Monday, 19 April 2010

Computer games for the blind and visually impaired

As well as driving and watching sub-titled films, one of the things I miss since starting to lose my sight has been video games. Any game that moves too fast, involves stealth or involves too much time for me to decipher whats going on the screen (especially if the graphics have a limited colour palette) I have trouble with. Computer games have become part of the mainstream and enjoyed by millions of people worldwide but is generally inaccessible for people with vision loss. As equipment and graphics have improved the explosion of ever more elaborate games has not been matched by their accessibilty.

Though I can't play the fast paced blockbuster games out there, I have found that games that do not require a time limit for doing things accessible with my condition. Adventure games like Broken Sword: Shadow of the Templars (Directors Cut) can be played at your own pace but is only playable by people with good remaining useful sight.
So many leisure activities seem to be out of reach for the blind but there are lots of games out there if you know where to look. I've put together a list of computer games and gaming web sites that I found whilst scouring the net that, either by design or by accident, are accessible to people with visual disabilities.

All inPlay:
"a place where blind and sighted folks from all over the world can come together to play accessible online multiplayer games".

Assistive Gaming:
Information on accessible gaming for Mac users.

Audio Games:
A site with lists of games that use only sound.

Software company that designs a variety of audio games for the blind to purchase.

Blind Gamers:
Freeware puzzle games for use with SAPI Text-To-Speech and DirectX software.

BSC Games:
Part of and owned and operated by Justin Daubenmire, who himself is blind. Games for blind people.

Danz Games:
"Windows computer games for the visually impaired, without breaking the bank"

Draconis Entertainment:
" games that can be played by anyone, but are especially designed with the blind and visually impaired gamer in mind. "

GMA Games:
Games designed to be fully accessible to blind and visually impaired individuals. GMA concentrates its efforts on developing sophisticated Windows-based games, while keeping its prices affordable. There are demo versions available for all the games.

Hundreds of text only adventure games.

KChess Elite:
Chess for the blind.

A list of text based adventure games writen in QML (Quest Markup Language) which can be read in many bowsers meaning that text-to-speach readers can be used. These "choose your own adventure"style games mean that they are played using multiple choice questions rather than visuals.

Simply Entertainment:
Games for the blind that run on the 7-128 Software Game Book engine. The Game Book englne uses the same simple controls for all it's games. They also offer a "Blind Bargains" game package each month.
Online text only advetures.

Text Adventures:
Text adventures to download and information on text-to-voice.

Are you visually impaired and enjoy playing computer games?
Which ones have you found accessible? Let me and the readers of VWS know by leaving a comment.

1 comment:

  1. Check out our games: detective mysteries, word games, memory puzzles at They self-voice using SAPI and work with JAWS. Also have big type for the vision impaired.

    John Bannick
    7-128 Software