[games_access] IMPORTANT: About this Listserv & the SIG

hinn at illinois.edu hinn at illinois.edu
Sat Aug 15 21:05:25 EDT 2009


Dear all,

I apologize for the length of this email but it contains some very important information about the listserv changing addresses VERY SOON and about the IGDA on a whole that I've been asked to pass along. If you are ONLY interested in the list part, just read the next five paragraphs (I warn you when you hit the point where I start getting into more specific IGDA information).

The IGDA, of which this SIG is a part of, is about to unveil it's new website/mailing list/forum technology (for real this time for those of you, like me, who have been waiting about 4 years for it).

What does this mean for the SIG? Very soon we will be moving list addresses and this list will go down permanently. I have saved the archives and they will be moved to the new site.

How will you join the new list? To be honest? I'm not 100% certain. It is my belief that when the site goes live, you will need to sign up at igda.org for a "free" or "paid" membership login and password in order to sign up for our list. It is my HOPE that they will move everyone automatically but I'm getting less certain that will happen. So, yes, it will be inconvenient but I hope not too inconvenient.

The new list will allow you to both read the list in a forum-like atmosphere and/or receive and reply to posts via email (just like this list). So for those that prefer email, that will remain an option but for those that would rather log in at their leisure, that will now be possible.

Please note that although you may need to login to use certain features of the new IGDA site, this SIG will remain open and free to the public. Some SIGs will be choosing to keep their information "locked" for paid members of the IGDA only (as a "value added" feature of membership) but since we've always been open, I made the case to keep all of our information and the list open to the public. As I said earlier, you will need to create a login AT LEAST at the "free" membership level to get access to signing up for the new list and how you will choose to receive messages.

[Interested in MORE? Read On!]

Why is the IGDA making people login? Because they have decided to use some membership money to divide amongst the SIGs BASED on PAID membership. I'm not sure how it will work if a paid member is part of multiple SIGs but I imagine there will be a lot of overlap. How this will work? I honestly do not know at this time. There has been a lot of debate about "PAID" status including those who contribute their time but cannot afford to join getting "credit" since some companies "bulk subscribe" their employees to the IGDA but then those members do not necessarily contribute to a SIG, Chapter, or the overall IGDA. Since we have never been in a situation where SIGs directly benefit from membership, I imagine that there will be quite a lot of things to work out.

I will keep you up to date as to the technology migration and I have everyone's contact information on this list in case I need to pass along subscription information due to something going wrong (ie, this list going offline and the new tech not working right). Please also keep the SIG email address handy (accessibility at igda.org) and my email address (hinn at uiuc.edu).

The IGDA is undergoing a remarkable number of changes -- so many that too much of my time is taken arguing about and defending and shouting about the SIG on the SIG admin list! This is just one of them and is the most important to the SIG at this time.

One final thing (important mainly to paid members but may be of interest to all) -- many of you have asked me about the IGDA getting a lot (LOT) of bad press lately due to at least one member of the board of the IGDA. There is currently a discussion going on about how members can "recall" a vote or referendum and I will keep you all up to date with that. There is a movement to have a vote of "no confidence" against one board member but it is nothing that has come from the IGDA -- the IGDA is figuring out how the membership can do that since it is in the bylaws that we can...it's just the logistics of how to do that they are figuring out since it is not something that has ever been done. There is also a conflict where there are TWO game design SIGs that came about with the transition of the old IGDA executive director, Jason, and the new executive director, Joshua. So this is being looked into as well.

Hopefully when the IGDA website overhaul goes live, it will be easy for all members to be a part of these bigger debates and help cross-SIG information. This is the FIRST year that SIG and Chapter administrators have had so much input into the way the IGDA is run and our push has been to get our members that same access. Until recently we have not been able to view Board meeting minutes but now we can (and it has been something we should have been able to view). So there's a call for a LOT more transparency within the organization.

I'm sorry that I have been dealing with that side of my role as SIG Chairperson so much that it's kept me from the details of the SIG itself. As most of you know, I've really never been "not sick" but I've been really sick over the last year and have had 5 surgeries and nearly died once and technical did die on the OR once as well...and the last bits were just since May!

While the tech migration is first on my plate, the next agenda item will be to explain new changes to all SIGs so that there is a "board" in place for every SIG that will serve as "chairpersons" to the chairperson. For now, I'll save this information for once we get everyone over to the new site so that we don't lose track of how that will happen and what needs to be in place given new bylaws. This actually makes me quite happy because we will now finally have the backup from the IGDA that we've needed for quite some time now! You may note that different SIGs will be on different timelines for some of these changes -- our changes to the SIG leadership structure will go into effect in the spring. But I will be preparing us for that long before then because only PAID members of the IGDA can hold any sort of leadership position within a chapter or SIG of the IGDA once the changes have been put into effect.

Hope you are all well! (And I have the feeling that there will be a lot of discussion about this email...)
Michelle
Chairperson, IGDA Game Accessibility SIG
.......................................
these are mediocre times and people are
losing hope. it's hard for many people
to believe that there are extraordinary
things inside themselves, as well as
others. i hope you can keep an open
mind.
-- "unbreakable"
.......................................


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