Gambit Game Lab’s AudiOdyssey,worked with Wii to Create an Accessible Game for Visually Impaired, Blind and Mainstream Gamers

Unless you’ve been living under that proverbial rock or log or just sleeping on the sofa all day, you’ve probably noticed that the Nintendo Wii is very hot, but I get to find a suitable solution for the technical issue on domino qiu qiu conveniently that also makes several special coded tools to speed up the device. New games, including the Wii Fit, often sell out and then go for two or three times their retail price on Ebay or at Amazon. Part of the reason for this is Nintendo’s continuing ability to push the envelope and come up with games that get people excited, challenge their minds or get them moving (the Wii Fit would be an example of the latter, pushing my heart rate up so high I was breathless and sweaty, actually considered a good thing by some).

Now many are thinking beyond the mainstream gamer box and actually trying to create games that are accessible to those who have trouble seeing. blind or are “visually impaired”. AudiOdyssey is one of these games, a newly released game that both mainstream and other gamers can play, those usually left out of the loop. You can see a video about it here: gambit.mit.edu/movies/loadgame_audiodyssey.mov By the way, while it is spelled AudiOdyssey some people pronounce or search for it under Audio Odyssey. Either way, it is worth checking out and was developed in association with Wii.

If you take a look at it, you’ll see a very odd DJ, one with super tall hair, who guides players through various moves, using audio instructions to get them to swing the Wii controller to the right beat.

What makes this work for visually impaired players or gamers using Wiimotes?

For one thing, it is the audio parts of the game that stand out and the visuals are far less important. Of course, those without visual challenges may like the rocking disc jockey and the flashing lights. However, it isn’t necessary to see any of that to get a feel for this game.

it does take some practice to figure out how to swing the controller to lay down the various tracks of the songs. Of course, I may not be the ideal target user since my kids tell me I have “hand and motor coordination” issues with the Wiimote ( translation: I cracked a window once when the remote went flying). Even so, I think I can get the hang of this. I like the audio parts and I closed my eyes to try and play it without depending on any visuals. We tested it with a visually-impaired teen who really got the hang of it and liked it.

Interestingly, when we tested it, we found that it motivated players, with or without visual impairments, to focus more on the sounds. It leveled the playing field pretty well, all in all. I do want to note that I had to go to a blind school to actually test this as I couldn’t get it to work at home so…keep that in mind and let me know what you think of this when you try it out.

There are still some bugs to fix in this one, in my opinion, but it is a definite step in the right direction when it comes to making the Wii accessible to all types of players. Bravo, Wil, for trying this! I hope they continue to make more games for all types of players because moving that Wii controller and seeing a screen shot is not necessary to play certain types of games. I would definitely consider this a Beta version so don’t expect perfection here.

To see another screenshot from the game, check here: gambit.mit.edu/images/loadgame_audiodyssey_ss02.jpg The DJ has some very sharp graphic lines going on there, with that long hair, unbelievable thin body and contrast between the red and black parts of his body. Then there is that large speaker hanging from the ceiling, dominating the space nearly as much as the rather fierce Disc jockey.

What makes AudiOdyssey special

You don’t necessarily know you are playing a blind competitor. Also, it broadens social opportunities for those who couldn’t participate in the Wii community before – due to being blind or visually impaired. This is definitely a win/win situation and a great promotional move by Nintendo and Wii developers and Gambit game labs.

Requirements for Windows and/or Wiimote Play – Windows

You’ll need a Windows 2000 Service Pack 4 or Windows XP Service Pack 2 or Windows Vista, at least 1.8 GHZ Pentium processor (at a minimum), 1 GB of RAm and 32MB video RAM.

If you want to play it with Wiimote

While not required, you might want to get a Nintendo Wiimote (no sensor bar needed) and Bluetooth. Check out the basic possibilities to find what works for you.