[games_access] Deaf-Blind Computer Games

Mathias Nordvall mathias.nordvall at liu.se
Wed Sep 17 16:26:25 EDT 2014

Hi Ellis, Hamilton, and the rest of you guys!

Thanks for the bump Hamilton! I am indeed on this list as well. Fun to see
that there is an interest in computer games for people with deafblindness.
Would be really exciting to see more computer games come out that targets
this demographic. What I have done is try to figure out how to design for
people with deafblindness and also try to see if it's possible to translate
classical computer games by giving them haptic interfaces.

Me and some friends are also working on an editor to make it easier for
designers and developers to build haptic interfaces for computer games. Our
plan is to release both the editor and the Sightlence game at some time
during this fall. The Sightlence game is a translation of Pong into
haptics. I'm attaching two links below. The FDG link is to an overview of
the interface itself and the DIGRA link is for some thoughts around the
design process.

If anyone wants to chat about this in private don't feel shy about getting
back to me at mathias.nordvall at gmail.com . We're releasing the editor and
game this fall but if someone would like an advance review/academic/friend
copy just get back to me and I'll hook you up with a dropbox folder.



> Message: 2
> Date: Wed, 17 Sep 2014 14:32:22 +0100
> From: Ian Hamilton <i_h at hotmail.com>
> To: IGDA Games Accessibility SIG Mailing List <games_access at igda.org>
> Subject: Re: [games_access] Deaf-Blind Computer Games: Braille or
>         Morse - food for thought
> Message-ID: <DUB130-W11415DDFFE2C037E14A72291B60 at phx.gbl>
> Content-Type: text/plain; charset="iso-8859-1"
> One that I know of that has been designed with that in mind is sightlence:
> http://sightlence.com/
> That has been played by profoundly deaf-blind adults and children . The
> adults he tested with had never played a game before, I don't know whether
> the children had. I'm not sure if Mathias Nordvall is on the mailing list
> or not but he'd be able to give some more information.
> If anyone reading isn't familiar with what Barrie means by braille output,
> this what braille displays look like:
> http://www.blinksoftinc.com/Products/Refreshable-Braille/Brailliant_in_use.jpg
> There is a game that has been made specifically for braille displays, a
> version of Tetris where you can feel the objects moving down the display:
> http://www.audiogames.net/db.php?action=view&id=Dotris
> Braille displays work with screenreaders, the text is just output to the
> pins instead of to speech synthesis. But reading speed is far slower than
> audio screenreaders. So there are a fair few screenreader compatible games
> that are suitable for people who are deafblind, but anything involving
> dynamic notifications etc is probably out.
> As far as how many people with very little vision/hearing actually do that
> or not I don't know, I've dropped Sense a line though, they should have an
> idea.
> Ian
> Date: Wed, 17 Sep 2014 13:14:05 +0100
> From: barrie.ellis at oneswitch.org.uk
> To: games_access at igda.org
> Subject: [games_access] Deaf-Blind Computer Games: Braille or Morse -
> food      for thought
> Does anyone out there have any knowledge of any deaf-blind computer games
> that exist and/or methods to play?
> I'm aware of Morse Code based data-entry systems for switch / sip-puff
> users. I'm aware of modern day braille output for computers. I've heard of
> Morse buzzers so people can feel messages coming through.
> I'm not aware of any examples of people actually playing computer games
> who are deaf-blind (I'm thinking almost no sight, and almost no hearing).
> It seems text based adventure games would be quite possible. But do people
> actually do this.
> It seems grid based games that are tactile could be played over the
> internet, using braille+keyboard or morse entry and morse buzzer...
> Probably lots of other methods too.... Things like whack-a-mole seem
> plausible.
> You could even have hybrid action + text games (obvious survival horror
> thought.... describe an environment.... you can hear foot-steps.....
> prepare to defend yourself...... - then recreate the foot steps in gentle
> buzzes that get a bit louder... when you hear a panic buzz - mash your
> button to fend off the attacker)... then go back to text description and
> maybe an interface as simple as one tap for yes, two taps for no or braille
> for yes/no. Here's some weird-stuff slightly related:
> http://www.enigmaresearchgroup.com/article023.htm
> Being less obvious, you could recreate anything in a text adventure with
> action / randomising elements, a bit like Regret of the Wind for
> Dreamcast/Saturn.
> Any idea if any of this has ever taken place/takes place today?
> Seems like a logical progression for some of Eelke's V.I. work, maybe?
> Maybe with hybrid display for those who have partial sight (and could aid
> in the learning of braille / morse)....
> Barrie
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> Message: 3
> Date: Wed, 17 Sep 2014 15:08:02 +0100
> From: Barrie Ellis <barrie.ellis at oneswitch.org.uk>
> To: IGDA Games Accessibility SIG Mailing List <games_access at igda.org>
> Subject: Re: [games_access] Deaf-Blind Computer Games: Braille or
>         Morse - food for thought
> Message-ID:
>         <CAEdM-4Kjj4gJ-bezh68xqrvt=
> XcR5kOGbcDWqZZC1Nk1Dte+zA at mail.gmail.com>
> Content-Type: text/plain; charset="utf-8"
> Thanks for that info. Potentially very cool. Seems a good fit with this
> kind of stuff too:
> http://switchgaming.blogspot.co.uk/2014/04/tangible-media-deaf-blind-gaming.html
>  and https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZplTj8th0bE
> It had me wondering if anyone plays a game in binary one-switch style.
> Morse input, and morse output. Would be fascinating to find out.
> I dropped Sense a line too prior to your message. They'll get two in one
> day. I wonder what they'll make of it. :)
> Barrie
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