The GAConf is a new one-day conference that will take on the subject of making games more accessible to gamers with disabilities.
The event takes place on February 27 in San Francisco at the Mission Bay Conference Center. The host is the Game Accessibility Special Interest Group of the International Game Developers Association. It features a dozen sessions with speakers from companies such as Microsoft’s Xbox, Naughty Dog, and Global Game Jam. The rare event could generate a lot more attention for the challenge of making games that are accessible to everyone.
Topics include the best accessibility design practices for augmented reality and virtual reality, whether you’re at a big company or at an indie studio.
“We’re at a tipping point right now where developers want to make games more accessible, so we’re holding an event to give them the resources to do so,” said Tara Voelker, an event co-director who works at Sony’s Gaikai game-streaming division. “They’ll have everything they need and access to like-minded individuals and industry experts.”
Accessibility specialist Ian Hamilton is assisting in organizing the event. He most recently moderated a panel at PlayStation Experience 2016, which you can watch here.
Attendees can expect a wide range of topics from all sectors of the industry — indie, triple-A (the blockbuster segment of gaming), academia, and accessibility specialists — and leave with inspiration, new contacts, and practical tips to ensure any game can reach as many people as possible, so no player is unnecessarily excluded from everything that games have to offer.
“Video games are becoming more complex all the time,” said Brandon Cole, a blind gamer and advocate, in a statement. “Their stories are richer, their worlds more vivid and full of life. Truly, they are incredible. Nobody should be excluded from experiencing the things only video games can provide, and they want those chances. That is why game accessibility means so much.”