[games_access] Games for Health to Invest in Games Accessibility
hinn at uiuc.edu
hinn at uiuc.edu
Fri Nov 16 11:44:14 EST 2007
Hehe...it's been killing me too but it helped to at least personally know that funding was on the way! :)
So everyone -- your ideas are needed!!
---- Original message ----
>Date: Fri, 16 Nov 2007 11:28:39 -0500
>From: Ben Sawyer <bsawyer at dmill.com>
>Subject: Re: [games_access] Games for Health to Invest in Games Accessibility
>To: IGDA Games Accessibility SIG Mailing List <games_access at igda.org>
>And thanks to Michelle for her leadership and for keeping this quiet
>long enough. It's been killing me to hold back.
>On Nov 16, 2007, at 11:25 AM, <hinn at uiuc.edu> wrote:
>> Hey everyone -- so Ben and I have been discussing this for a time
>> now and we're working together to come up with a plan as to how to
>> best use this generous donation, find matching funds, etc. So this
>> is the real deal! So, hey, we have some money now! So put on your
>> thinking caps and help us think of ways to best invest our money so
>> that it helps the SIG long-term!
>> And thanks to Ben, of course, for his incredible support and
>> including us in this initiative!
>> ---- Original message ----
>>> Date: Fri, 16 Nov 2007 08:54:26 -0500
>>> From: Ben Sawyer <bsawyer at dmill.com>
>>> Subject: [games_access] Games for Health to Invest in Games
>>> To: IGDA Games Accessibility SIG Mailing List <games_access at igda.org>
>>> Hi everyone,
>>> I've got some big news. As many of you saw Games for Health is part
>>> of a new round of investment by The Robert Wood Johnson Foundation
>>> into games and healthcare. We're extremely excited about this new
>>> As part of our specific grant we have allocated resources
>>> specifically to support the IGDA Accessibility community.
>>> Over the next two years we will directly contribute funds to SIG
>>> activities. The amount is set but I can't reveal it yet as much as I
>>> want to because I'm actually looking to make it more by finding some
>>> other organizations who will join us with matching funds. Right now
>>> I can tell you this - it's more then $10,000.
>>> The funds will be used to support your activities but there are of
>>> course some simple strings. Basically the funds will be released
>>> once there is a written plan in place that provides for how and what
>>> the funds will be spent on. That plan needs my approval and
>>> subsequently I have to have the approval of the foundation for all my
>>> work. I don't want it to sound dictatorish -- I'm pretty liberal for
>>> what they should be used for but my basic goals are as follows:
>>> 1. I'd like to see the community double is size as outlined by some
>>> simple metrics (i.e. number of subscribers to the listserv, number of
>>> people in the industry you are in regular contact with, number of
>>> talks in front of audiences, etc.)
>>> 2. I'd like to see the community produce some written plans that
>>> outline roadmaps for better accessibility efforts -- especially
>>> research roadmap.
>>> 3. I want to establish a standalone conference on games accessibility
>>> attached to our Games for Health Conference (so we can combine
>>> logistics and hit on overlapping communities of interest).
>>> 4. I am also specifically interested in identifying and doing what we
>>> can to nurture research into how accessibility to games improves
>>> people with disabilities mentally, socially, and physically.
>>> Eventually leading to some great empirical and evidence based
>>> research published - to the extent we don't already have this.
>>> Beyond those goals I look to everyone here in the community to really
>>> drive things. So the restriction is the production of a plan that
>>> seems smartly aimed toward these goals. Within that framework the
>>> funds can support travel subsidies, creating really nice brochures,
>>> improved Web site content and access, etc.
>>> I've already discussed the gist of this with Michelle and I've asked
>>> her to produce with everyones help the plan and present it to me
>>> before the end of the year. The funds are for 2008 and 2009.
>>> Games Accessibility Conference
>>> I am very serious as I've said before in establishing a one-day
>>> conference on games accessibility along side our Games for Health
>>> Conference. We have facilities, hotel blocks, registration systems,
>>> logistical support, massive PR support, already in place for this.
>>> The date to hold this would be May 7, 2008 which is the day before
>>> Games for Health opens. It would be a one day conference with a
>>> single track to start and a demo area. We would also probably
>>> feature 2 sessions on accessibility at Games for Health on Thursday
>>> and Friday. I hope this date works for everyone as much as possible
>>> - I can't really move it. Hopefully it just works as best it can.
>>> In 2009 we hope to have more flexibility for you.
>>> I want the SIG to take on the role of developing the content. My
>>> only stipulation is 25% of the content MUST be focused on talks that
>>> explore how accessibility technologies, research, and efforts can be
>>> applied to health for people with permanent, temporary, or on-setting
>>> disabilities. The rest of the content can be focused on core needs,
>>> case studies, research, etc. that will improve the accessibility of
>>> games in general for any purpose -- especially entertainment.
