A new computer game developed by MIT and Singaporean students has taken the video out of videogames, making it possible for visually impaired people to play the game on a level field with their sighted friends.
The game, called AudiOdyssey, simulates a deejay trying to build up a catchy tune and get people dancing. By swinging the remote-control device used by the Nintendo Wii, which senses motion, the player can set the rhythm and lay down one musical track after another, gradually building up a richer musical track.
Eitan Glinert, a graduate student in computer science at the Singapore-MIT Gambit Game Lab established by MIT and the Media Development Authority of Singapore , says that the introduction of that Wii controller attracted many women and older players for the first time to the world of videogames. “Lots of people who had never played video games were now playing them all the time,” he says. “I started to think, who's been left out? What groups are left behind even with all the new technology, these new systems?”
Then it hit him. “People with disabilities had been left behind. I began to speculate, how could you bring these people into the fold and have them be able to play these games?” He started by looking up everything that was available in terms of computer games for the visually impaired, and found there were already about 200 titles.
“I thought, oh well, it was a good idea. But then I noticed something: As a sighted player, I was unable to play any of these.”
The games had been so specifically adapted for sound and tactile play that they gave the visually impaired too much of an advantage, making it impractical for them to play with sighted friends. “There were games for sighted people, games for blind people, and never the twain shall meet,” he says. “I thought, maybe I could build a game that could be played by both, equally well.”
Working as the first student in Gambit, the Singapore-MIT game lab, with a team of seven other students he developed the prototype for AudiOdyssey in the summer of 2007, and has since been testing it with various groups of players. Since not everyone has access to the Wii controller, the game is also designed to be playable using a regular keyboard.
The game “is an early prototype, it's limited in the things people can do,” Glinert says. “But people seem to really enjoy it.”
Yeo Jing Ying, a Singapore student from the National University of Singapore who also worked on AudiOdyssey said, “Being a game designer on the team, I realize that we need to take care of both the audio and visual aspects of the game as we are targeting both the visually impaired and the mainstream audience. This is a challenge for our team. Since we are making an audio game, we need to make sure the sound is not jarring to the ears as the game is heavily audio- dependent. On the other hand, the visual feedback should be attractive and obvious enough for the mainstream audience.”
Count Alicia Verlager among them. A recent graduate of MIT's Comparative Media Studies program, Verlager, who is blind, helped with the development of the game."As a media studies scholar and a blind consumer, I am very excited to see that Eitan and other game developers are working to make games more available to gamers with disabilities, especially when those games can be shared between players with and without disabilities,"
"The element I probably most envy about gamers is just the way they hang out together and share doing something fun," she says. "It's the social aspects of Guitar Hero and World of Warcraft that I really want to try myself, and so hanging out with other gamers playing AudiOdyssey was really fun."
AudiOdyssey is available for free download (Windows only) at gambit.mit.edu/loadgame/audiodyssey.php.
Written by David Chandler, MIT News Office
New Technologies for A/V Analysis and Search
13.04.2017 | Fraunhofer-Institut für Digitale Medientechnologie IDMT
On patrol in social networks
25.01.2017 | Fraunhofer-Institut für Arbeitswirtschaft und Organisation IAO
An international team of scientists has proposed a new multi-disciplinary approach in which an array of new technologies will allow us to map biodiversity and the risks that wildlife is facing at the scale of whole landscapes. The findings are published in Nature Ecology and Evolution. This international research is led by the Kunming Institute of Zoology from China, University of East Anglia, University of Leicester and the Leibniz Institute for Zoo and Wildlife Research.
Using a combination of satellite and ground data, the team proposes that it is now possible to map biodiversity with an accuracy that has not been previously...
Heatwaves in the Arctic, longer periods of vegetation in Europe, severe floods in West Africa – starting in 2021, scientists want to explore the emissions of the greenhouse gas methane with the German-French satellite MERLIN. This is made possible by a new robust laser system of the Fraunhofer Institute for Laser Technology ILT in Aachen, which achieves unprecedented measurement accuracy.
Methane is primarily the result of the decomposition of organic matter. The gas has a 25 times greater warming potential than carbon dioxide, but is not as...
Hydrogen is regarded as the energy source of the future: It is produced with solar power and can be used to generate heat and electricity in fuel cells. Empa researchers have now succeeded in decoding the movement of hydrogen ions in crystals – a key step towards more efficient energy conversion in the hydrogen industry of tomorrow.
As charge carriers, electrons and ions play the leading role in electrochemical energy storage devices and converters such as batteries and fuel cells. Proton...
Scientists from the Excellence Cluster Universe at the Ludwig-Maximilians-Universität Munich have establised "Cosmowebportal", a unique data centre for cosmological simulations located at the Leibniz Supercomputing Centre (LRZ) of the Bavarian Academy of Sciences. The complete results of a series of large hydrodynamical cosmological simulations are available, with data volumes typically exceeding several hundred terabytes. Scientists worldwide can interactively explore these complex simulations via a web interface and directly access the results.
With current telescopes, scientists can observe our Universe’s galaxies and galaxy clusters and their distribution along an invisible cosmic web. From the...
Temperature measurements possible even on the smallest scale / Molecular ruby for use in material sciences, biology, and medicine
Chemists at Johannes Gutenberg University Mainz (JGU) in cooperation with researchers of the German Federal Institute for Materials Research and Testing (BAM)...
19.06.2017 | Event News
13.06.2017 | Event News
13.06.2017 | Event News
27.06.2017 | Power and Electrical Engineering
27.06.2017 | Information Technology
27.06.2017 | Physics and Astronomy