Ok? Sounds like your mobility instructor was an idiot. Never once in my
life has a mobility instructor told me to count steps. Quite the
opposite in fact. They usually cued me into land marks, sounds, and
other things I could use to assess where I was without depending on
something as unreliable as counting steps. Were it my instructors they
would have told me about the grill so I would know if I went too far and
passed my turn off point. Sheesh.
Anyway, getting back on track with games when I play Sarah or Shades of
Doom I use a lot of my own mobility training while playing. There are
several things I use, and they are pretty basic.
First, is the audio environment itself. Today with advanced audio APIs
like XAudio 2 and X3DAudio, FMOD Ex, or OpenAL it is pretty easy to
program a game to use 5.1 or 7.1 3d audio environments fairly easily.
Combine that with a good high quality 5.1 or 7.1 stereo sound card and a
5.1 3d stereo headphones and you have a pretty realistic audio sound
system at your disposal. Unfortunately, lots of VI gamers haven't got
the high tech equipment to get the most out of Shades of Doom or Sarah
so they never quite get a true 3d audio environment which is too bad.
For me I have lots of high tech gear for my games so when I'm in Shades
of Doom, Tank Commander, or Sarah it sounds like I am standing there in
the game. I can hear everything around me in 3d space, and I can use the
sound to navigate around the level. Plus it helps to count doors, and
the various machines in a game like SOD to identify which room is wich.
Second, is the look ahead commands which comes in handy. If you can do a
control+n and have it tell you the corridor turns left in 5 feet and
makes a hard left in 15 feet you obviously can get a good idea where to
go. This feature isn't that much different than seeing it as you get
exactly the same information and have to make the same judgment weather
to try the first corridor or go down the second one. I make lots of use
of the control+n command in Shades of Doom.
Finaly, I am pretty good with using coordinates to remember my location.
If I want to know where I am I usually go for the coordinates key. For
me that usually is enough to figure out exactly where I am, and gives me
a good idea where to go next. Of course, that's only useful if I've been
playing a game for a long time and walk around with a map of the level
in my head.
Come to think of it that is another tool I use, and helps me out alot.
Having had sighte before i tend to see myself, my character anyway, in
the game world and visualize the entire level in my mind. By being able
to draw upon a mental picture in my mind it gives me somewhat of an edge
in putting things in their correct 3d sspacial orientation to the
character. Without a doubt that has to be a slight advantage when
playing these sorts of games and figuring them out.
Short answer, ---- yes, those features are what I use exhaustively. On
the other hand audio maps I'm afraid I find just incomprehensible,
---- cool though the marauders' map in Sarah was.
Even coordinates I only tend to use as a general guideline to know if
I'm in the middle or at the edge of a level, ---- or as an extra land
mark feature (eg, i need to explore the turning at 8-23).
this is of course just the way i do things, ---- and other people (who
do not have my spacial difficulties), may do things entirely differently.
Interestingly enough, I'll be having my mobility assessment with guide
dogs on january the eighth, so I've been thinking about this (and
explaining iot to the guide dogs service people), sinse I've often
found myself at a loss with mobility officers who insist! upon using
things like step counting or route mental mapping which my brain just
won't cope with.
i remember one awful incident when learning my way around secondary
school, there was a turning I needed to make. The bloody stupid
mobility officer did it with me inumerable times, counting steps and
being generally stupid!
I eventually asked my mum (who is also visually impared), ---- and she
instantly pointed out that four feet beyond the turning was a cattle
grid, ---- so all I neded to do to find it was go too far, reach the
grid and turn back.
needless to say, i called the mobility officer some very colourful
names after that.
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