GASIG Meeting 24-July-2007
International Game Developers Association
Michelle Hinn; Kevin Bierre; Thomas Westin; Richard Van Tol
Ideas for the workshop session include having another Accessibility Arcade during breaks, an accessible game post mortem where we break down a game for accessibility, and a Best Practices in Accessibility discussion/talk. Also, because FuturePlay attracts more academics, a Curriculum part should be added on how to include accessibility in game design courses with handouts of sample lesson plans available (This will be a good chance to also plan for the GDC 2008 curriculum session). Kevin has posted an initial outline for the workshop for comments. We think we have a half day versus a full day tutorial but so far we aren't having much luck confirming that with FuturePlay. Thomas is going to ask Espen Aarseth to plug our workshop during his talk at FuturePlay.
Game Accessibility = Games for All Initiative
Taking Mark's example at AbleGamers.com on interviewing designers of games that have accessibility features (even if they weren't exactly done on purpose), Reid suggested that we take another look at the Positive Campaign where we really get serious about interviewing more devs and having a discussion with developers about accessibility. Then we can turn around things and say how helpful these features are for all -- that is, gamers with and without disabilities. Joint press releases should be issued so that we have a way of officially documenting these features and who has done them.
Caution must be taken so that developers don't take something that was accessible and remove it/change it so that it is no longer accessible. So it works well that GA equals both "game accessibility" and "games for all" (this domain name is being held by a squatter at the moment. We discussed the idea of "temporary" disabilities -- playing a game in a loud environment or using the DS stylus on a plane during turbulence. We also talked about other slogan names such as N-able (like N-gage)
Accessibility Awards: This session would be a panel where we invite 3-4 devs of games that contain, say, best use of closed captioning in a mainstream game and other features. However, this won't be an "awards" show -- more of a show and tell (we show how they are played by someone with that particular disability and then with the developers tell the audience about the feature so that they have real examples to point toward.
Accessibility Post-Mortem: This session would be about mods and accessible games and would be a discussion on how this was achieved and how others can use these examples in their own games. Due to how many people in the SIG might want to present something, this might have to be a roundtable where in each of the three sessions we introduce different games, which can be put on the schedule. Things to think about including are how these features make gameplay more interesting (after all, EA just said "games are too hard, that they are boring."
Individual Sessions: Richard would like to present on Audio Games as an individual presenter but also representing the SIG. Anyone interested in presenting a more in depth session on a particular mod, should contact Michelle ASAP so that she puts it in with the other SIG sessions. Ideas suggested for possible titles include "see no sound?" "hear no video?" "feel no rumble?"
Decisions about how to integrate gameaccessibility.com should be made soon. We are still waiting to hear about the IGDA web changes.