On Saturday 25th February, DMD Pathfinders launched their first webinar series on accessible gaming; this is the story about perfect teamwork, facing challenges together & learning new skills.
DMD Pathfinders (created by Dr Jon Hastie & Mark Chapman) are making monumental steps in highlighting issues relevant to adults living with DMD, as it is user-led. Finally, it’s also the right medium to spread awareness through action by sharing future possibilities to the next DMD generation.
We created the webinar using the software Webinarjam, none of us had knowledge of the software so Nick Catlin from Decipha showed us the ropes. The technology looked promising allowing viewer interactivity as well as informative for us through chat, polls & offers.Our accessible gaming video content was brilliant, everybody had useful input: Me, Jon & Saul Catlin made videos focusing on different areas in gaming. Saul made a great piece showcasing the young DMD talent with ambitions in game development, studying a software development BTEC at college & providing useful tips in starting down the road of game design. Saul was such an inspiration showcasing how positive the future will be for DMD Pathfinders with people like Saul.
Jon & I collaborated using my old Blog post on accessible Gaming as the presentation I designed on accessible gaming however I’m not a PC Gamer like Jon so he added PC gaming information. We both created videos explaining our varying experiences with gaming and solutions we found. It was also a chance to spread awareness that there is help out there from charities like ReMap, Special Effect & AbleGamers if you are facing restrictions on gaming due to mobility issues. DMD Pathfinders is set up for this exact reason to share useful information, which at times seems hidden, gaming accessibility should be widely known as a majority of gamers have a disability.
I won’t lie to you that having to film a section was daunting for me, I was worried about my breathing difficulties after speaking for long stretches or running out of useful things to say. However, I somehow managed t0 speak for 15mins, mind you with long pauses between breaths due to speaking wearing my ventilator.
Jon edited & split the videos into smaller chunks. He did a brilliant job in such short notice. Daniel Baker was our lovely tech director, the important guy in background, battling with the technical quirks. The Webinarjam test on Friday was stressful as we had various of tech issues, mostly audio/webcam issues, crashes & login problems. (I think I unknowingly logged into Daniel’s Webinarjam account). The software seemed unintuitive, fiddly when needing to alter settings and had an unreliable video connection.
The Saturday LIVE webinar started brilliantly with no technical probs, it was running smoothly but halfway my audio failed, I couldn’t hear Jon so I was talking over him/repeating myself. Luckily, the viewers didn’t hear me only the team did because a scheduled video was playing. The viewers in the chat were great, we loved the support & appreciated the questions asked in the Live Q&A session afterwards. Funnily, because I couldn’t hear Jon, we both answered the question about if the Xbox Kinect could recognize facial movements. Mark was our moral support & webinar chat director.
We are going to contact Webinarjam’s technical support to see if they can address the issues we faced with video content stopping during our presentation (making pre-loaded webinars unreliable) otherwise we may have to ask for a refund.
In conclusion, DMD Pathfinders had an amazing Accessible Gaming Webinarjam pilot and our first real chance to see how we work together as a team on such a big project & we proved we had excellent teamwork. DMD Pathfinders have great leaders in Jon & Mark, thank you guys for your leadership.
ONWARDS and UPWARDS!