[games_access] Games for Health to Invest in Games Accessibility

hinn at uiuc.edu hinn at uiuc.edu
Sat Nov 17 11:00:54 EST 2007

I can also say that after E for All I have a totally new appreciation for all that goes on behind putting on a conference. And it's a VERY BIG DEAL that you guys are willing to do all the logistical stuff -- it's MUCH more time consuming that many realize and it's very generous of you guys, even if you have done this a ton of times and know the drill.

It's nice to be able to focus primarily on content and marketing for this -- I have a HUGE list of press contacts (over 1500 at last count) that I've collected over the years that I send press releases to. Combine that with the contacts you guys have -- we can reach an awful lot of people!


---- Original message ----

>Date: Sat, 17 Nov 2007 06:07:30 -0500

>From: "bsawyer at dmill.com" <bsawyer at dmill.com>

>Subject: Re: [games_access] Games for Health to Invest in Games Accessibility

>To: games_access at igda.org, games_access at igda.org


>We've got it under control. We've done this too many times. This event

>will either be at one of the hotels we've booked or at the School of

>Medicine. Either way no union contracts to worry about (we worry about

>those the following two days at the convention center but that's another

>problem) and we have registration set up, we have PR people on board, etc.


>We do need help with marketing but basically there I need you all to email

>people an invite we'll develop, and to blog about it, post on open forums,

>and send me contacts of people that I should talk to who might themselves

>send out emails, etc. If there are useful press contacts in the

>accessibility/disability community, if there are mailing lists I can buy

>just send this data to me and I have people ready to follow up on it.


>Teresa Kanter from RWJF is also going to probably lurk on the list and work

>to identify her contacts from the government accessibility community as

>well. I'm working my DoD contacts for names there as well since a lot of

>soldiers are living through injuries the percentage of casualties with

>disabilities is very high as some of you may know.



>Original Message:


>From: hinn at uiuc.edu

>Date: Fri, 16 Nov 2007 16:31:26 -0600 (CST)

>To: games_access at igda.org

>Subject: Re: [games_access] Games for Health to Invest in Games




>Yes, I agree -- just amongst the SIG we have plenty of content and if even

>a few of us reach out to other academics we could come up with an

>interesting program with not as much effort as we might think. This first

>year maybe it's all just personal emails and calls to colleagues to get

>things going with the idea that moving forward we work on a more open

>submission process for future years.


>At first glance a conference seems overwhelming but with you guys running

>all the things that some of us (like Eelke, Reid, Eitan) saw me having to

>figure out (all the union contracts...) at E for All, hopefully this will

>make people feel more at ease. I don't feel that nervous and after E for

>All I should be the MOST nervous of all! :)




>---- Original message ----

>>Date: Fri, 16 Nov 2007 17:24:01 -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>


>>I think our offer to do the day before as a standalone daylong

>>conference in May 2008 works - we will take care of everything but

>>content. We're prepared already to do it. I just need conference

>>material. We're assuming all the financial risk.


>>- Ben


>>On Nov 16, 2007, at 5:17 PM, <hinn at uiuc.edu> wrote:


>>> A couple comments -- I agree that it would be nice if we could have

>>> a ways to see how many games we have directly impacted. This is

>>> something like what Microsoft Research does as an alternative job

>>> evaluation mechanism for those who largely work on a single project

>>> that on it's own isn't "sellable" but is something that they can

>>> show directly impacts, say, 1 game, excel, word, and 4 more

>>> products. I don't see this as something to judge the "whole SIG" on

>>> but it is one thing that could add to the overall picture.


>>> A conference by May 2008 might be tough -- this is something to

>>> discuss. But an option is doing what other conferences have had

>>> their start doing -- have those of us already doing research give

>>> our papers but then the following year focus on getting more people

>>> outside of the SIG through a submission process. Also, the IGDA is

>>> very supportive of our SIG (and others) having a conference and

>>> Jason has said that the management group they work with could also

>>> help with all the stuff that's "too much" for us (ie, the

>>> registrations, hotel space rentals, etc). That was we don't have

>>> another E for All situation where I learn "all the things we never

>>> wanted to know about expos" and then I'm personally out $5 grand. :|


>>> Michelle


>>> ---- Original message ----

>>>> Date: Fri, 16 Nov 2007 11:14:59 -0800

>>>> From: Eelke Folmer <eelke.folmer at gmail.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>


>>>> Hi,


>>>> This is great news! good job!


>>>> - A good metric for this SIG's success could also be the number of

>>>> games that we were able to make more accessible. (Not by us but by

>>>> game developers).

>>>> - I am submitting a number of NSF proposals with the sole purpose to

>>>> gain more insights and understanding on what makes games more

>>>> accessible. I can share my personal research roadmap with you off the

>>>> mailinglist if you want.

>>>> - standalone conference; I welcome a research oriented conferences,

>>>> since there is plenty of research to do in this area and It would be

>>>> nice to get more researchers involved in this SIG. I would go but I

>>>> don't know whether we can attract the number of people that we would

>>>> like by as early as next may 2008. I know some researchers that do

>>>> work in game accessibility but are not part of the SIG.


>>>> Cheers Eelke



>>>> On Nov 16, 2007, at 5:54 AM, Ben Sawyer wrote:


>>>>> 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


>>>> _______________________________________________

>>>> 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"



>games_access mailing list

>games_access at igda.org




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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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