[games_access] Ideas for GDC 2008

d. michelle hinn hinn at uiuc.edu
Wed May 23 16:25:39 EDT 2007


The main thing to consider (worry about) is that the fewer sessions
we have (and the expo doesn't count), the fewer passes we get that
allow us to get into the main part of GDC. So we reallllly have to
think about the number of sessions we could realistically do (and
perhaps this means that the SIG sponsors sessions that are meant for,
say, "research on accessibility" that just a few people take and run
with). So...I need to be tricky...er...innovative. ;)

Michelle


>I like something along these lines for a GDC session title,

>

>Innovation: True Next Generation Gameplay for Everyone

>

>However, it risks sounding like marketing hype and devs see right

>through that. Anyway, this could be our "wow that's cool shit" type of

>presentation where we talk about the Demor sound based game for the

>blind and Brain Fingers and the Haptic device. We try to make this as

>flashy and cool as possible, even if tech isn't 100% there or games

>widely available. It should be entertaining for people who like to see

>what's around the corner and educational in showing people that there

>are those with disabilities that can't play their current games.

>

>Aside from that, I'd like to try the Expo booth more than a GDC

>session. There's only a few ways I can talk about closed captioning

>and I think I've tried them all.

>

>-Reid

>

>

>

>On 5/21/07, d. michelle hinn <hinn at uiuc.edu> wrote:

>>Ok...so now's the time to get the write ups going for the proposed

>>SIG sessions for GDC 2008 (it always takes us a bit to get things

>>finalized and GDC is even earlier in 2008) and I some ideas that I

>>want to run past people.

>>

>>We've talked a lot already about applying accessibility to how it

>>would help people that don't have a disability (like curb cuts that

>>help bicyclists and parents with baby strollers, etc). What if we had

>>a session called "Innovation: Game Accessibility for Able Gamers"

>>with the session planned around taking what we know about

>>accessibility and targeted the solutions for the "abled" in order to

>>help them out by taking them out of the lull of "boring, predictable

>>gaming"? This would be a session for the really "out there" stuff

>>like biofeedback and games like demor. When I presented at last

>>year's Montreal Game Summit, I found that it was the "wow" stuff that

>>got people thinking about the whole issue of accessibility being

>>"cool" -- it was the carrot that got them to listen to the more basic

>>design information. After that, people came up to talk to me about

>>how they never thought about accessibility as NOT limiting game

>>design.

>>

>>I'm not totally sold on the title (I just came up with it now so

>>catchier titles would be greatly appreciated!) but it would give us a

>>way to present accessibility information pertaining to disabled

>>gamers, sell it as something that helps more than just disabled

>>gamers without straying too far from the fact that we are the game

>>accessibility SIG.

>>

>>Another thing to think about is not how gamers is with disabilities

>>are limited but, instead, how maybe the increased skill in another

>>area makes them even MORE competitive and so "able" gamers should

>>know about these -- it's a turn around of telling them what they are

>>doing RIGHT in games by pointing out that they could even the score

>>with regard to accessibility by keeping these things in their games

>>(I know...that last one's trickier because it could lead to a

>>developer thinking that they are unbalanced in their gameplay by

>>making things easier for one user group...even though they already do

>>that when they are INaccessible).

>>

>>I've seen how easy some find it to forget the original audience that

>>a design was aiming for by making changes that end up not serving

>>that original audience. So that's why I remain resistant to totally

>>taking the word "accessibility" out -- I'm afraid of NOT reminding

>>the industry to keep gamers with disabilities in mind because it's so

>>easy for them to come down with selective amnesia. We've tried a LOT

>>of tactics over the years -- from serious to humorous, from

>>roundtables to much more ambitious workshops. So we need to think

>>about what we've learned from the four years we've presented as a SIG

>>at GDC. We won't do "accessibility idol" again but I think we

>>*should* do another competition (and we can again -- we got the

>>tentative "thumbs up" to do an hour-long competition, rather than the

>>two hour overkill). I'll write another email about ideas for a

>>competition that removes us from "idol" but helps us better make

>>accessibility into a challenging creative design process rather than

>>this "forced, non-creative" thing that it's rumored to be (and this

>>year I know to jump on the signage and web advert issue immediately).

>>

>>BUT...as a SIG I think we should stick to a fun competition (with the

>>devs that showed interest last year but couldn't do it but can this

>>year), the expo (with the fall back of another "arcade" thing, only

>>not three days worth), a "wacky session" like "innovation," and some

>>sort of longer session (like a tutorial) where we can have "short

>>burst" info about the things that SIG members have been doing -- ie,

>>Eelke might take 20-30 minutes to discuss his stuff, Dimitris taking

>>the same amount of time to overview his latest, Barrie and his stuff,

>>etc, etc, etc. Then if any one person wants to do a longer

>>presentation on their own stuff, they can do so at their own session,

>>promoting it at the SIG workshop. And if it helps, we can present the

>>more solo-acts as SIG-sponsored sessions to make sure it gets on the

>>schedule better -- I know Reid and others have had a really hard time

>>getting onto the schedule as solo acts. But in the end the longer

>>presentations would be the onus of the person who is presenting their

>>work and not something that the entire SIG needs to be there to set

>>up for, etc (that doesn't mean that we all wouldn't try to be there

>>for them!!).

>>

>>We learned in March that 78.4 SIG sessions (ok, 8) isn't the way to

>>go but I also think going back to the single roundtable isn't the

>>answer either. So now we have to find our happy medium that allows us

>>to all ATTEND other sessions and help increase the buzz about all of

>>our sessions, our existance, etc but also maximize our limited

>>(simply by the fact that there are just a few of us that can make it

>>to any one GDC) efforts in the sessions that we do. And we have to

>>find our happy medium so it's not just a couple of us pulling

>>all-nighters the weeks before! So instead of me being in charge of

>>every session for the organization, we can share the wealth a bit by

>>having some on the committee for the competition, others on the

>>tutorial/workshop committee, and so forth. I realize that we aren't a

>>big lot but even NON attendees can help serve on committees to help

>>share ideas!

>>

>>Ok that's the end of this email that had started out short and sweet.

>>:) Sorry -- just feeling the GDC pressure and I realllly want to get

>>as many people involved as possible so we can present a more united

>>effort and help best support one another!!

>>

>>Thoughts? Reactions? And, yes, I'm now very removed from the emotions

>>of GDC 2007. :) But please be thoughtful in your suggestions --

>>underneath that black leather jacket I keep wearing to GDCs (for good

>>luck?), I can get rather down sometimes (yay! depression!) and I'd

>>hate for us to have a flame war. I promise I will count to 10 before

>>hitting the "send" button if I find myself taking things too

>>personally. Ok, deal? :)

>>

>>Michelle

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