>>> Speakers would attend for free. All other registrants would be
>>> charged an amount <$200 to attend. My goal is that the event be
>>> break-even or even profitable within itself. I would share 50% of
>>> the profits from the event back to the SIG by adding it to the grant
>>> funds we have available. The other funds if there is a profit would
>>> be reinvested for planning the following year, etc.
>>> We very much want to make this event happen. The Robert Wood Johnson
>>> Foundation team we work with has someone on it with deep contacts in
>>> the accessibility community and is going to talk with a variety of
>>> government agencies involved with accessibility to drive them to
>>> support this event. That becomes a doorway to driving them to
>>> support more pervasive accessibility activities.
>>> We will be promoting this event heavily to all our attendees. We
>>> will be filming parts of it, we will make an expo area available to
>>> showcase work, and we will have dedicated PR staff on the event.
>>> The event is to be held in Baltimore, MD which is served by Southwest
>>> Airlines which makes it pretty inexpensive to get to. We are also
>>> quite proximate to the federal government which is a big plus. We've
>>> got two hotels blocked out and we're searching for an ultra
>>> inexpensive block as well.
>>> My goal is to have 50-100 people attend the event. My hopes are
>>> 25-50% stay over for the rest of our event that week so yes from a
>>> total transparency standpoint I'm hoping this increases my
>>> conference's core profitability. Win-win.
>>> If there is a good sense we can pull of the conference idea as
>>> planned I want to make it part of our conference announcements in the
>>> coming weeks. I also will be including games accessibility in our
>>> call for content next week. We expect to then forward those papers
>>> to a committee formed here to accept and mold that content. I will
>>> advise you on content just from my experience of organizing events
>>> but other then the 25% requirement I really leave it to you as the
>>> experts to decide what will be important for people to hear and learn
>>> BIG NEEDS
>>> So hopefully you're still digesting this all but the reason I'm
>>> writing this all and providing as much information as I can is I need
>>> the following help - please reply to the list with your thoughts:
>>> 1. I do need general feedback - ask questions, provide comments, I
>>> will do my best to answer them.
>>> 2. I need NAMES of people you think are in a position or at
>>> organizations in a position to possibly decide to match our funds. I
>>> really want our funds to catalyze others to chip in. There is no
>>> reason this can't eventually snowball to generate over $100,000 or
>>> more in due time. At least that's my hope.
>>> I am already reaching out to Microsoft, Intel, Cisco, IBM and a few
>>> others. The early reception has been ok but until we release this
>>> more publicly I expect things to be slow to develop. If you give me
>>> more names I'll follow up hard.
>>> FUTURE PLANS
>>> The basic outline for this all for me is as follows:
>>> 1. I want to announce the funds and the goals for them before Xmas.
>>> My goal is we have 2 other funders matching 50% or more of the funds
>>> by then so they can be named in the Press Release.
>>> 2. I want to then announce in the press release that the original
>>> funders are challenging anyone else with resources to join this
>>> funding -- as part of this I was thinking it'd be cool to setup an
>>> individual fundraising effort too - let gamers, and individual
>>> developers provide funds to match the larger gifts.
>>> 3. In order to accomplish points 1 & 2 the goal would be to have a
>>> basic plan in place because the core goals of that plan would be
>>> articulated to the public so they can understand what the funds will
>>> hopefully accomplish. Ultimately if we raised enough my hopes are it
>>> would accomplish funding development of more accessibility
>>> technologies, standards, and SDKs to make it easier for all game
>>> developers to put these features in their games. I also hope it
>>> might fund prototypes or games that are specific for people with
>>> disabilities like some of the audio only games we've seen from the
>>> community thus far.
>>> THANK YOU
>>> I've been following the work of the SIG and all of you here for
>>> sometime. As I've said many times the work here is extremely
>>> relevant to the work I do on serious games, and games for health.
>>> I've been hoping to bring some funds to the table to help and while
>>> it's not as much as I wanted if I can parlay it with your help into a
>>> large enough amount it hopefully can help be the fuel for the spark
>>> you've more then created.
>>> Thank you all,
>>> games_access mailing list
>>> games_access at igda.org
>> these are mediocre times and people are
>> losing hope. it's hard for many people
>> to believe that there are extraordinary
>> things inside themselves, as well as
>> others. i hope you can keep an open
>> -- "unbreakable"
>> games_access mailing list
>> games_access at igda.org
>games_access mailing list
>games_access at igda.org
these are mediocre times and people are
losing hope. it's hard for many people
to believe that there are extraordinary
things inside themselves, as well as
others. i hope you can keep an open
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