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by Curtis Chong, Director
Technology Department, National Center for the Blind
The International Braille and Technology Center for the Blind has recently acquired a new and exciting virtual audio computer game for the blind. This game, called Grizzly Gulch Western Extravaganza, literally immerses you in an audio world which is almost too realistic to be believed.
Using professional voice and music talent and CD-quality stereo audio, you, the player, are presented with audio imagery which puts you right in the middle of the action. You can wander about town, meet and interact with the locals, play games of chance in the saloon, or try to make a name for yourself and build your fortune upholding the law against some of the “baddest outlaws in the West” with your trusty six-shooter. The game even has a target range which uses stereo sound to provide one of the best audio shooting ranges we have ever encountered. Stereo headphones are a must with Grizzly Gulch. All of the action is controlled by only four keys on your computer, and no screen reading software is required. All you need is a computer equipped with a standard sound card and the Windows operating system.
In the saloon, you can play four games of chance: Blackjack, simple draw poker, the slot machine, and a shell game in which you have to keep track of the hidden coin. The games alone are enough to keep you challenged, and you will be amused by some of the dialog you will hear from the people running them. To give you an idea of the high quality of the audio realism, let me tell you about the shell game. The first thing that you hear is a coin being tossed onto the table. It lands either to your left, in the middle, or on your right. Then, the shells start moving; you hear movement on your right, on your left, or in the center, and you have to pay close attention to what you hear to know when the coin has been passed from one shell to another. Then, you are asked to locate the coin. You hear a person saying “here?” to your left, in the center, or on your right as you press the left or right arrow keys. The stereo effects are quite good.
While a good portion of the game involves hunting for and apprehending outlaws, and while the only way to capture an outlaw is to shoot your gun, nobody in the game actually dies—not even you, when you are shot by the bank robbers. The worst thing that happens is that someone cries “You’ve got me!” when you score a hit. You also have to be careful that you don’t shoot any innocent bystanders, who identify themselves by shouting, “Don’t shoot me!”
All in all, Grizzly Gulch Western Extravaganza is a game that is well worth the $50 price tag. You can order the game online through the Internet by pointing your browser to
or you can contact Bavisoft directly at:
Bavisoft, P.O. Box #8, Dewitt, NY 13214
for general questions or game help, <firstname.lastname@example.org> for technical support or <email@example.com> for sales information.
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