[games_access] Important Question: What is our meta aim?

Kiernan Sleep KSleep at microsoft.com
Tue Jan 6 06:08:18 EST 2015

In my experience, if you want to influence change on a corporate-cultural level and get people thinking and building games, in this case, with accessibility firmly in mind, upfront and early in the design process, by far the most efficient and long-term impactful way to do it is to focus on money and build a compelling business case for companies to care about tapping into all those un-enfranchised people out there.

It's a question of quantifying cost vs. potential benefits.  Money is the language CEOs speak and my background of having worked extensively in both convinces me that it's the leadership teams of the big publishing houses and development studios that invariably set the company vision and the tone as regards the inclusiveness and accessibility of their products.

Nail the business case before anything else and the development teams will fall into line - resulting in a trickle-down effect through the first and third-party studios.

Given the small and increasingly homogenous nature of the industry there are probably only a dozen or so people we need to focus on influencing, and this could (and is) probably best achieved via a small summit where we pitch our case, state our desired outcomes and seek long-term buy-in.

So, to summarise -

1.       Build a compelling business case

2.       Approach leaders and arrange a summit

3.       State desired outcomes and seek buy-in

Short-to-medium term, that would be my approach.  Longer-term goals should be centred on formalising a commitment to accessibility throughout industry via universal 'Accessibility Ratings' on all games in the same way we age-rate titles before release to market.


Kiernan Sleep | EMEA Test Lead | GTE Europe

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Microsoft Limited (company number 01624297), a company registered in England and Wales whose registered office is at Microsoft Campus, Thames Valley Park, Reading, RG6 1WG

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