I here you there. I've seen this attitude that blind people are
helpless far too many times than I care to remember. Which reminds me
of a funny story that sort of makes this point.
As many people know I lost my vision gradually so I had plenty of
years to play video games, use computers, etc so naturally when it
came time to get ready for college I was already experienced with
computers in some way. Well, BSVI purchased a copy of Jaws 2.0,
OpenBook 3.0, and Duxberry Braille Translater for me and the tech
shows up and installs it on my IBM Aptiva, and leaves saying he'll be
back on Saturday to start training.
Ok, Saturday comes and he comes in to find me half way through
scanning and reading a Stephen King book in Openbook. He asks me what
I'm doing and I told him I've been scanning and reading paperbacks all
week, writing short stories in MS Word, and this that and the other
thing. He was surprised I was able to pick up the basics in under a
week and was using my computer as effectively as someone who was
"professionally trained" by him. I explained all I needed to do was
listen to the manuals, I.E. the tapes, that came with the software.
My point is that these people are so use to a certain type of client
that they do forget not all of us are as helpless or need the same
level of support as they think. Fortunately, I've always been someone
who picks up new concepts quickly which has served me well over the
years. It has helped me adapt to new screen readers, new operating
systems, learning to program, etc without a lot of third-party special
training. In college when I had to use a compiler that wasn't fully
accessible with Jaws I set myself to learning the task to learn Jaws
scripting and just did it myself without Henter-Joice's, AKA Freedom
Scientific's, help. I'm not saying that I'm smarter than everyone
else, but I've always been able to be independant about learning new
things. So its a bit degrading to here about someone like RNIB and
others who treat blind clients as more disabled and helpless than they
As you pointed out not everyone who is in the 60 and over catagory
nits and does crossword puzzles. My parents are in that age range and
the kinds of games my dad plays such as Elf Bowling, various pinball
games, etc sounds more like what Draconis Entertainment sells. My mom
plays online Monopoly, Blackjack, Hearts, Freecell, as well as a
number of classic Atari games like Packman, Centipede, Space Invaders,
whatever via an emulator like Stella. If she lost her sight tomorrow
she could get alot of that just by going to Jim Kitchens website,
Draconis Entertainment, or Spoonbill. No need to pay for the Azabat
On 4/27/11, dark <d...@xgam.org> wrote:
> Hi Tom.
> What you say about demographics is perfectly true, however there
> points to considder.
> Firstly, even if we assume that all older blind people over the age of 60
> (which if I remember rightly is roughly %75 of all blind people), will only
> be interested in traditional games, there are far more (and imho far
> better), examples of those sorts of games than just Azabat available,
> however sinse Azabat have this image of only appealing to computer novices
> and have got the backing of the rnib etc that's all people here about.
> Take blackjack.
> Azabat are selling blackjack for 13.5 usd. For this you get a game with
> comparatively few sfx, and recorded speech.
> In fact the only bennifit I can see in azabat blackjack is the use of
> Che however has a far more interesting version of the game
available for far
> less where you can play against others online.
> if the online aspect is too complex, equally good free versions exist, and
> personally I don't think the ability to run directly from the cd,
> seems Azabat's main selling point, is worth the money (especially
> not difficult to setup a shortcut key for someone to use (which would
> actually be easier, no chance of dropping the cd ;D).
> So, even in that field things are covered.
> Then however is the point that in fact not all people over 60 are
> automatically useless.
> I've for instance encountered players in core exiles who are in their 60's,
> and the lady who lives next door to me uses her pc to do some quite complex
> things with art and pictures, despite being in her 80's.
> Heck, my dad is over 60 and loves racing, tank or plane sim, and
> (if he lost his site he might very much enjoy some of the racing audiogames
> I actually thinkorganizations like the rnib are far too! insistant on
> promoting people's helplessness.
> Pluss if they are like the Rnib they simply forget that that %25 of younger
> blind people even exist!
> then, there is the fact that you mentioned, that it won't be so long before
> some people who grew up in the 60's and 70's start losing their site as
> well, and certainly they will want computer games to play (I've made the
> same arguement to the rnib about recording more sf and fantasy
> they've not listened).
> My point is, even with the demographic, things are stil i think far too
> overblown and unknown about, and it really is a situation we should try to
> Beware the grue!
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