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Visually impaired youth try out accessible virtual reality game
For those that are visually impaired, most video games are difficult to play. But some youth with sight loss got the chance to try out a new virtual reality video game that is accessible for them, at an event in Regina on Sunday.
Through collaboration between CNIB and the Business Information Systems program at Saskatchewan Polytechnic, students were challenged to create video games that people with visual impairment can play. The students came up with a rock climbing game called ‘Climber Pro.’
James Mercer, one of the co-creators of the game, said it was important to pick a concept that was not too visually fast-paced.
“It's something that kids could move at their own pace, and we knew we could design it pretty accessibly," said Mercer.
The virtual reality game is made up of brightly coloured dots that act as the rocks, helping them stand out against the bright green background. When the player successfully grasps the rock using the controller, it vibrates.
Fourteen-year-old Steven Gajadhar took the game for a test drive on Sunday, and the virtual reality was a unique experience for him.
“The virtual reality kind of makes it more 3D and it more fills up a whole room,” said Gajadhar.
Gajadhar said he enjoyed playing the game, but according to Teresa Aho from Vision Loss Rehabilitation Saskatchewan, games like this can be beneficial for people who are visually impaired for more than just a good time.
“It's very important because a lot of our kids need technology in order to be successful, so the earlier on we can make it accessible to them, the better,” said Aho.
The game is geared towards youth with sight loss, but it can be enjoyed by anyone by turning off the accessibility features. The creators said they are happy with the final product, and the learning process that lead them to the final product.
With files from CTV’s Stefanie Davis