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.

300 Episodes and counting: http://www.orangeloungeradio.com/

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 KnightZippy, So you can't find even one?08/29/2014 - 1:04pm
ZippyDSMleeAndrew Eisen:Right because shes prefect and never exaggerates... *rolls eyes*08/29/2014 - 12:53pm
SleakerAnd honestly, nearly all of the games she references, or images she depicts I've always cringed at and wondered why they were included in games to begin with, from pinups through explicit sexual depictions or direct abuse. I think it's cheap storytelling.08/29/2014 - 12:35pm
Sleaker@AE - aren't most people fundamentally misunderstanding her at this point? haha.. On a related note I think a lot of the backlash is coming from males that think she is telling them their 'Generic Male Fantasy' is bad and wrong.08/29/2014 - 12:33pm
Andrew EisenAnd no, I don't think the female community would be upset over the performance of a case study in and of itself. Possibly the mostivations behind such a study, the methodology or conclusions but not the mere idea of a case study.08/29/2014 - 12:29pm
Andrew EisenAmusingly, these videos aren't saying you can't/shouldn't use tropes or that sexual representations are inherently problematic so those are very silly things to have a problem with and indicate a fundamental misunderstanding of the series.08/29/2014 - 12:29pm
SleakerDo you think the female community would get extremely angry over a male doing a case study on the negative impact of sex-novels and their unrealistic depiction of males and how widespread they are in american culture?08/29/2014 - 12:25pm
SleakerThe other thing that people might find problematic is that they see no problem with sexual representations of females (or males) in games. And realistically, why is there anything wrong with sexual representations in fiction?08/29/2014 - 12:24pm
SleakerTo even discuss or bring up these issues at a cultural level to begin with. Going straight for games to many probably feels like a huge overstepping given that it's interactive story in many cases, and when you're telling a story why can't you use tropes.08/29/2014 - 12:21pm
SleakerI think a large part of the controversy stems from the idea that games aren't culture setters, but culture reactors, and simply depict what is already in culture. So people don't care that games use tropes or are blind to them because we've failed ...08/29/2014 - 12:20pm
AvalongodBesides, what better way to make her point for her than to respond to her opinion by behaving like a misogynistic asshole. Sure, it may be a troll account, but that doesn't make it "ok"08/29/2014 - 12:19pm
AvalongodWhether Sarkeesian is "right" or "wrong" is not relevant, neither she nor any other woman should have to expect that her opinion will be met with death threats or even just sexist language.08/29/2014 - 12:18pm
Andrew EisenOh, may as well. Zip, I challenge you to cite three specific examples from the TvW videos (use direct quotes and time stamps) and explain how/why they ring hollow or are over exaggerated.08/29/2014 - 11:56am
Andrew EisenZip - Bullies on both sides? What both sides? And of course bullies are worse than people who aren't bullies.08/29/2014 - 11:23am
Neeneko(2) yes, male tropes also have problems and gender studies looks at those too. But this highlights a privilage problem, the idea that if male issues are not brought up too female issues should not be discussed.08/29/2014 - 10:42am
Neeneko@ZippyDSMlee - jumping back (1) one can acknowledge systemic problems without requiring every male be a Neanderthal.08/29/2014 - 10:42am
MaskedPixelanteI don't like the new 3DS, mostly because it means there's a good chance future 3DS games won't be compatible with the current models.08/29/2014 - 9:30am
ConsterI don't get why Amazon decided to buy this "Twitch" fellow, really. It took him ages to beat Pokemon.08/29/2014 - 8:31am
ZippyDSMleeIt goes without saying that we need to et rid of the bullies on both sides that are far worse than Sarkeesian or Quin will ever be.08/29/2014 - 8:24am
ZippyDSMleeI'm talking more about the genreal movement and how silly it is, as for Sarkeesian half of what she is says rings hollw while the other half tend to be over exsagerated.08/29/2014 - 8:22am
 

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