[games_access] my response.

d. michelle hinn hinn at uiuc.edu
Mon Mar 19 17:56:06 EDT 2007

I will say this:

* The SIG meeting was Monday morning from 10am-noon when we were
overrun by PBS (who I did not invite but who were there to primarily
cover a story about Robert Florio who unfortunately became very ill
and had to leave)

* The Thursday "meet and greet" was for people to gather together and
it was never meant to BE a formal meeting (and some of us were
starved) and, once again, couldn't get rid of PBS

* On Friday (before I made the face punch remark), 10 minutes after
the last session when I was tired (and NOT hung over and had also
left the Dutch WAY before you did the night before because I was sick
and thought that it would be polite to go for a short while to a
party that was across from the hotel where I had received a special
invite to) I asked you politely THREE TIMES if we could please wait
to discuss negative criticism when we weren't all so tired. You
continued on provoking me despite my being direct with you and
telling you that there is a time and a place for constructive
criticism but that this was not the time because I was too exhausted
to really take it in without taking it to heart.

As for the rest...I'm only going to reply to the rest of this in
whole and not point by point because (1) I don't even know where to
begin because there are too many misunderstandings and slanderous
accusations to even begin that will end up being the "Eelke versus
Michelle" show and (2) I'm sick of personal attacks on the list and I
will not contribute to this any longer. If others would like to
attack me or anyone else on this list, so be it. But I, and others,
have too many accessibility projects going on at the moment because
of connections that we'd made during GDC and I feel that it is of
better interest to the group to nurture those and stop responding to
the negative opinions about me and the SIG's performance at GDC. At
this point you have gone beyond discussing just your opinion of my
job but you are insulting all the SIG members who have been actively
working on behalf of game accessibility no matter what you think may
or may not be true.


>Hi ,


>Thanks for some people's support.


>The mailinglist thing, it is kind of fishy that both my email

>adresses were removed. Fact now is that this discussion is now held

>in a small group of which many support michelle. So I doubt whether

>it is


>I'd like to respond to some of the things that were said back and

>forth because I think some of the things said were unjust and

>frankly below the belt.


>Michelle, about the "threaten to punch you incident", how you try to

>convert that into: "eelke is someone who kicks someone when they are

>down" doesnt make sense. I have asked 3 times during GDC nicely

>whether or when we could talk, (even at the time slot scheduled for

>SIG meetings). First time you were to busy with lunch, second time

>you told me no other SIG does anything and the last time (hours

>before I left) you threatened to punch me in the face. Sadly I don't

>have a radar in my head that tells me what mood you are in. I don't

>know how to interpret that you trying to blame your mood on your

>disability. You were sick/tired/stressed that friday morning, but

>how much of that mood was caused because you were partying out late

>at the dutch party on thursday? I'm not denying your right to party,

>but if you are sick/tired/disabled wouldn't it have been a good idea

>to go to bed early? Using your disability as an excuse for your

>behavior just doesn't feel right to me and hurts people's respect

>for people that are disabled. If you can party and drink all week,

>carry around heavy suitcases, give interviews all the time, I'm sure

>you can be a professional for 5 minutes when people ask you a simple

>question. I also don't know how to interpret: " -- some of us are

>here because we know that we are part of the target audience--" So

>you are saying you are more likely to do a better job because you

>are disabled? Isn't disabilities all about being equal? People with

>disabilities should and want to be treated the same as people

>without, not less but certainly not more. The only reason for

>someone to do a better job than you would be because they are better

>qualified, regardless of being disabled or not. I have never heard

>of disabilities preventing anyone from just listening to other

>people. I don't think someone who has cancer is interested whether

>the person inventing a cure for cancer has cancer themselves, they

>just want a cure.


>I keep hammering on results, because to me that is the most

>important thing, and I'd like to know what has this SIG achieved in

>its four years of existence? Hundreds and hundreds of commercial

>games have entered the market in those four years. Not one has been

>made more accessible because of this SIG. In those four years have

>you not been able to talk to one game designer and asked them to

>implement something simple such as closed captioning or

>reconfigurable controls? What has been done except some of us

>promoting themselves?


>The missing extension-plugs and bad scheduling does not explain the

>low turnout at our events. I am not buying your excuse and frankly I

>think no one in this SIG does. The lack of promoting our events to

>game developers does. Ow there was lots of promotion alright you

>spend a significant time in front of local TV camera's, but honestly

>has that led to one more visitor to any of our events? Will it lead

>to more accessible games? I doubt it.... I talked more people in 5

>minutes before AI started. I have been criticized for going out to

>other events, but I merely looked at things that work and tried to

>spread the word on accessibility as best as I could. We are at GDC

>--where thousands of game developers meet--if the game developers

>don't come to our meetings, well than we maybe it is time that we

>should go to theirs.


>Michelle, you make running this SIG sound like you are building the

>chinese wall all by yourself. But frankly I don't think it is that

>much work. It could already start by focussing on things that are

>relevant and that lead to successes like I tried to suggest in my

>accessibility 2.0 plan. Less focus on self promotion and more focus

>on getting results. This SIG has become too much the "michelle and

>richard" show. It is both of your names on everything that is

>organized and the rest of us has no influence over what we do and

>who will be involved. I think there are numerous people in this

>group that deserve way more credit but they are modest and don't

>push themselves in the picture as much as the two of you. Why is

>half of the game accessibility wikipedia page about things that the

>two of you do? maybe you should compare your page with the web

>accessibility wikipedia page, that actually consists useful

>information rather than self promotion. Ask yourself if you are a

>game designer browsing the wikipedia on game accessibility wouldn't

>it be more useful to learn something on game accessibility rather

>than on the both of you and the projects you are involved

>in? Numerous people have contributed to web accessibility, do they

>have their own wikipedia pages? No! because they put other interests

>in front of themselves.


>This SIG is not some sort of "happy friends" club where you can hang

>out with your overseas friends, You can have all the glitter and

>glamour you want as soon as we start seeing some accessible games.

>Game accessibility does not need a mother theresa or recognizable

>names, it needs results. And then you both have the nerve to

>criticize Robert and his video to be too self centered. Are you guys

>too afraid that someone who is really disabled steals away some of

>your precious air time? Robert could do more to promote game

>accessibility by just driving around at GDC than any of the events

>you have organized. If you must use him as a puppet for your events,

>at least show him some respect --he deserves that much.


>You have created your own little circle by deciding what kind of

>games people with disabilities should play, maybe you should talk to

>some kids with disabilities and find out that they want to be able

>to play mainstream games like Gears of War. Now unless you both get

>your asses of the plush and out of the spotlight, and use some of

>your "famousness" to hand game developers such as Cliffy B (though

>I doubt you know who he is) a small flyer with 10 little

>accessibility tips (without any self promotion on that flyer,

>remember this SIG is not about you) ..... then we might actually

>start seeing some results.


>Cheers Eelke



>Eelke Folmer Assistant Professor

>Department of Computer Science & Engineering/171

>University of Nevada Reno, Nevada 89557

>Game Quality usability|accessibility.eelke.com






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