IGDA Game Accessibility Special Interest Group

GDC 09 and Game Accessibility



Image of a long foot-tunnel swathed in deep red light with bright white light at its end. Text reads: Game Developers Conference. March 23-27, 2009. Moscone Centre, San Francisco.
Game Accessibility talks at the
Game Developers Conference 2009 next week:

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 HallTrack: 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.TakeawayNetworking 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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