Game accessibility at GDC 2020

No GAconf this time around as it has shifted to September in Seattle, but there are still loads of great accessibility happenings over the course of GDC week.

A printed version of this list will be available at the GDC IGDA booth, and can be downloaded here.

Monday March 16th, 9:30am – 10:30am, Room 2001 West Hall

Expanding the Dreamiverse: Making Dreams an Experience for Everyone

Joe Florey (User Researcher, Sony Interactive Entertainment Europe)
Constantin Jupp (Release Producer, Media Molecule)

From UI and control settings to tutorials and on-boarding, this talk gives a complete picture of the development of accessible UGC tools with insight from both the user research team and the studio. Practical advice for testing UGC driven games and testing for accessibility will also be included throughout.

Monday March 16th, 4:40pm – 5:10pm, Room 2001 West Hall

The New Normal: 2019’s Accessibility Advances

Ian Hamilton (Accessibility Specialist, Independent)

This session shares a sense of how the the accessibility landscape shifted again over 2019, where the industry is currently at, and where it will be heading in future.

Monday March 16, 5:30pm – 6pm, Room 2001 West Hall

Keith Knight (Accessibility Advocate, Independent)

Keith Knight shares his 25 years of gaming with a physical disability. His story begins with his journey to discover a way to play games, which traverses 9 assistive devices. Keith explores Shadow of the Tomb Raider, Destiny 2, Overwatch, and League of Legends to break down what they get right and wrong with accessibility. Keith closes with his hopes for the future of accessible gaming and how the industry can level-up accessibility.

Tuesday March 17, 10:50am – 11:50pm, Room 3007 West Hall

Tulay McNally (Sr Development Director, EA DICE)

A discussion of the Inclusion Framework approach to building greater diversity and authentic representation inside our games. How game teams create employee-driven feedback models to ensure cultural sensitivity and accessibility.

Wednesday March 18th, 9:00am – 10:00am, Room 2009 West Hall

Evelyn Thomas (Senior Program Manager, Microsoft)

Come learn about the Xbox Accessibility Guidelines, and get a deep dive into the top accessibility considerations that can help you create more inclusive and customer-delighting experiences for your gamers.

Wednesday March 18, 10:00am – 1:00pm, Minna Gallery, 111 Minna St


Connect and network with other game creators, programmers, writers, artists, and more who are striving to make gaming a more accessible medium over some tasty snacks and delicious drinks

Wednesday March 18, 10:30am – 11:00am, Room 2001 West Hall

Cherry Thompson (Accessibility Specialist, Independent)

Taking cues from real-world case studies in epidemiology Cherry will illustrate how a developer’s frustration, confusion and pain with a game during production can be early signs of more significant usability barriers that players face, especially disabled players.

Wednesday March 18, 11:30am – 12:00pm, Room 2002 West Hall

Andrew Bair (Lead UI Programmer, Gearbox Software)

Postmortem on the approach for accessibility features in Borderlands 3, reviewing some of what worked well, and what didn’t make the cut. By reviewing these features and approaches, this talk will provide examples of specific pathways that devs can use to make their games more accessible (and more enjoyable) for everyone.

Wednesday March 18, 5:00pm – 6:00pm, Room 314 South Hall

Cherry Thompson (Accessibility Specialist, Independent)
Raffael Boccamazzo (Clinical Director, Take This)

This session is a much needed space for games workers with disabilities, inclusive of physical disability, neurodiversity, mental health, chronic illness, pain, and injury to come together and discuss the unique challenges we’re facing.

Thursday March 19, 2:00pm – 3:00pm, Room 314 South Hall

Cherry Thompson (Accessibility Specialist, Independent)
Emily Grace Buck (Narrative Director, Designer & Writer, Freelance)

After laying the groundwork for acceptance and support on day one, this follow up session will build on the community’s collective knowledge and experience to enable us to build strategies for acceptance, accommodation, and accessibility of the workplace and tools.

Thursday March 19, 3:00pm – 3:30pm, Room 210 South Hall

Karen Stevens (EA SPORTS Accessibility Lead, EA SPORTS)

Access to forms of game chat is important for fostering a game community. Learn how to better support gamers with with communication differences, including those who are deaf, blind, or have limited mobility. Topics include handling in-game chat scenarios, audio transcriptions, chat windows, tips and tools on supporting menu narration and canned chat.

Thursday March 19, 4:00pm – 5:00pm, Room 211 South Hall

Chad Philip Johnson (Engineer, Anacronist Software)

Exploration of shared problems and solutions, and what is (and is not) currently working in the field of game accessibility. Which accessibility processes, resources, and tools will benefit developers, publishers, and platform holders alike? And how might a set of accessibility standards exist in a way that streamlines without impeding creative problem-solving?

0 comments on “Game accessibility at GDC 2020

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *