Video Game Apps for Visually Impaired People

Many times we talk about how intuitive or clear an interface can be, but perhaps we don’t want to consider whether accessibility is adequate and whether there are options for a visually impaired user to have a good experience. And that is where the newly developed games with accessibility options are placed, which try to put us behind the eyes of a user with blindness or some disability in vision and which, in turn, serve for these users to train their ear.

An exercise of empathy in the form of video games, in which we will have to cross scenarios, dodge missiles and other actions without having a clear visual field and using more of the audio. And according to the manufacturer, a way to raise awareness about this problem, perhaps more common than it seems, pointing out that in the Chinese market, there are not many games that have integrated accessibility options.

Exercising reflexes and awareness with mobile video games

These are two games that have previously been in charge of titles such as the successful ‘Arena of Valor.’ One is entitled ‘ Seeing, ‘and the other’ Blind Flight,’ and what they propose is to put yourself in the eyes of a visually impaired person and a game entirely intended for a user in that situation, respectively.

These games are known from the publication that the company has made from its official WeChat account, as they have been released in Chinese apps stores, as well as from what they count on Sixth Tone. They highlight the fact that in China, there are 13 million people with visual disabilities, also taking into account that it is the country with the most gamers, with about 620 million players, according to NewZoo.

As for the dynamics of the games, in ‘Seeing,’ the player has to use a (virtual) cane to identify and avoid objects and elements while walking in public spaces. What its developers have tried to draw attention to is that sometimes adaptations for the visually impaired, such as sidewalks and tactile pavements, are blocked by works or by parked bikes and motorcycles.

In the case of Blind Flight, it is a combat mission from an airplane, with the proviso that the audio of his headphones guides the pilot (who in the history of the game has lost sight of shrapnel emitted in an explosion). In this way, you will have to dodge enemy projectiles and launch you’re own completely blind and using hearing information only.

According to the first comments and scores the games are having in their first week of presence at the China App Store, the exercise of empathy has been achieved. For now, they have a score of 4.7 and 4.3 points of 5 (for ‘Seeing’ and ‘Blind Flight’ respectively), and they read comments that value being able to understand the perspective of someone with a visual disability better.

An idea to please and raise awareness

In the development of Blind Flight, they have been assisted by Huang Yue Hong, director of an association of the visually impaired at Shenzhen (China), who expressed in Sixth Tone that it was the first time he knew of the efforts of a large company to make a game like this. Yue Hong also pointed out that’ Blind Flight ‘ is an excellent way to train the ears of these users, as well as to improve their reaction time, all while performing an entertainment activity.

This company or others may have more similar projects, but it is undoubtedly a good idea for both adaptation and awareness. Although operating systems and layers of software improve their accessibility options, apps must do so as much as possible, in addition to the Videocon sols themselves when it comes to hardware.