Blind Gamers Benefit from University Project

June 1, 2010 -

Researchers at the University of Nevada, Reno have developed motion-sensing games that are aimed at increasing the activeness of blind children.

The VI Fit project currently has two adapted titles available for download, VI Tennis and VI Bowling. Both games utilize the Nintendo Wiimote in combination with a PC (the PC must feature support for Bluetooth or a Bluetooth dongle can be used). VI Tennis was upgraded to include audio and vibrotactile clues that help to indicate when a player should serve or return a shot, while VI Bowling uses vibrotactile feedback to assist gamers in finding the appropriate direction to aim their bowling ball.

Research team leader, and assistant professor, Eelke Folmer, stated, “Lack of vision forms a significant barrier to participation in physical activity and consequently children with visual impairments have much higher obesity rates and obesity-related illnesses such as diabetes.”

Executables for both games can be downloaded from the VI Fit webpage free of charge.

A previous university project adapted Guitar Hero for use by the blind. Blind Hero also used vibrotactile feedback, though in a glove for this implementation. The feedback buzzed the appropriate finger to signal that it should be used to press a Guitar Hero controller fret.


Comments

Re: Blind Gamers Benefit from University Project

I'll admit I'm only friends online with at least one blind gamer, but I certainly can't imagine trying to play even Super Mario Bros. (let alone DDR or ROCKBAND) without being able to see... I know I did have some ideas for making rhythm games accessible for those with disabilities, like different audio cues just before the note reaches the target to signify which one you'd need to it... although that might be disorienting because you couldn't concentrate on the music...

But I did read about 'Blind Hero', certainly sounds like an interesting take on the music games adapted for the blind.

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400 Episodes, TEN YEARS and counting: http://www.orangeloungeradio.com/ | Voice of Geeks Network - http://www.vognetwork.com

Re: Blind Gamers Benefit from University Project

While I'm glad there is research in this area, I have a problem with this statement:

“Lack of vision forms a significant barrier to participation in physical activity and consequently children with visual impairments have much higher obesity rates and obesity-related illnesses such as diabetes.”
 

As with many statistics, I find this one VERY misleading.

We have to take into account that many visually impaired kids in Public Schools have less opportunities in certain physical activities and that many Public Schools won't make even minor adaptations for certain activities because it isn't cost effective.

I went to the Governor Morehead School for the Blind, and so our school was designed to adapt for visually impaired students.  Including major high school sports.  From wrestling to basketball to even track & field.  And we played against other schools, even Public Schools.  Not saying we won a great deal, but it did depend on the capabilities of the players, and we DID win from time to time.

Additionally, due to a lack of ignorance on the part of many in the Public School systems, visually impaired, and even other disabled students, are treated with extreme care, even when they don't need to be treated as such.  It is more the school system and those authorities within it that are more to blame.

Even a number of individuals here have argued as to why bother applying options that aid the visually impaired in certain games.  The argument has been that if they can't see to play, even having a small issue that could be corrected, then they shouldn't play the games.

The options are there.  The adaptations are available.  They just need to be implimented.  Whether in the schools, in games and other media, or in other aspects of everyday life, including in the home.

Nightwng2000

NW2K Software

http://www.facebook.com/nightwing2000

Nightwng2000 is now admin to the group "Parents For Education, Not Legislation" on MySpace as http://groups.myspace.com/pfenl

Nightwng2000 NW2K Software http://www.facebook.com/nightwing2000 Nightwng2000 is now admin to the group "Parents For Education, Not Legislation" on MySpace as http://groups.myspace.com/pfenl

Re: Blind Gamers Benefit from University Project

Considering schools still have an issue with helping children with dyslexia, I don't see them ever coming up with valid options for blind children.

I agree that the public school system is falling increasingly behind the private sector in pretty much all sectors. 

