I don't know what to say, other then wow... I don't even think the experience has really sunk in yet, but let me give it a try!
Friday one week ago I had the honour to be a panel host at Aktive Gamere conference 2022. My speech was about how it was growing up as a disabled gamer, and the importance of accessibility and inclusivity in gaming. And I can only describe it as a big success!
I have to say though; I don't think I have felt so nauseous before, as I was the hours before I went on stage. Lucky I was quite early, and as always, when it was my turn, it was all ready, action!
The performance itself went wonderful, I got my points across in a good way and even made the audience laugh sometimes.
But one thing I did not expect was how well people would receive it. When it was time for lunch, it was a queue of people wanting to speak to me about my panel, and I have never felt so honour as I did in that moment. It makes me happy to see that so many people that have the ability to make a change want to learn more about accessibility in gaming.
It shows, what I have been saying for ages: The future of gaming is accessible!
Since the conferance I have gotten many new contacts, and future opportunities, and this also shows me that public speaking might have the possibility to be a future career for me. That would be the dream, as I have great ideas I do believe in, though I need means and fundings to be able to do so.
If you read this and want to work with me on the subject of accessibility in gaming, you can contact me here.
Want to see a live stream from the event, you can check out the YouTube below.
It was a blast listening to the other panels that was invited to the conference. Not only were they incredible inspiring, they also showed us all that the gaming industry is on a uprise in Norway, more specific on the west coast. These are the panels I highly recommend you to check out, and to read more about:
~ Pushy Cat Dolls:
Julie and Marit Sofie from the member organisation Pushy Cat Dolls (Webpage here) joined the conference to talk about their work to combat toxicity in the gaming world. They have made a forum for woman and non-binary people to come together and game! They talked about the importance of making the gaming world a place we all can feel safe.
~ Gaming at the hospital:
Lars Peder joined us to talk about the use of VR in the hospital as treatment and rehabilitation for children and teens with various illnesses and challenges. From using games as a way to stay active, too use it together with a therapist to combat anxiety and phobia. This is such a genius way of using gaming, and underlines my believe that gaming is so much more then "just" gaming. You can read more about the project here.
~ Søreide Idrettslag:
Søreide Idrettslag is a local sports team that has made a E-sport club for young kids and teenagers on their local area. They talked about the work they do for the community and the challenges it has been to start a E-sport team, but also how much it gives back when they see kid enjoying their hobby, learning new things and socialise with their friends. Part of what they focus on was also to make sure the kids understand the importance of a good gaming/health/sleep balance, and how they were the first team in Norway to import a game system that made it possible for kids to run outside and play a sort of COD game. This is something I wish was available when I was a kid, but I'm really glad to see this is the future!