[games_access] GDC 2008 Debrief

Ioo 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

> games.


> 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?


> -Reid


> 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

>> Yay!




>> 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!




>> Presenters:





>> 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!



>> Michelle



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