[games_access] GDC 2008: VERY Bad News

d. michelle hinn hinn at uiuc.edu
Fri Nov 30 19:39:02 EST 2007


Yeah...it's hard not to become cynical about GDC -- it's getting
bigger and bigger but we're not seeing the interest go up. And we
can't participate in the ways that we'd like -- an expo booth is
absolutely out of the question this year. Without passes, you can't
get to most of the people at GDC and without the really expensive
passes (speaker's) you can't get to the people who hold the purse
strings.

Attendance is one thing -- even at FuturePlay we didn't have the 40
people that they said signed up. But we did have around 20 people who
were very engaged. Most, though, we're not in the "industry" -- as in
commercial gaming -- as it was an academic-oriented conference. That
doesn't mean that's bad -- it's just also not getting the "industry."
But even then -- will that talk end up impacting any type of gaming,
including serious? It's hard to tell. Maybe, hopefully. But we don't
really have a way of knowing unless people say "I put X in my game
because I heard a talk three years ago that discussed it."

I guess I'm a bit cynical about talks at smaller venues -- what is
"success" at any conference? The transient feeling of success
immediately after a talk? That can be a misleading predictor. GDC is
GDC not just because of the sessions but because you gain access to a
LOT of people. FuturePlay had about 170 attendees whereas GDC had way
over 10,000 attendees -- it's the "big fish/little pond - little
fish/big pond" scenario. We have to approach every conference with
the realization that we're about to enter a little or big pond (and
hopefully at one of those we'll be the big fish?) and adjust our
expectations and how we feel about our presence afterwards. We just
are not going to see a large turnout at any of our sessions at GDC.
That seems to be bordering on becoming a fact. So while the talks get
us into the conference, the real impact is in the connections we can
make outside the talks.

But while I caution against false feelings of success after smaller
conferences...let's also remember the smaller GDCs -- Austin,
Leipzig, China, etc. Austin was very successful and resulted in a lot
of contacts and new members, inquiries about our talk in the weeks
after, etc. That is one way to feel that word is getting out. And as
we keep getting the word out we'll start seeing solutions that
different members are working on being implemented -- because in the
end, if no one knows about it because there's no conference talk, no
one-on-one networking, no press coverage...the solutions will just
sit there unused. So maybe we don't put as much into the BIG GDC (San
Fran) and focus on getting more of us out to the smaller, regional
ones? But I think it would be a mistake to ignore the biggest
developers conference in the world! Even if they try to ignore
us...yet, we're still in it! We just have to remember that we're
there to fight versus feel sorry for ourselves if we only get 2
people in a conference room but we connect with 100 a piece.

Michelle


>Hi

>

>just want to add I've started to become a bit cynical about GDC

>after four years of low number of attendees. I'm also disappointed

>by this, but for other reasons than the GDC judges

>

>Let's not forget GDC is just one conference, although the biggest

>it's perhaps not the best - low numbers of attendees is really not

>our problem, it's the industry's problem, that they can't see the

>importance of accessibility for the future of the industry. We're

>here to help, but since the industry (with a few

>exceptions/individuals) isn't listening at GDC, they do listen

>elsewhere.

>

>I'd say we should aim for other conferences where people have

>interest and time to listen to us. FuturePlay was a great success;

>let's focus on similar conferences where we can succeed rather than

>getting disappointed at GDC.

>

>/Thomas

>

>

>30 nov 2007 kl. 20.00 skrev d. michelle hinn:

>

>>Well, there's lots to do, that's for sure. We also can't forget

>>that some of us (you, me, Richard, others) were hit by the GDC flu

>>and/or had to go to hospital (my kidney nightmare) and the

>>selection committee doesn't allow you to petition for that. That

>>DRAMATICALLY impacted a lot of our sessions and Idol went way

>>differently than we'd planned for. So we had a lot of bad luck last

>>year that isn't the fault of anyone -- but it did impact how our

>>proposals were viewed.

>>

>>As a group, we just need to remember that we are a group. We are a

>>volunteer group. But we are a group and we do a lot! And every time

>>we get a chance we have to remember to talk about the group. Sure,

>>we all have individual goals, jobs, lives, etc -- but if we all

>>remembered to mention that we are a part of this group, this

>>movement, I think it would go a long way....especially when it's

>>something good! :)

>>

>>Michelle

>>

>>>Sounds like a challenge. It's too bad there was a bad reputation

>>>now about our group. Just feels the fighter though to get the

>>>word out about our initiatives even more. Still baffles my mind

>>>like game accessibility is just not excepted at all by the

>>>mainstream game design community. Until someday, some mainstream

>>>game designers are injured and can't find their favorite games

>>>anymore and then we'll see. But apparently the last 20 years

>>>they've all been pretty invulnerable.