E. Zachary Knight
Oklahoma City Chapter of the ECA
http://www.theeca.com/chapters_oklahoma

Re: Blind Gamers Benefit from University Project

 Stories like this make me miss JT. If he were here there would already be a press release about how the military was going to use this technology to train blind soldiers who couldn't see their helpless targets.

Re: Blind Gamers Benefit from University Project

I think you're in the minority, the rest of us haven't given half a rat's ass since he lost his license.(maybe he still has a fanclub? IDK I haven't cared enough to check.)

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E. Zachary KnightTeachers unions are just as bad as police unions, except of course you are far less likely to be killed by a teacher on duty than you are a cop. But they also protect bad teachers from being fired.07/07/2015 - 6:29pm
E. Zachary KnightGoth, so you agree they are still union members. Thankfully we have a first ammendment that protects people from being forced to join groups they don't support (in most cases any way.)07/07/2015 - 6:27pm
E. Zachary KnightAh, police unions. The reason why cops can't get fired when they beat a defenseless mentally ill homeless person to death. Or when they throw a grenade into a baby's crib. Or when theykill people they were called in to help not hurt themselves.07/07/2015 - 6:26pm
Goth_SkunkeZeek: Non-union employees have no right to attend meetings or union convention/AGM, or influence policy. The only time they get to vote is whether or not to strike.07/07/2015 - 6:24pm
Infophile(cont'd) about non-union police officers being given hell until they joined the union.07/07/2015 - 4:58pm
InfophileParadoxically, the drive in the US to get rid of unions seems to have left only the most corrupt surviving. They seem to be the only ones that can find ways to browbeat employees into joining when paying dues isn't mandatory. I've heard some stories ...07/07/2015 - 4:57pm
Matthew WilsonI am old school on this. I believe its a conflict of interest to have public sector unions. that being said, I do not have a positive look on unions in general.07/07/2015 - 3:59pm
TechnogeekWhat's best for the employee tends to be good for the employer; other way around, not so much. So long as that's the case, there's going to be a far stronger incentive for management to behave in such a way that invites retalitation than for the union to.07/07/2015 - 3:10pm
TechnogeekTeachers' unions? State legislatures. UAW? Just look at GM's middle management.07/07/2015 - 3:05pm
TechnogeekIn many ways it seems that the worse a union tends to behave, the worse that the company's management has behaved in the past.07/07/2015 - 3:02pm
james_fudgeCharity starts at home ;)07/07/2015 - 2:49pm
james_fudgeSo mandatory charity? That sounds shitty to me07/07/2015 - 2:49pm
E. Zachary KnightGoth, if Union dues are automatically withdrawn, then there is no such thing as a non-union employee.07/07/2015 - 2:38pm
Goth_Skunka mutually agreed upon charity instead.07/07/2015 - 2:33pm
Goth_Skunkyou enjoy the benefits of working in a union environment. If working in a union is against your religious beliefs or just something you wholeheartedly object to, dues will still be deducted from your pay, but you can instruct that they be directed towards07/07/2015 - 2:33pm
Goth_SkunkBasically, if you are employed in a business where employees are represented by a union for the purposes of collective bargaining, whether or not you are a union member, you will have union dues deducted from your pay, since regardless of membership,07/07/2015 - 2:32pm
Goth_SkunkIt's something that has existed in Canada since 1946. You can read more on it here: http://ow.ly/PiHWR07/07/2015 - 2:27pm
Goth_SkunkSee, we have something similar in Canada, called a "Rand Employee." This is an employee who benefits from the collective bargaining efforts of a union, despite not wanting to be a part of it for whatever reason.07/07/2015 - 2:22pm
Matthew Wilson@info depends on the sector. for example, have you looked at how powerful unions are in the public sector? I will make the argument they have too much power in that sector.07/07/2015 - 12:39pm
InfophileIt's easy to worry about unions having too much power and causing harm. The odd thing is, why do people seem to worry about that more than the fact that business-owners can have too much power and do harm, particularly at a time when unions have no power?07/07/2015 - 12:31pm
 

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