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printz

Do blind people play Doom?

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And do they get far? Does the game give enough clues of the environment even if you can't see anything?

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There was once a member here who was going blind and was inquiring for alternative settings to help compensate for his failing vision.

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printz said:

And do they get far? Does the game give enough clues of the environment even if you can't see anything?


If you mostly remember the levels Doom 1 is pretty easy since most of the levels have a lot of flat hallways and not a lot of guide-less walkways over damaging floors. Once you get the plasma you basically have sonar which is extremely helpful. I don't know about playing on difficulties above ITYTD though. Combat is still hard on ITYTD.

Doom 2 on the other hand is a complete bitch.

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I played Quake Live once eyes closed. I got 5 frags with the fist during one match. Maybe I'll try Doom eyes closed some day...

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Not to mention the lack of any other sensory feedback, or even a way to measure distances by "footsteps". I guess someone would need a keen sense of internal timing and RNG events -essentially turning himself into a demo-playing machine. With enough practice, that might be possible. But on random and unknown levels, good luck with that.

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I just tried E1M1 eyes closed. I got the 4 shotgunguys killed. Wandered around the room for a while grunting at walls until I finally found the door. Then they got me.

With eyes closed I was able to see if it was bright or dark... But clearly not enough infromation to get through a level.

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The fact that Doom's sound location and propagation system is anything but accurate doesn't help: even with good-quality headphones, stereo sound and lots of sound channels, sometimes sounds seem to be coming from all around you or from misleading directions.

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CyberDemonEmpress said:

I would think it'd be nearly impossible for a blind person to play Doom. Unless they played the game before going blind, they can possibly get out if E1M1 with a fair bit of luck.

A deaf, blind and dumb kid sure plays a mean pinball.

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I thought about this a while back and had the idea that you could potentially make a custom source port to let blind people play. My idea was to do it entirely through sound: you'd probably need to improve significantly on Doom's basic stereo sound output as a first step (check out the virtual haircut as an example of what's possible in terms of spatial awareness through sound). Then my idea was that you could make the walls and in-game objects hum at different frequencies: maybe the walls hum at a low frequency while monsters and power-ups hum at higher frequencies.

I've no idea if this could really work in practice but it would be an interesting project.

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