Future Reflections Summer 1996, Vol. 15 No. 3


Computer Games
by Curtis Chong, President
National Federation of the Blind
In Computer Science

Editor's Note: Although many parents are getting computers for their blind kids, there is very little on the market in the way of games or educational software which the kids can use independently. That's why I was so excited to get the following letter about computer games from Curtis Chong. I urge readers to follow Curtis's example and pass your knowledge on so it can be shared with others. You may send information to (Mrs.) Barbara Cheadle, Editor, Future Reflections, 1800 Johnson Street, Baltimore, Maryland 21230.

July 29, 1996
Dear Barbara:
As you know, many of us have been pining for "mindless" entertainment games that blind people can play on the computer. Thus far, the only "games" we could play were text-based games such as Zork, Adventure, and the like.

Well, thanks to Dave Andrews, I have learned about a company which markets a few really good, fun, and sometimes educational games. The name of the company is Personal Computer Systems. The contact information is as follows: Personal Computer Systems, Carl Mickla, 551 Compton Avenue, Perth Amboy, NJ 08861. Phone (908) 826-1917

One of the games I have tried is called Shooting Range. This game, which was written especially for the blind, is a tremendous test of one's hand-ear coordination. It produces real sound effects (better sound if you have a multi-media sound card), and it is really fun to play! The cost? Well, Shooting Range sells for only thirty dollars. What does it do? This shooting game was written for the blind community. The game follows the format of real shooting ranges. It was written with speech in mind to enable blind people to know exactly what is going on in the game at all times. This game also has multi-media sounds. If you have a sound card in your computer, you will now be able to enjoy the game even more. If you do not have a sound card, the game is designed to play the sounds through the PC speaker. But the sound effects are much better with the sound card.

Here is some additional information that I lifted out of the Shooting Range documentation. It gives you a flavor of the other software that is sold by the company:

Any Night Football. This is a text-based football game which is simple to play, and the teams are historically reflected in the game. Any Night Football sells for thirty dollars.

Monopoly. A very speech friendly game with multi-media sounds. Monopoly sells for thirty dollars.

Mobius Mountain. A very speech friendly math adventure game with real sounds. It was written with speech in mind to enable blind children to know exactly what is going on in the game at all times. Mobius sells for twenty dollars.

Ten Pin Bowling. Use your ear and hand skills to bowl. Ten Pin sells for thirty dollars.

I apologize if this information is nothing new to you. It certainly is new to me. I have a hankering to purchase a good bit of the software listed here. I think blind kids would enjoy some of these games, too.