>>>

>>>

>>>

>>>Robert

>>>

>>>

>>>

>>>

>>>From: games_access-bounces at igda.org

>>>[<mailto:games_access-bounces at igda.org>mailto:games_access-bounces at igda.org]

>>>On Behalf Of d. michelle hinn

>>>Sent: Friday, November 30, 2007 12:48 PM

>>>To: IGDA Games Accessibility SIG Mailing List

>>>Subject: Re: [games_access] GDC 2008: VERY Bad News

>>>

>>>

>>>

>>>Hey,

>>>

>>>

>>>

>>>The only feedback I've gotten was informal from people I know who

>>>work there -- the sessions weren't judged on content as much as

>>>based on low numbers of attendees and a lot of bad press from

>>>GDC07 (many people on the advisory boards for each section (audio,

>>>design, etc) gossiped, Idol participants complained...and, yeah,

>>>that web archive was mentioned -- google, etc are not our

>>>friends). So we live and learn. I'm not going to go into specifics

>>>because it will hurt us to go into it and we don't need that --

>>>There's too much to do and we cannot spend the little time we have

>>>until GDC08 talking about what happened after GDC07. I know I

>>>brought it up because, yes, I was angry that morning because the

>>>low number of acceptances for this year was what I was afraid

>>>might happen. But I was also angry because I really, really killed

>>>myself over the proposals for this year.

>>>

>>>

>>>

>>>Unfortunately, it's not academia so they won't ever provide us

>>>with concrete comments or a feedback page about what we could have

>>>done better/differently or even what they hated. And it's not a

>>>blind review either. Basically this year we need to atone and

>>>re-earn respect as a group. >From what I've heard, however, if you

>>>have never had a proposal accepted that you turned in, they were

>>>EVEN MORE likely to not take a chance on your proposal...so I

>>>guess we are lucky that we got three sessions (two were solicited

>>>but even those went through a bit of a review as well).

>>>

>>>

>>>

>>>So when you say you can pay your own way...do you mean that you

>>>want to buy your own pass?

>>>

>>>

>>>

>>>We'll have accessibility arcade and the meet and greet to show

>>>some stuff at -- we won't have as much room but we should have

>>>stuff for people to look at and some of the stuff are great

>>>conversation starters. So we won't need as much this year -- my

>>>broken controller (the Quad Controller that has now been broken

>>>TWICE by airport security so it really looks bad) is quite the

>>>conversation piece. I think I could have just carried that around

>>>at FuturePlay all day to get the word out about accessibility! :D

>>>

>>>

>>>

>>>Michelle

>>>

>>>

>>>

>>>>Hi,

>>>>

>>>>

>>>>

>>>>

>>>>I'm sorry to hear about the passes. I'll be driving from Reno to

>>>>SF so I can take all my accessible hardware if need be. (If there

>>>>is space to demo them?)

>>>>

>>>>

>>>>

>>>>Michelle, did they provide us with specific feedback on those

>>>>proposals? what were the main criteria for not accepting them?

>>>>

>>>>

>>>>

>>>>

>>>>I can pay my own way to GDC since I have some money left from my

>>>>grant that I need to spend before august, after UNR decided not

>>>>to approve my travel request to Futureplay. Besides it's cheap

>>>>for me to go there anyway.

>>>>

>>>>

>>>>

>>>>Cheers Eelke

>>>>

>>>>

>>>>

>>>>

>>>>

>>>>

>>>>

>>>>

>>>>On 27/11/2007, Reid Kimball

>>>><<mailto:reid at rbkdesign.com>reid at rbkdesign.com> wrote:

>>>>

>>>>While this is isn't the ideal situation it's not a total loss for the

>>>>group and we have to work within our resources to do the best we can.

>>>>

>>>>If only three of us can come, then I suggest we don't bring any

>>>>hardware accessories. Instead, let's create flyer's and brochures

>>>>about the accessories. Maybe even produce videos of people using them.

>>>>

>>>>I also recommend that because we are a smaller group this year, we try

>>>>to have personal meetings with game developers to talk about how we

>>>>can help them.

>>>>

>>>>-Reid

>>>>

>>>>On Nov 27, 2007 12:25 PM, d. michelle hinn

>>>><<mailto:hinn at uiuc.edu> hinn at uiuc.edu> wrote:

>>>>>

>>>>>

>>>>> Ok...

>>>>>

>>>>>

>>>>> So remember when I was writing for days straight for all the

>>>>>GDC submissions

>>>>> without a whole lot of help? All submissions have been accepted now so we

>>>>> have some bad, bad music to face. I never did put up all the final

>>>>> submissions on the WIKI -- I was too tired after the deadline

>>>>>and it doesn't

>>>>> matter as much now. I'll get them up for archive reasons.

