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By Ian Hamilton
GAConf was a new conference run this February by the IGDA's accessibility SIG, dedicated solely to advancing the field of accessibility for gamers with disabilities. Today, as part of Global Accessibility Awareness Day (@gbla11yday / #gaad on twitter), we're making all of the sessions freely available online.
YouTube playlist of all of the #GAConf talks
A wide range of topics were covered, from case studies to audience understanding, details on how to implement specific features to higher education, from accessibility in VR to the challenges and opportunities of accessibility as a micro-indie. Speakers included Xbox, Gaikai, Fiddlesticks, AbleGamers and Naughty Dog.
A few quotes from across the day:
"If accessibility is hard to implement or costs too much money, you are doing it wrong"
- Josh Straub, D.A.G.E.R.S.
"We believe solving problems for people with unique needs leads to happy customers across many spectrums of ability"
- Bryce Johnson, Xbox
"Get feedback from gamers with disabilities. Don't pretend closing your eyes makes you blind."
- Adriane Kuzminski, Smashclayaudio/AbleGamers
"Accessibility being covered in kick off meetings resulted in less problems in cert"
- Hannah Bunce, BBC
"About a third of our players played with camera assist turned on. That has given us leeway to do more."
- Em Schatz, Naughty Dog
"Don't forget to subtitle trailers, early access programmes, and beta builds. They make lasting impressions"
- Kari Hattner, Crystal Dynamics
"The blind community is ready to work with you. We want to play with your games, and we love you guys"
- Brandon Cole, blind gamer
"Nearly all our metacritic reviews mention colourblind mode. I'm confident our entire rating was boosted by it"
- Henry Hoffman, Fiddlesticks
"The cost of retrofitting for colorblindness was huge, not thinking about it early quardupled the work"
- Tara Voelker, Gaikai
"We can customise our desktops, we should be able to customise our virtual spaces in the same way."
- Brian Van Buren, Tomorrow Today Labs
"Numbers stopped being as important as user feedback, the numbers stopped mattering when we saw it affected people"
- Alex Neonakis, Naughty Dog