[games_access] GDC 2008 Update + Non-Profit Status

d. michelle hinn hinn at uiuc.edu
Wed Jan 30 21:43:04 EST 2008


Hi everyone,

I'll try to keep this brief (but you know I get carried away at times) ;)

Just to keep everyone in the loop about GDC 2008 since so few of us
are able to attend this year, we have quite a few exciting
developments!

First, a few thank you's are in order!

* Thanks to Mark from AbleGamers, we have a sponsor for our fliers
through his employer Parature who is sponsoring his trip costs as
well!

* Thanks to the hard work of Thomas and Reid, we'll have a limited
edition (ie, number) of DVDs with tons of accessible games, demos,
and more to give out to influential developers who we will walk
amongst the week of Feb 18th!

* Thanks to Eelke's generosity, we were able to squeeze in one more
person with a pass -- so this year we will have both Mark Bartlet and
Stephanie Walker, both of AbleGamers, with us and I look forward to
their amazing energy, passion about games, and excitement about being
able to attend GDC for the first time! The weird timing of GDC this
year prevented many of you from attending but I think this will be a
great year, although we will miss those of you who were unable to
attend this year!

(I know many more thank you's will be in order as we get closer to
GDC and after!)

Second, we have some exciting guests for Accessibility Arcade!

* Natural Point/SmartNav will be donating their LATEST controller
prototype (along with a representative to explain what's going on)
plus some video and/or a prototype of their full body motion sensor
work (which includes remapping to partial body motion that translates
to full body movement in the player's avatar).

* Emotiv will be presenting their highly publicized brain-based
controller along with a representative from their company. Ed Fries
(my boss's boss from the old Microsoft days) is one of their advisors
and I was able to get in touch with their CTO who is working all the
details out.

* I'm in talks with Belkin to also present some of their new
controllers, including a one-handed controller they showed at E4All

What does all the above really mean? We now have some major companies
(with booths who will let us leave our fliers at!) who will help us
promote accessibility, are PROUD to show that their products can help
gamers with disabilities (in addition to bringing games to so many
more people, with and without disabilities), and may soon be
financially assisting us as we continue to raise matching funds for
our grant. AND...we'll be getting a MUCH bigger presentation room. :)

Speaking of the grant...

* The SIG is now officially a US Non-Profit through the newly
established IGDA Foundation. I didn't want to say much until I had
more details but we are now able to accept donations and provide tax
deduction receipts to donors -- I'll post more specific details soon
but I didn't want to sit on that any longer!

* Ben and I are working hard to get more matching funds to help fund
delegates to more conferences, equipment purchases, flashy brochures,
a donor package explaining who we are and what we do, and more. The
press release for "phase one" of this will come out right before GDC
so my BIG job at GDC is acquiring as many additional funds as
possible.

And finally, a word about the IGDA Diversity Committee:

* (ok more than "a" word) I've been gathering together the leaders of
all the diversity SIGs in the IGDA (we are in the "diversity"
committee, btw) in the hopes that we can sponsor a "diversity day" at
next year's GDC and to raise awareness that gamers are no longer
"just" 26 year old white males with no disabilities and neither are
all game developers. We all know this is not true and it's time that
we start to band together and learn from one another's groups in the
hopes that ALL of our groups can continue to grow. There is a meeting
planned for Tuesday afternoon for all (not just SIG leaders) those
interested in working to make diversity a MAJOR issue within the
IGDA!!!

Ok. That's it. I know. That was long. But I used bullet points for a change. ;)

Michelle


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