Disabled Gamers Accessibility Event Hosted By IGDA Announced
The IGDA-GASIG is the International Game Developers Association – Game Accessibility Special Interest Group (Phew that was a mouthful!). The association began in 2003 with volunteers whose goals were to showcase the importance of accessibility for disabled developers and gamers in the industry. The association has grown substantially over the years and will be hosting a free 2-day event spanning April 5-6 this year.
The schedule for the London GAconf, a game development conference, will continue the IGDA mission. The conference will take place online. It will feature a dense schedule of networking of passionate gamers and talks from a wide range of fields within the industry. Discussing the state of accessibility of gaming and what steps can be made to better enhance the disabled gamer’s experiences, the conference will be easily accessible online via video conferencing through the Discord platform.
A Wide Range of Topics Hosted by Disabled Gamers
A full list of topics and schedules can be found on the GAconf website. It features what systems developers are implementing into video games to make them more accessible for disabled gamers. For example, PlayStation’s internal evaluation and feedback processes by looking at case studies on Ubisoft’s recent Watch Dogs: Legions.
Other events will include a talk by Laura Kate Dale, author and freelance game critic, who will be discussing the challenges faced by gamers with aphantasia. This is a condition where the person cannot picture images in their head. It will additionally share some ideas and solutions to make video games more accessible to those who suffer from aphantasia, as well as discussing how these solutions could largely serve to benefit a wide number of gamers.
The conference will also include talks on game accessibility for Eye Gaze users. This is a feature that allows disabled gamers to take control of their video game through the use of their eyes. Hosted by Becky Tyler the talk will go into detail on the EyeMine interface for Minecraft and how beneficial it has been to disabled gamers. There will also be some key details for developers to be aware of when designing a videogame so it can use the software.
There will be a chance for disabled gamers and developers to have a chat about their gaming experiences on April 6. This is a brilliant opportunity for any gamer who is interested in perhaps pursuing a career in the videogame industry. You will be able to network with a multitude of personnel from the video game industry. The conference has grown substantially over the years due to video game developers seeing the value of feedback from talking to disabled gamers and the importance of the topics discussed. Therefore you can expect to gain new contacts in the videogame industry, as well as new practical knowledge and opportunities.
Furthermore, aspiring video game developers and gamers will be able to network with a wider demographic of developers due to the conference being conducted online. It’s a great chance to meet some employees of the creators of your favorite games. Past events have included employees from the likes of Blizzard, Microsoft, Ubisoft, and Rare. The conference is still a way off yet, however, this is the perfect time to get involved and volunteer. You can see how you could help in the future here on the IGDA Get Involved Page.