[games_access] GDC 2008 Debrief

Thomas Westin thomas at pininteractive.com
Thu Feb 28 05:44:06 EST 2008


Fantastic news,

I take back my previous doubts about reaching out at GDC.

Very nice to hear you guys got through all the noise, well done!

/Thomas



On 27 feb 2008, at 02.29, d. michelle hinn 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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