[games_access] Ideas for GDC 2008

Reid Kimball reid at rbkdesign.com
Fri May 25 11:22:02 EDT 2007


I would much prefer to hand out fliers to people without having a loud
protest. I don't want to see people used as props. I think people
would be annoyed by our presence when they are outside trying to have
conversations.

On 5/25/07, Barrie Ellis <barrie.ellis at oneswitch.org.uk> wrote:

>

>

> I think this kind of thing can be effective. I know in this country D.A.N.

> (The Disability Action Network) handcuffed themselves to buses and the

> railings of parliament when they were protesting about the lack of access in

> public transport. I would say that transport is now a lot better in this

> country - not solely for their protests - but I think they helped sway

> oppinion. D.A.N. is very quiet/non-existant these days - but many of the

> activists from D.A.N. got absorbed by councils and so on with jobs where

> they could make changes from within. It would be great if more disabled

> people started to get jobs out of a GDC campaign and could make a difference

> in a similar way.

>

> Barrie

> www.OneSwitch.org.uk

>

>

> ----- Original Message -----

> From: Eelke Folmer

> To: IGDA Games Accessibility SIG Mailing List

> Sent: Friday, May 25, 2007 3:09 AM

> Subject: Re: [games_access] Ideas for GDC 2008

>

>

> Hi all,

>

>

> I think I pitched this idea sometime ago when we were having this big

> conflict ;-) but I'd like to pitch it again because I seriously would like

> you guys to consider this.

>

>

> It's pretty obvious after the low turnouts of our events that game

> developers are just not interested in what we have to say so why don't we do

> something more rebellious and just shove the facts in their face? My idea

> for next year's GDC would be to stand right outside the Moscone center

> (between the north and west pavilion where at least 5000 game developers

> walk by) with a number of disabled people holding signs saying WE WANT

> ACCESSIBLE GAMES. If we really want to get attention I think this is what

> we should do. At the same time we can hand out small flyers. Lets make four

> different little flyers (so people can collect or trade them ;-) (combine it

> with the persona idea) for each disability one little flyer which obviously

> states a) a problem b) a solution(s). E.g. "tim" is a quadripleghic, sees

> gears of war on tv all the time but can't play it because it doesn't support

> his quad controller (maybe not use names of existing games not to piss of

> epic studios). Solutions : "allow configurable keys and map actions to

> different buttons & use autoaim to minimize the amount of interaction".

>

>

> I don't know if you would be into this, or whether it would be appropriate

> but I think its an idea at least worth exploring.

>

>

> Cheers Eelke

>

>

>

>

>

>

>

>

> On May 23, 2007, at 1:25 PM, d. michelle hinn wrote:

>

>

> 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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>

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>

> ----------------------------------------------------------------------------

> 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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