[games_access] Games for Health to Invest in Games Accessibility

Robert Florio arthit73 at cablespeed.com
Fri Nov 16 12:40:23 EST 2007

Great information Ben thanks. Yes I have a couple ideas to add. As you
know I spoke at the conference a couple years ago that was very enjoyable.
I actually just got out of a hospital that day after two weeks of agony it
was pretty remarkable actually made it to do the speech. I didn't have much
energy on top of what I'm capable of most of it was drained. But I still
turned out really good.

First. Anyway I finished my documentary and aside from a few things I need
to add to it I'd love to show it as selling tickets to come view it at the
games for health conference this year if that's possible please let me know?

I imagine that I would divide up the proceeds between my personal fun than
healthy pay for medical related expenditures in my life at the same time
help give a percentage back to our SIG. Please let me know if this sounds
interesting and not my documentary needs a crowd and with my story and
everything I've filmed over the past two years from attending GDC 2006 with
a scholarship, meeting with Michelle and the whole group and David Peary
asking questions about game accessibility and then getting involved with the
story of my life the Emmy nominated associated press award winning stories
that came out in the press over the years I think it would be of great
attention grabber and money collector. Definitely inspiring. The trailer
is on my home page currently but I'm working on a better version of it.
www.RobertFlorio.com please check it out. A large portion of my speech at
the conference is in the documentary.

Second. On the idea of the documentary it would be good to reach out to
people who would find something like that to put it in larger markets. Now
I don't know how much of that I'd be willing to give back to the group
knowing full well that I need this funds for my life to survive. Saying it
will be a great strategy to bring people out to viewings to watch it at
different locations across the country and then have a portion of that fund
the group. As long as it was advertised and sponsored by one of the groups
either the state over the games for health conference for publicity.

Third. I think it's great that these funds could potentially fund a
videogame project I think ultimately that's where we need to go that's what
we will grab the most attention to actually show the world what can be done.

Fourth. What you said about developing content that other gamers can
actually use I think involves people with talents in programming but I don't
know if our group is actually capable of that. I'm imagining that would be
really expensive and most of that comes from actual game projects so I would
suggest we found a game project to see what the results are but once that
happens we probably one to keep for those people probably want to keep those
ideas marketable so the developers would have to purchase the rights to use
those programming easy plug-and-play features for their games but still give
us ways to fund projects.

Fifth. Just mentioned is briefly above but I think the gaming is the best
way to go actually working on in game getting things developed and then
selling out those programming rights to other companies largely on even more
game projects but instead of selling the rights actually just leasing them
in a way because once they are given over those other companies probably
will already know looking at what to do to create their own coding next.
The point is that a project largely develop the ideas come across the
stumbling blocks that will get in the way of these things not working
instead of just saying anyone out there who can write or thinks they can
write programming that would help any game specific engines do it and then
we can pass it out but I don't think it would happen that way. I think it
comes from trial and error in a real project.

Thanks for this information is really cool and I look forward to speaking
hopefully again at the next conference. Please let me know if that will be
possible. I live very close to Baltimore and it would be cool to get some
of the members from the group around my area show them around and a lot more
convenient than flying I'm sure we'll have that in her mind. For those who
live close to the events.


-----Original Message-----
From: games_access-bounces at igda.org [mailto:games_access-bounces at igda.org]
On Behalf Of hinn at uiuc.edu
Sent: Friday, November 16, 2007 11:44 AM
To: IGDA Games Accessibility SIG Mailing List
Subject: Re: [games_access] Games for Health to Invest in Games

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


>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.


>- Ben


>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!


>> Michelle


>> ---- 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

>>> Accessibility

>>> 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

>>> development.


>>> 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

>>> from.



>>> 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.



>>> 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.



>>> 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,


>>> Ben





>>> _______________________________________________

>>> games_access mailing list

>>> games_access at igda.org

>>> http://seven.pairlist.net/mailman/listinfo/games_access

>> .......................................

>> 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

>> mind.

>> -- "unbreakable"

>> .......................................

>> _______________________________________________

>> games_access mailing list

>> games_access at igda.org

>> http://seven.pairlist.net/mailman/listinfo/games_access



>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"
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