[games_access] Deaf-Blind Computer Games

Barrie Ellis barrie.ellis at oneswitch.org.uk
Sat Sep 20 04:30:47 EDT 2014

Brilliant work Mathias. Will pore over this soon. Definitely interested.
Would be cool to get a text adventure game converted into morse input, and
morse vibration feedback output. Twine style could be great for that. That
would maybe be the first documented (to my knowledge) one-switch deaf-blind

Whack-a-Rat (play it at school fetes sometimes in the UK): Someone has a
tall pipe, and drops a rat down it - the player has to whack it with a
stick when it appears at the bottom. Not one to please animal lovers, but
it's not real. Could do this with count down buzzer sequence.... random
pause.... small buzz as it appears, and a short-time to hit SPACE BAR.

Morse SIMON... Same as MB's game of Simon (or Atari's Touch-Me)... but
having to repeat sequences of letters / numbers. Could be a Morse trainer
starting with single letters and working up.

What is it? Could have a real-world box of random objects... press them
into a person's hand... they are then asked a question about the item by
the computer in morse / braille and have to respond with a Y or N in morse,
or press the Y or N on a keyboard. Their score out of ten is buzzed out to
them at the end.

Matching Pairs.... Mix a pool of 13 (or 18) matching pairs of unique
vibrations. Assign them randomly to a keyboard. The player has to find the
matching vibrations by tapping two keys on the keyboard.

Loads more I'm sure.


On 17 September 2014 21:26, Mathias Nordvall <mathias.nordvall at liu.se>

> 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.
> http://www.digra.org/wp-content/uploads/digital-library/paper_473.pd
> <http://www.digra.org/wp-content/uploads/digital-library/paper_473.pdf>
> http://www.fdg2013.org/program/festival/sightlence.pdf
>> 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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