[games_access] GDC 2008 Debrief
ioo at ablegamers.com
Tue Feb 26 21:15:05 EST 2008
I have a email into Blizzard, but I have not recived anything back from
them. We will see. I will keep you all posted.
Reid Kimball wrote:
> The Poster Session (think science fair) I gave on Dynamic Closed
> Captioning was really well received. I had at least 10 people show up,
> which I'm happy with because the poster sessions are in a big open
> area next to other presenters. There's competition for attention
> between the other presenters and the fact that hundreds of people are
> passing by in the open area.
> After the presentation I talked with several leads, executives and
> managers, one being from Sony who described an interesting barrier
> they are trying to overcome. They want players of different languages
> to be able to talk to each other. It's not our niche, but it was
> interesting to learn about. I got great feedback on how I crafted the
> message which was more about social responsibility rather than
> financial. Using actual testimonials I've gotten from my emails
> helped. One person asked what the numbers are and we got the idea to
> ask Valve Software how many people use closed captioning in their
> We should encourage developers to keep track of how many people use
> the accessibility features they implement. We don't have any stats so
> it'd be helpful to have them do that.
> I've contacted Valve Software but no response yet. I'll ping them
> again next week.
> Yeah, we should all be proud of what we accomplished at GDC 2008. It
> was great seeing Michelle, Eitan and Eelke again and of course awesome
> to meet Stephanie and Mark.
> PS: Anything happen with Blizzard meeting? Did anyone meet with other
> game dev companies?
> On Tue, Feb 26, 2008 at 5:29 PM, d. michelle hinn <hinn at uiuc.edu> wrote:
>> Hi All,
>> I don't have a lot of energy at the moment but I wanted to let everyone know
>> how well things went at this year's GDC! We/I definitely missed having the
>> whole gang around this year (or as much of the gang as we have had before)
>> but it's definitely not the only conference and, in fact, some of the new
>> smaller GDCs are definitely worth looking into -- they have them all of the
>> world right now! So we might start sponsoring some SIG members to go to
>> conferences that are just a train ride away (ie, the european conferences).
>> More on that later when I figure out when the next batch of deadlines are!
>> So our big session was Accessibility Arcade: Or How to Do the Jedi Mind
>> Trick, which was repeated twice unlike the 3 times from last year. So some
>> overall comments:
>> A/V Stuff: Of course the annual "where are the TVs?" "will they be arriving
>> -- during or after our session" kinds of things came up but thanks to the
>> conference associates that got worked out relatively quickly and I didn't
>> have to run all over the expo looking for the GES (A/V) contractors. The
>> funny thing was this year they set them up in the room next door so it
>> wasn't a big deal once they knew where to move them to -- and it wasn't very
>> far to move them! But honestly? That was the worst thing that happened and
>> it was resolved in time for our session -- sure I did have a few moments of
>> panic remembering last year but with everything getting solved and everyone
>> just going ahead and setting up their stations and not waiting for the TVs
>> before starting helped a lot. So that's not much of a "worst part," eh? :D
>> Attendees: This blew me away...and I'm know it blew away Eelke and Reid too
>> who have seen way too many empty rooms we've presented to. It's always hard
>> to gauge exact numbers with a session like "arcade" that allows people to
>> come in late, wander in and out, etc. But basically...we went from having an
>> average of 2 attendees...to about 60-70 (The CAs gave me a better count
>> since they were watching the traffic moving in and out) for the 4pm
>> Wednesday session and about 30 for the 9am Thursday session (not bad for
>> early morning!!). And they weren't just our usual fans (yes, the cool people
>> from "games for grandma and grandpa" were there -- cool as ever and always
>> welcome!). We had people from Sony, Microsoft (and not one of my friends --
>> a producer of a new racing game who could use Barrie's help actually!), EA,
>> and much more. Yes...the big leagues! And yes, I cried after the first
>> session -- I couldn't believe that the months put into this, negotiating
>> with Natural Point and Emotive and all the individually sent press releases
>> helped get people in the room. It was just a half a year worth of stuff and
>> to see people there who were interested and involved...wow...you really
>> can't ask for much more!
>> Emotiv and Natural Point kept their deal and brought their stuff (although I
>> was a wee bit scared when they said they'd show up five minutes ahead of the
>> session -- and after all I went through getting them single session passes
>> -- yes, I invoked my crying spell on them...it wasn't hard given that I was
>> in a pain cycle and felt like collapsing. But I had my game face on! :) And
>> having them come to the session? Golden. So that gamble I made to ask them
>> to join us paid off -- it got people in the room to see and do the "jedi
>> mind trick" and then they stayed to check out the SIG stuff. So next year?
>> We do an all out sponsored session. Thanks to our numbers -- and the
>> percentage increase over last year -- we're going to look like "wow, ok!
>> they figured out how to make this accessibility thing work!" So I imagine
>> that there will be no argument about our getting another session like this
>> for next year and maybe even make it a little slicker.
>> Mark and Stephanie from AbleGamers rocked -- they helped pass out tons of
>> our session fliers (they were combing the expo and helped me out a ton
>> because I could hardly move and this undoubtedly helped with getting even
>> more people in the room) and brought their enthusiasm and passion for
>> helping the disabled gamer community! Without them I don't think I would
>> have survived the show this year -- all three of us have our own
>> disabilities and I think we did a pretty good job helping each other stay
>> alive! :)
>> Reid and Eelke -- Amazing as usual. Reid found a SUPER place to print and
>> burn the DVDs and they looked great and so professional! And Eelke's new
>> Blind Hero is something to behold. That haptic glove -- awesome! Reid's
>> poster looked awesome -- I'll let him talk about his poster session in
>> another email! And thanks again, Eelke for bringing all your equipment!
>> Eitan -- again, always steals the spotlight with his wiimote music game --
>> I'm so glad you could join us!
>> Barrie, Dimitris -- you were with us in spirit as we showed "Game Over" and
>> all of the cool controllers -- and we passed out your cards and the leftover
>> FuturePlay fliers! :)
>> All -- Wow, all I can say is that this SIG really rocks -- we finally did
>> it! We had a great show at GDC and with funding that we are getting sorted
>> out...I'm on cloud 9. What a great achievement for all of us! This IS going
>> to be our year! We have tons of developers asking us where they should start
>> with accessibility (ie, which groups are asking for what in which game?
>> Sure, the numbers and financial stuff will always be there but what a great
>> feeling that now we are in a position to start talking directly to CEOs to
>> help them make their first steps toward adding in even just ONE
>> accessibility feature in future games.
>> So, hey, let's pat ourselves on the backs for a show well done -- sure we
>> could have all felt a little better but that's how it goes sometimes. It was
>> nice to know that we all had each other's backs and the passion for game
>> accessibility was showing through and through!
>> Well done, everyone -- and everyone includes everyone who added to the DVD,
>> helped with fliers, presenters, and just all of you who gave us good
>> thoughts all week! :)
>> Ok...need to rest a little now. But I had to give the post mort to the SIG.
>> I'm working on a posting about how much better this GDC was for game
>> accessibility to be published on ablegamers too. It was a long year between
>> this year's GDC and last year's but we've learned a lot and we keep fighting
>> the good fight!
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