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Videogames for the Blind

Gamesport reports on a little-known niche of the gaming world.

1 min read

Interesting story today on Gamespot.   It covers a little-known gaming culture - videogames made by and for the blind.   

Several years ago, I wrote a story about Shades of Doom - a variation of the popular first person shooter made by a blind gamer named David Greenwood.  Greenwood coded what are essentially text-based games (in the vein of the classic Colossal Cave Adventure) but with audio cues.  His first game, Lone Wolf, was a submarine simulation.  To play, gamers typed out commands on their keyboards as they listend to a sub race through missions. Instead of looking through a periscope, say, a player would press the letter P on the keyboard and hear an audio-reading of what he saw outside.

Lone Wolf sold a few hundred copies, and Greenwood later worked with an online community of blind gamers, Audyssey, to co-develop a Doom-look shooter, using a similar methodology as Lone Wolf.  You can still find a copy of the game here.

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Deep Learning Could Bring the Concert Experience Home

The century-old quest for truly realistic sound production is finally paying off

12 min read
Image containing multiple aspects such as instruments and left and right open hands.
Stuart Bradford

Now that recorded sound has become ubiquitous, we hardly think about it. From our smartphones, smart speakers, TVs, radios, disc players, and car sound systems, it’s an enduring and enjoyable presence in our lives. In 2017, a survey by the polling firm Nielsen suggested that some 90 percent of the U.S. population listens to music regularly and that, on average, they do so 32 hours per week.

Behind this free-flowing pleasure are enormous industries applying technology to the long-standing goal of reproducing sound with the greatest possible realism. From Edison’s phonograph and the horn speakers of the 1880s, successive generations of engineers in pursuit of this ideal invented and exploited countless technologies: triode vacuum tubes, dynamic loudspeakers, magnetic phonograph cartridges, solid-state amplifier circuits in scores of different topologies, electrostatic speakers, optical discs, stereo, and surround sound. And over the past five decades, digital technologies, like audio compression and streaming, have transformed the music industry.

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