[games_access] GDC 2009!

d. michelle hinn hinn at uiuc.edu
Sat Mar 21 20:16:24 EDT 2009


Hi All!!

Here's the rundown of this year's SIG and Game Accessibility related
talks happening at GDC! I'll include the times and places first and
at the end of the email you can read the full descriptions!

Talk One: The Story of AudiOdyssey & My Journey through Usability

Speaker: Eitan Glinert (President, Fire Hose Games)
Date/Time: Monday (March 23, 2009) 1:30pm - 2:00pm
Location (room): Room 3007, West Hall
Track: Serious Games Summit

Talk Two: Game Accessibility SIG Roundtable

Speaker: Michelle Hinn (IGDA Game Accessibility SIG Chair)
Date/Time: Thursday (March 26, 2009) 9:00am - 10:00am
Location (room): Room 120, North Hall
Track: Game Design

Talk Three: Accessibility 101: Crash Course for Beginners

Speakers: Michelle Hinn (IGDA Game Accessibility SIG Chair), Mark
Barlet (Editor-in-Chief, AbleGamers.com)
Date/Time: Friday (March 27, 2009) 9:00am - 10:00am
Location (room): Room 2002, West Hall
Track: Game Design

Talk Four: Game Accessibility & Developers with Disabilities Social Gathering

Speaker: Thomas Westin (Dep. Computer & Systems Science, SU/KTH,
Stockholm University/KTH)
Date/Time: Friday (March 27, 2009) 10:30am - 11:30am
Location (room): IGDA Booth, West Hall
Track: Game Design

This year we will have full coverage on AbleGamers.com who have
agreed to host our soon-to-be-unveiled SIG web presence! This will be
unveiled this week but if you go to AbleGamers you'll already start
to see some cool social networking features that will undoubtedly
help us reach to consumers, which we have always been spread a little
too thin to do, and help them reach out (even more than the awesome
job they've already been doing!) to the industry.

So anyway, look forward to seeing videos from the talks and
interviews with major developers and daily coverage thanks to
AbleGamers reporter Anet (who is my former game design student/game
journalism graduate from Illinois!).

This is our year -- I can feel it! Time to get Game Accessibility out
and about through some big time activism!

After GDC, I'm going to call a series of online meetings to get some
of the things some of us were talking about getting going at the
beginning of the year. Some of this is already underway but I can't
yet tell you what it is (it's BIG though...) until I get the
permission of the third party involved.

Upcoming conference appearances by members of the SIG include:

* GDC Canada
* GDC Europe
* GDC China
* Microsoft One Day Game Accessibility Seminar (that's me!)
* Develop Brighton (Barrie -- can you make it to this again???)

More news to come! Follow me at Twitter (@vrgrrl), Mark Barlet and
AbleGamers (@ablegamers), Barrie Ellis (@OneSwitch) , Richard van Tol
(@AudioGames), and more! :)

Michelle
Chairperson,
IGDA Game Accessibility SIG

-------------------------------------------------------------------

Full Descriptions of Sessions:

---------

Talk 1:

The Story of AudiOdyssey & My Journey through Usability
Speaker: Eitan Glinert (President, Fire Hose Games)
Date/Time: Monday (March 23, 2009) 1:30pm - 2:00pm
Location (room): Room 3007, West Hall
Track: Serious Games Summit
Format: 30-minute Lecture
Experience Level: All

Session Description
Not all serious games need to be those with visually exciting
graphics or even graphics at all. AudiOdyssey is a game that provides
the serious games community with an interesting twist - developing a
game that can be used to engage visually impaired gamers and gamers
together in the same shared experience. The story of AudiOdyssey is
itself a journey not only into game design for the visually impaired
but overall issues with how to create games with easy UIs and
engaging experiences. During this talk Eitan Glinert who built
AudiOdyssey while at MIT will present the story of AudiOdyssey while
also covering further issues in usability that are useful not only
for improving access for people with disabilities but all levels of
people learning, training and doing more with videogames. Together
this talk provides some critical highlights of issues that are of
paramount importance to games that don't get to be selective about
their audiences and gives insight into a game that moved beyond
presenting just a graphical experience.

-----

Talk 2:

Game Accessibility SIG
Speaker: Michelle Hinn (IGDA Game Accessibility SIG Chair)
Date/Time: Thursday (March 26, 2009) 9:00am - 10:00am
Location (room): Room 120, North Hall
Track: Game Design
Format: 60-minute Roundtable
Experience Level: All

Session Description
The Game Accessibility SIG exists to help the game community strive
towards creating mainstream games that are universally accessible to
all, regardless of age, experience and disability. This SIG meeting
will briefly highlight our accomplishments from the past year. We are
eager to accept input for new initiatives to tackle and we are
actively recruiting volunteers and contributors.

-----

Talk 3:

Accessibility 101: Crash Course for Beginners
Speaker: Michelle Hinn (IGDA Game Accessibility SIG Chair), Mark
Barlet (Editor-in-Chief, AbleGamers.com)
Date/Time: Friday (March 27, 2009) 9:00am - 10:00am
Location (room): Room 2002, West Hall
Track: Game Design
Format: 60-minute Lecture
Experience Level: All

Session Description
Want to increase the size and diversity of your game's audience by
including gamers with disabilities? This talk provides a list of 10
easy changes any game developer can use to start increasing the
accessibility of their designs for ALL gamers, especially gamers with
disabilities, with minimal effort but maximum impact. Learn what
disabled gamers and developers are doing, from modding your game to
your controllers, in order to play your games so that you can begin
implementing these fixes right from the start of your development
cycle!

Takeaway
Session participants will learn at least ten concrete ways that game
designers can use to get started in increasing the accessibility of
their mainstream games titles, as well as some innovative ways of
gaming that will interest all gamers, not just gamers with
disabilities. Different disability types will be discussed -
including visual (including low vision and color blindness),
auditory, mobility, and cognitive disabilities - and how these
different disabilities affect certain aspect of game play. Audience
members will come away with many examples of how gamers with
disabilities currently game and how their game companies can help
assist these gamers through design variations to make their game play
experience the best possible.

Intended Audience and Prerequisites
Designers, programmers, marketers, and publishers interested in a
"crash course" to learn and ask questions about game accessibility -
issues that gamers with disabilities face every day as they try and
play your games. Information given will include an overview of the
issues that those with specific disability types face, including
color blind gamers, the top accessibility problems in mainstream
games, and concrete solutions. No prerequisite knowledge is required
- just come with an open mind and willingness to seriously consider
making games accessible to MORE!

-----

Talk 4:

Game Accessibility & Developers with Disabilities Social Gathering
Speaker: Thomas Westin (Dep. Computer & Systems Science, SU/KTH,
Stockholm University/KTH)
Date/Time: Friday (March 27, 2009) 10:30am - 11:30am
Location (room): IGDA Booth, West Hall
Track: Game Design
Format: 60-minute Social Gathering
Experience Level: All

Session Description
Social Gatherings are a chance for like-minded developers to get
together for networking and open discussion at the IGDA booth. Come
to meet your peers and engage in deep dialogue over your area of
specialty - or just partake in witty small talk.

Takeaway
Networking and discussion with your peers in a casual setting. A
sense of community.

Intended Audience and Prerequisites
Developers interested in game accessibility and developers with disabilities.
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