Twitter posts seem to reveal TwitchCon accessibility nightmare

Ben Bayliss3 minute read

Over the weekend, TwitchCon took place where both creators and audience members were in attendance. The event initially looked to be a fun gathering with events such as cosplay sessions, panels, celebrities and more. However, according to numerous tweets, it looks like TwitchCon turned out to be a negative experience for many, especially for accessibility.

A number of tweets were compiled by Twitter user @astraharaa that seem to show the reality of the event, particularly for disabled attendees.

There are various tweets from people claiming to have been waiting in the accessibility line for a meet and greet with one of the creators, only for the said line to be closed. Employees have also been reportedly passing on confusing information. Attendees seem to have been told they can attend a meet and greet area before the convention opens for the day, only to find them being told to leave. According to one tweet, access to the meet and greet hall was only via some stairs.

Other users have reported that they were turned away after waiting in line and some had to choose to leave after they had a POTS flare-up.

For the panels, it appears that attendees showed little consideration. Reports of wheelchair users being trampled have been prominent on social media. One person details the experience at the Dream SMP panel where people were pushing the person around.

Additionally, there has been a post claiming that employees at TwitchCon have been encouraging people to get an accessibility sticker to get to places quicker. This could very well be directed at disabled attendees, but given the recent trends of non-disabled people using this tactic to jump queues is questionable.

One notable situation seen on Twitter has been the TwitchCon foam pit for content creators. From what I’ve seen, at this moment of writing, one creator has broken their back and two other creators have been badly injured. The reason is that the foam pit is a thin layer of foam cubes atop concrete and creators fall or jump off from pedestals.

As the event has only just finished, Twitch has not yet issued a statement on any of the complaints about TwitchCon doing the rounds on social media which goes further than accessibility issues. It’s fair to say that it looks like there have been a lot of miscommunication and accessibility considerations for TwitchCon. However, going by the tweets going around, both employees and attendees have shown little consideration for disabilities.

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Ben
BaylissEditor-in-ChiefHe/Him

Ben is the one in charge of keeping the content cogs at Can I Play That? turning. Deafness means that he has a focus on discussing captions, but with experience in consultancy and advocacy, he covers what bases he can. Having written about accessibility in video games at DualShockers, GamesRadar+, GamesIndustry.biz, Wireframe, and more he continues his advocacy at CIPT. He was actually awarded a Good Games Writing award for an article he wrote here! He enjoys a range of games, but anything that’s open-world and with a photo mode will probably be his cup of tea. You can get in touch with him at: ben@caniplaythat.com

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