Gather Town – General Information
Gather Town is an interactive virtual space that simulates real-life, in-person interactions. With an 8-bit pixelized video game aesthetic and familiar online video and chat features, Gather Town allows users to move through online spaces using their arrow keys for keyboard controls. Users create an avatar who can seamlessly move in and out of interactions and conversations with other participants they encounter and explore galleries of digital objects such as videos and sound files.
Things to Know
- Once you register, you will receive a password that will allow you access to our Gather Town rooms and galleries.
- For the best experience for all users, Gather Town recommends using Chrome as the web browser.
- It is not recommended that you use a mobile phone or tablet to enter Gather Town.
- PLEASE ONLY OPEN ONE PLATFORM AT A TIME. You may need to close your Zoom application. If you are having issues, you may want to restart your computer.
Entrances for Gather Town
All events in Gather Town will have two entrances:
- Access Support Entrance
- General Entrance
If you have arranged or require ASL or AD interpretation, please enter using the link to the Access Support Entrance.
At both entrances, volunteer ushers will be waiting and ready to support everyone during our scheduled events and escort you to the Theatre or Wiki Room.
ZOOM option (view livestream only) for Gather Town Events
Have low bandwidth? Prefer a low stimulation online space? Just want to listen while doing other tasks? Can’t access the Gather Town platform? Watch livestream on Zoom.
If you don’t want to access the 2-D map experience, we will livestream our three main Gather Town events on Zoom. You will find the Zoom links on the schedule on the Restricted Access webpage.
Gather Town is working on the accessibility of their platform. It currently has limited interaction with Jaws and NVDA. We will have ASL interpreters, Audio Description interpreters, and volunteer ushers to assist any participant navigate our Gather Town online space.
To arrange access to an interpreter, you will need to indicate an access request on your registration form. If you have questions about our access support staff, including volunteer ushers, for Gather Town, please email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Getting to Know Gather Town
Videos – Information on our Gather Town
NOTE: For video closed captions, access videos on the playlist in Youtube.
Events held in Gather Town
You can also view online or download a screen-reader PDF version of this video for reference. This multi-page document contains information on the three scheduled events we are hosting in our Gather Town space, plus the schedule and a map of the rooms. Click the link below.
You can also view online or download a screen-reader version of the map of rooms.
Advance Practice Sessions
We will offer all participants opportunity to enter Gather Town in advance of the event to gain familiarity with the platform, test assistive technology for navigation, or to meet our access support staff and volunteer ushers.
Drop-in sessions will be held on the following days and times:
- Tuesday, January 18, 2022 from 11:00 AM to 12:00 PM
- Thursday, January 20, 2022 from 5:00 PM to 5:30 PM
Creating your Avatar and Entering Gather Town
IMPORTANT: You do not need an account to access Gather Town.
- You can make an avatar immediately before entering the space without creating an account, but your avatar will not be saved for the next time you enter Gather Town. If you want to customize your avatar, allow yourself a few minutes to do so.
- If you want to create and save your avatar in advance, you will need to create an account for Gather Town.
- For our videos on entering and navigating Gather Town.
NOTE: Screen readers users do not have access to the avatar creation options. Practicing the Social participants, who have indicated on their registration that they will be attending specific events in Gather Town, will be paired with an Usher at the Access Support Desk who can escort them to the scheduled events.
Image description: A small avatar with green hair is located in a blue box with selection tabs below for “base,” “clothing,” “accessories,” and “special.”
Microphone and Camera Access
You will need to provide gather.town access to your microphone and camera if you use a microphone for communication and/or would like others to see you. A pop-up will appear on your screen prompting you to permit access.
Image description: A pop-up window for Gather Town reads “gather.town want to Use your microphone / Use your camera” with two buttons that read “Allow” and “Block.”
Audio and Video Troubleshooting
Visit the Audio and Video Troubleshooting Steps page if you have difficulties.
Additional Access Tips
Download Gather Town’s Guest Guide to Gather.
1. Add Icons to Your Name
Participants can add emoji symbols to their name to provide more info about themselves and for quick visual cues of their role.
You can add an emoji directly to your name using the emoji picker on your operating system.
- Mac: use ctrl (^) + cmd (⌘) + space
- PC Windows: Use Windows key + period (.)
Then search for the emoji you wish to add to your name. This symbol will show up next to your name.
⭐ = Staff
🖐 = ASL Interpreter
👁🗨 = Audio Description Interpreter
❔ = Volunteer Usher
🎤 = Presenter/Performer
2. Use the Follow Feature
The Follow Feature can be especially helpful for participants who are neurodivergent, Deaf, or blind/low vision.
An ASL interpreter can “follow” a signing Deaf participant, and the ASL Interpreter can use their hands to sign instead of focusing on the keyboard to navigate.
Anyone who doesn’t wish to navigate themselves through the space and low vision participants can “follow” a volunteer usher who can escort you to the main scheduled events.
3. Disable Smart Zoom
Some users, especially those with low vision, may prefer to view a zoomed-in version of the map.
In the Bottom Command Bar, click on your name and open your User/Video Preferences. You can disable Smart Zoom and can then choose to incrementally zoom into the map.
4. Interpreter Areas
For keynote speeches, we will spotlight ALS Interpreters so they show up as one of the prioritized videos in the video carousel.
Select the interpreter’s individual video to view in the full screen mode.
5. Private Areas
All participants can enter Private Areas to focus on interpreters. These areas are helpful for anyone wanting to take a break from the sights and sounds of the event.
Live Transcription for Gather Town Events
To share live transcription for our Gather Town events, our transcribers will be using Googledocs.
- Link for Book Launch – Live Transcription googledoc
- Link for Dance Party – Live Transcription googledoc
Gather Town – Accessibility Best Practices For Site Builders
Gather Town website has a list of best practices based on collaborative conversations with various event hosts about creating more accessible and intuitive Gather Spaces. For information, visit Making Your Space More Accessible | Gather.Town
- Event Activities
- Online Platforms
- Partners and Sponsors
- Programme At-A-Glance
- General Access Information
- Access Practices
- Gather Town – Access Guide
- Zoom – Access Guide
- Presenters, Performers, & Moderators – Access Guide
- Access Support Team
- Glossary of Terms
- Keynote Speakers
- Restricted Access – Registered Attendees only