>>>>>

>>>>>

>>>>> Well...we've been hit by reality this year. I hate to bring this up again

>>>>> but I feel that I have to -- A lot of public word got out about our big

>>>>> post-GDC fight last year (it's archived on the net...). I'm not

>>>>>saying that

>>>>> it was any one person or any one comment -- I can't even look

>>>>>at the archive

>>>>

>>>> > without beating myself up about it because I felt like I had

>>>>really, really

>>>>> let everyone down. I got the proposals and the passes but I couldn't make

>>>>> our showing work in the best way possible. I couldn't be everywhere

>>>>> advertising our sessions. I was far from perfect, we were all far from

>>>>> perfect, we had big dreams but not enough people doing the work. I'm not

>>>>> saying everything goes back to that but we had a big year last year, had

>>>>> more than enough passes for everyone...and that was then. It's hard for

>>>>> me...well, it's very sad for me to realize that we had it so

>>>>>great last year

>>>>> and we didn't recognize it, we didn't have enough real help

>>>>>when push came

>>>>> to shove (or suitcase pulling came to suitcase pulling back and

>>>>>forth every

>>>>> day to the convention center). All the "should of" "would have"

>>>>>"could have"

>>>>> things are coming back to haunt me. I stopped flogging myself

>>>>>about this a

>>>>> while ago and thought that I had come to peace with it but I realize now

>>>>> that I still haven't stopped flogging myself about not being

>>>>>superhuman. I

>>>>> know. I know. Stop it.

>>>>>

>>>>>

>>>>> So...we only had one proposal accepted. All the acceptances are in now.

>>>>> Reid's [cc] poster (downgraded from a 20 minute talk but I

>>>>>think this will

>>>>> get more people) submission.

>>>>>

>>>>>[<https://www.cmpevents.com/GD08/a.asp?option=C&V=11&SessID=6456>

>>>>>https://www.cmpevents.com/GD08/a.asp?option=C&V=11&SessID=6456 ]

>>>>>

>>>>>

>>>>> The other two were IGDA solicited (ie, they did not go through

>>>>>the system)

>>>>> -- accessibility arcade and the SIG meet and greet. That buys us two more

>>>>> passes -- one is mine since I'm SIG chair and one was for Eelke

>>>>>for the meet

>>>>> and greet because he helped on the proposals.

>>>>>

>>>>>

>>>>> I'm going to try and talk to everyone I can think of to try and get a few

>>>>> more passes because one of those is a roundtable and was

>>>>>solicited by IGDA

>>>>> (that was NOT in the proposal process) and it's accessibility arcade. To

>>>>> pull that off, we need more people. I hope that this gets us a few more

>>>>> passes.

>>>>>

>>>>>

>>>>> The booth is out of question unless we can get some SERIOUS

>>>>>money FAST. I am

>>>>> trying every angle I can think of but so far no luck. The booth

>>>>>SPACE costs

>>>>> $5100 for 10x10 booth -- add on about $3000 more for the

>>>>>"required" minimum

>>>>> of stuff we have to provide...no way. IF we get an expo booth

>>>>>it will get us

>>>>> more EXPO passes, which will restrict those with these passes

>>>>>to just being

>>>>> able to get into the expo area (no talks, etc). That's the reality.

>>>>>

>>>>>

>>>>> I'm sorry to have to tell you this and I'm sorry for the

>>>>>anger/sadness in my

>>>>

>>>> > tone. We are not going to be able to bring everyone we want

>>>>to. I cannot say

>>>>> when or if I'll hear if we can get more passes. I know some of you have

>>>>> already made flight and hotel arrangements. If you are one of

>>>>>these people,

>>>>> please check with your airlines, etc for the last date to cancel without

>>>>> penalty.

>>>>>

>>>>>

>>>>> So three passes...that's it. That's where we are at. I will let

>>>>>you know if

>>>>> the pass situation changes but for now it doesn't look great. We now have

>>>> > fifteen fewer passes so those of us in attendance are going to

>>>>have to try

>>>>> and talk our asses off at GDC.

>>>>>

>>>>>

>>>>> Michelle

>>>>> _______________________________________________

>>>>> games_access mailing list

>>>>> <mailto:games_access at igda.org>games_access at igda.org

>>>>>

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

>>>>>

>>>>>

>>>>_______________________________________________

>>>>games_access mailing list

>>>><mailto:games_access at igda.org>games_access at igda.org

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

>>>>

>>>>

>>>>

>>>>

>>>>--

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

>>>>Eelke Folmer Assistant Professor

>>>>Department of CS&E/171

>>>>University of Nevada Reno, Nevada 89557

>>>>Game interaction

>>>>design <http://www.helpyouplay.com>www.helpyouplay.com

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

>>>>

>>>>

>>>>_______________________________________________

>>>>games_access mailing list

>>>>

>>>><mailto:games_access at igda.org>games_access at igda.org

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

>>>>

>>>

>>>

>>>

>>>_______________________________________________

>>>games_access mailing list

>>><mailto:games_access at igda.org>games_access at igda.org

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

>>>

>>

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>>

>

>

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