How the Visually Impaired Play MMORPGs
In the realms of entertainment, computers have come leaps and bounds. The old days were joysticks and joypads. Now with technology like the Nintendo Wii you stand and move the motion sensitive controller to be more a part of the games than ever before. Graphics and more advanced animation is becoming more impressive and becoming selling points for many games.
However, in this particular surge of advancement, one group is in danger of being left behind - the visually impaired. For them, fancy graphics have no appeal. Touch sensitive pads which are essentially flat screens with a changing screen are impossible to work with and consoles that use hand to eye coordination devices with free movement motion are of limited use.
How are Online Games Accessible to the Visually Impaired?
In terms of entertainment, the vast majority of games they can enjoy are cut off from them. Even large M.M.O’s which millions of people play for both fun and social interaction outside their own areas are virtually if not completely inaccessible. However, to forgive the pun, there is a ray of light to offset some of the darkness of this bleak situation. This is the opportunities offered in text based games.
Text to speech software such as JAWS can read text on a computer screen quickly and efficiently with many options to meet a blind persons needs. In addition, clients like VIP-Mud are designed for the blind text gamer. These programs have taken many steps to being quite comfortably accessible.
With all the ingenius tools designed by clever people, a blind person has many tools to help enjoy this sort of game. While text games serve a small niche, they still have enough of people from all walks of life. Text games over the internet are rich in detail and challenges, full of fun ways for people to interact with each other.
Due to the text based nature of the game, a blind person will find themselves more often than not on an equal footing with a sighted person. Sound triggers can be set for actions such as attacks or when something happens. Aliases can be created to allow the blind person to respond just as fast as anyone else. More than this, the role play environment of certain types of text games allows a blind person to enjoy the fun and relaxation of creating a person and as many of us are want to do from time to time, taking a break from themselves.
In games such as these, this goes for any person with physical difficulties, their imagination is the only thing that can cripple their character. Text games offer escapism, and the attraction of fulfilling a roleplay fantasy. A sighted person has fun flying around on a dragon, so why wouldn't a blind person? Text games are an incredibly fun and powerful way of bridging the gap between the visually impaired and videogames. It is a fun and enjoyable social situation to challenge yourself against other people in many ways, and I urge any blind gamers to give them a try.
About the Author:
J. Dearborn currently plays Iron Realms games and is not only a level 99 player, he also excels at PvP and ranks in the weekly PvP competitions.