I'm not watching every last thing you all do (except I know it
is tremendous as I've said to everyone that the Accessibility SIG is
the model SIG for the IGDA) so all I can do is offer some semi-
ignorant advice but the smaller conferences - especially some of the
ones in Europe have been huge.

"So I worry when I hear things like "refocus the SIG" and "change the
name." It's a tricky thing to do. And we have to think hard about it. "

3. I wouldn't change the name. What's wrong with the name? I mean
the only thing to change might be to go with something that sheds the
SIG item like "Accessibility for Games and Gamers". I'm not sure
though you need to focus on this much right now. I'd worry more
about focusing tactics on the next round of growth and building a
bigger advisory board and networking scheme.

More information about the games_access mailing list