The “Move your game controller” project is a cooperation of the Dutch TU/e and the Accessibility foundation. Two teams of students will design and develop several game controller prototypes for blind children. A game and its controller trigger and guide blind gamers in other ways than visual queues. Tactile and motor skills are essential to blind people in normal life. But apparently, blind kids have hard times developing those skills, especially motor skills. It is a fact that blind kids are hesitating to move, let alone move around a space. One cause for this problem is their lack of confidence in their motor skills. Could a game controller play a role in the development of motor skills for blind kids? Besides stimulating movement, the influence of special and stimulating controllers will be researched.
The game controllers are designed according to a game prototype of “The Gnawlers”. “The Gnawlers” is a frantic mouse-driven audio shoot’m’up for blind children in the age of 10 to 15. In the game, you are to protect the Stanley’s Department Store from a massive invasion by small yet very persistent alien creatures known as Gnawlers. These bug-like horrors will sting, bite, nibble, and gnaw until there is nothing left of you to chew on. The students are asked to design a game controller for the game “The gnawlers” that provokes blind kids to move more than they do when they operate a keyboard. To ensure maximum accessibility and maximum ease of use, the game controller should be a manageable device that is easy to install in combination with a PC.
Problem definition: Design a game controller for the game the Gnawlers that provokes blind kids to move more than they do when they operate a mouse. To ensure maximum accessibility and maximum ease of use, the game controller should be a manageable device that is easy to install in combination with a PC.
Target group: Blind children between 10 and 15 years old.
Context: Behind any PC.
List of demands:
- Applicable for the game “the Gnawlers” (maybe others but not necessary).
- It has to stimulate blind children to move their arms and legs more in a fixed position then when they use their mouse.
- It should be easy for blind children to explore the controller and use it to play the game without further explanation.
- The controller has to be easy to install (automatic detection within Windows and Macintosh).
- The controller has to be economically and visually appealing for the customers and blind children.
- The controller has to be able to shoot, change weapons and move in the game and give some form of feedback.
- The controller should cost less then € 100,- (a special item so it can be slightly more expensive than a normal controller).
The project delivered two prototypes, the Sentry and the Enforcer.
More information and media will soon be presented!