July 8, 2002
2:39 PM   Subscribe

''Tim,'' said Spitzer with a laugh, ''just slaughtered them.'' What's so special about one geek slaughtering other geeks in a game of Quake? Tim is blind and a company named ZForm is developing videogames to help blind people compete fairly with sighted people. Way cool.
posted by WolfDaddy (13 comments total)
If you want to follow me,
You've got to play pinball.
And put in your earplugs
Put on your eyeshades
You know where to put the cork.
Now you can't hear me,
your ears are truly sealed.
You can't speak either,
your mouth is filled.
You can't see nothing,
and pinball completes the scene.
Here comes Uncle Ernie to guide you to
Your very own machine.
posted by me3dia at 2:49 PM on July 8, 2002


sounds very, very cool.
and just think of how handy those extra audio cues would be to a player who can also see.

would that be the next way to cheat/increase performance?
posted by th3ph17 at 3:12 PM on July 8, 2002

th3ph17, to cheat or to chat? I need this this for me.
Really it is nice to see the diverse of the world to be able to come together with new technology. And it always seems the "have nots"(those that have a disability to your all) usually win in the end regardless if your a head. And I think you liked wolf daddy's thread. Not the first credit.
posted by thomcatspike at 4:51 PM on July 8, 2002

i guess i mean Cheat, but, in quote marks, so its "Cheat" like, it isn't really cheating, but some purist Quake player may consider the audio cues a form of cheating.

playing games like quake without sound is much more difficult. So, i figure that playing with enhanced sound would make them easier.
posted by th3ph17 at 4:55 PM on July 8, 2002

but some purist Quake player may consider the audio cues a form of cheating

Yeah, but someone with surround sound is gonna have an edge over someone with just two speakers, regardless of whether or not the players can see anything (and let me say it's stuff like this regarding computers--considering sound as the *only* component of a videogame--that really make me realize what a universal tool a computer is, and that's a Good Thing TM). A purist may want to complain about that, but instead they should invest in an upgrade. :-D
posted by WolfDaddy at 5:02 PM on July 8, 2002

surround sound is a big step towards enhanced audio cues...definately makes playing quake or counterstrike a completely different experience.

it would be really interesting to develop a game that is based completely on sound--ala rutger hauer in Blind Fury.
posted by th3ph17 at 5:18 PM on July 8, 2002

The person who wrote this headline missed the entire point of that last paragraph of the article.

He slaughtered them in a SOUND ONLY version of quake. Ie. no visuals at all.
posted by andryeevna at 5:46 PM on July 8, 2002

What they don't tell him is that he's playing Tanx on a BBC Micro.
posted by holloway at 5:54 PM on July 8, 2002

andryeevna, that paragraph makes for ambiguity; I could have sworn it implied that the sighted players were playing regular Quake. Huh, now I just don't know.
posted by WolfDaddy at 6:01 PM on July 8, 2002

At first, of course the sighted players will be playing regular Quake, but as was immediately pointed out, the 'i want it' factor overtakes anyone's sense of fair play. Assistive enhancements are always co-opted by those that wouldn't normally need them, kissing the level playing field goodbye.

Beyond the guy that thought of it, I doubt that any blind people will be involved in the programming or design of these games (lots of free end-user feedback though). It's just another marketing angle.

Of course stuff like "what they don't tell him is that he's playing Tanx on a BBC Micro", is always funny.
posted by yonderboy at 7:29 PM on July 8, 2002

I agree the article says that the sighted players were playing the sound-only version against the blind person, who had an advantage. This isn't something that "allows blind people to compete fairly" unless the sighted players are, um, handicapped in some way. And while I imagine that some partially-sighted players might enjoy this sort of enhancement, I doubt it will make the games interesting to blind people to the same extent.

But. The technique can certainly be used to make interesting games for the blind, and as a modification of existing games it makes that process cheaper.
posted by dhartung at 7:53 PM on July 8, 2002

Features in the sound-only version will probably be included in the sighted version. That was my only point, not sure what yours was.
posted by yonderboy at 8:51 PM on July 8, 2002

Of course stuff like "what they don't tell him is that he's playing Tanx on a BBC Micro", is always funny.
He's also on a tightrope. Oh my.
posted by holloway at 11:51 PM on July 8, 2002

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