GAConf 2019

This past weekend was the third annual Game Accessibility Conference (GAConf as it’s more commonly called) in San Francisco. Since its first year, I loved the idea of this conference, and always thought about attending. This year though, I actually made the trip. Not only did I attend the conference, but I was also invited to be a presenter as part of a low vision panel.

The panel I participated in was called “Gamers First, Blind Second” and featured three low vision gamers, including myself. We talked about what we found helpful, frustrating, and everything in between, for low vision game accessibility. Each of us had at least tried VR as well, so we did talk some about virtual reality accessibility. The panel ended with a surprising but fun question, that may have paid off. We were asked, if there were any game developer in the audience you’d love to talk to, who would it be. My answer was id Software/Bethesda, as I love most of their games, and DOOM is probably my favorite game of all time.

The rest of the conference was also excellent. I’m glad we are past the stage where we need to define game accessibility, and why it’s important. Each session was able to go deeper into a specific aspect of game accessibility or recent product/game. The Forza and Adaptive Controller sessions were quite interesting, but my favorite surprise was the session on Collapsus, an upcoming indie game that will include over 40 accessibility features. His story behind the game and its growing level of accessibility was fascinating, and I can’t wait to play the game when it comes out later this year.

One of the best things about the day though had to be meeting so many awesome people. Both during the conference, and after it during the Microsoft reception, I met so many a great people, especially after our low vision panel. I was able to exchange business cards and have conversations with many game developers, students, and others in the games industry. Remember that last question of our session? Well, it turns out I did get to briefly speak with someone and exchange business cards with someone at id Software. There are just too many people to mention and thank here, because I know I’ll end up forgetting someone. It was a lot of fun though, and I look forward to working with everyone in the future.

One of my goals for attending GAConf was to increase my visibility in the game accessibility field, and hopefully make some industry connections. I am very interested in doing technology and gaming accessibility consulting, testing, and beta testing. It would be even better if I could, even part time, turn this into a paid career.

This is just a brief overview of my day at GAConf. If you want to hear more, check out my video on GAConf 2019. And thanks to everyone who helped make this event possible. I had a blast, and look forward to see where game accessibility goes from here.