[games_access] Austin Game Developers Conference (AGDC)
eelke.folmer at gmail.com
Sun Sep 16 04:52:28 EDT 2007
great job! 60 people is very nice. I'm totally with you on being
pervasive (e.g. put accessibility in existing game topics rather than
the other way around!).
On 9/15/07, d. michelle hinn <hinn at uiuc.edu> wrote:
> Hi all,
> So my promised debrief on AGDC two weeks ago. Richard will no doubt
> have more to say about reactions to the presentation outside the
> hours after the presentation, as I was confined to my bed from very
> early that evening and until I left (early) for home with that nice
> little pneumonia that followed the kidney infection (and they think I
> got it in hospital...which is common...but still a little strange to
> Richard and I had worked separately on our halves of the presentation
> until we arrived in Austin. Richard concentrated on examples of audio
> games and I worked on the game accessibility bits -- the need for,
> introducing the issues of audio for the hearing impaired (had to give
> them the other side of the audio issue). The presentation was titled
> "When Audio IS the Experience: Games for the Visually Impaired" and
> should be available on the web for download soon. I'll post news when
> I learn about it.
> We weren't sure how it would be received given how few people show
> for our sessions at GDC San Fran AND the fact we were in the audio
> track, which isn't the usual track for us (although it made perfect
> sense once we were there). We'd been invited by the conference chairs
> -- they tried to get us last year but they asked too late and we
> couldn't make it but we could this year. So first of all...they
> wanted the session so badly that they contacted us at the earliest
> possible time to try to get the session this year. Impressive!
> So the audience...wow. The head count according to our session
> coordinator was about 60 and only about 3-4 people walked out and
> that was near the end when it was getting close to the time that some
> people needed to start setting up the Game Audio reception. So I
> don't see them as "losses" -- they just stayed as long as they could.
> GDC Austin is a LOT smaller than GDC San Fran -- so an audience of
> apx 60 people was pretty huge considering all the multiple tracks
> going on simultaneously.
> Richard and I argued a bit about my "closer" for the talk, which
> referenced social justice as a reason to care about game
> accessibility, as we were afraid that might turn off a dev audience
> who is concerned with the bottom line and not social messages. What
> was interesting was that we talked about game accessibility "why's"
> at the END of the presentation so that they got to hear the audio
> games, get a taste of what we were talking about and then I did my
> evangelist work. :) But taking the social justice chance worked and I
> think it was probably because we were talking to an audience of
> people who are already "right on" with the audio message and the idea
> that their work could serve another important purpose really sank in.
> We got wild applause at the end of the talk and we had people talking
> to us for about an hour AFTER the talk (we went ten minutes OVER time
> with audience questions alone (20 minutes total), which made the
> audio guy really anxious, as it was the end of the day and he
> probably wanted to take off! ).
> In the week after I've received some great emails and I'm hoping
> we'll get more audio designers on the list very soon. Our talk was
> also sponsored by an anonymous donator -- I'll tell you who it is if
> I can get his permission (I know who it is now). He's an audio
> designer who first got interested in the idea of gamers with
> disabilities after DJ-ing a dance for a school for the deaf. He was
> perplexed as to why they wanted a DJ. The students showed up with
> balloons in their hands and, of course, he was now really interested
> in what the deal was. Turns out that as the music started, the
> students put the balloons up to the side of their faces and danced to
> the rhythms that they felt through the balloons. Wow. I'd heard some
> things like facing the speakers down to try and pipe the beat into
> the floor but with so many students, this was the better option.
> Anyway, Richard and I both agreed that diversifying our talks more
> into different tracks at GDC is definitely the way to go -- we seem
> to have found a friendly audience amongst audio designers, further
> supporting Reid's comments about his colleague. So let's push it
> further! :)
> Finally...preaching to the audio choir on a topic that they weren't
> already interested in! Very different from having the same people in
> every audience at every GDC!
> games_access mailing list
> games_access at igda.org
Eelke Folmer Assistant Professor
Department of CS&E/171
University of Nevada Reno, Nevada 89557
Game interaction design www.helpyouplay.com
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