Accessibility In Virtual Worlds

BBC reports that IBM has designed a device that gives 3D sound “to create a sense of space” for the blind to be able to enter virtual worlds.

“Characters in the virtual world can have a “sonar” attached to them so that the user gets audible cues to alert them to when they are approaching, from which direction and how near they are. “

That’s just so cool!
I remember encountering a blind man in The Sims Online. We had known each other for a while when he finally told me. And ofcourse the truth came out from annoyance. He had a voice generator from the chat and I had a tendency to write stuff like “cool!!!!!!!!!!!!” – and he would hear “cool – exclamation mark -exclamation mark – exclamation mark – exclamation mark – exclamation mark – exclamation mark – exclamation mark” in one of those female computer voices (aparently there are quite a few you can pick from) a.s.o. I remember being so embarrassed. It was a defining moment for me – I felt that if a blind man could enjoy himself in The Sims Online, well, that must mean that the gameplay and the ‘fun’ there had all to do with communication. It was also then that I decided to change all my ‘subjects’ names for my thesis. This was just treading in to too much ‘real’ personal territory.
They’ve used Active Worlds – which I applaud them for! I’ve been worried that IBM’s spending way too much attention to Second Life – good to see them mix it up a bit!

Oooh – and on a side note, some of Areae will be revealed today, according to Virtual World News – not sure when and where I can catch some of the revealing, but I’m positive Raphwill post it somewhere! I have such high expectations of this – it’s almost certain that I’ll be disappointed!

4 thoughts on “Accessibility In Virtual Worlds

  1. Five exclamation marks, the sure sign of an insane mind.Multiple exclamation marks are a sure sign of someone who wears their underwear on their head.-Terry Pratchett

  2. Ha ha! That is an absolutely brilliant quote … although if Linn wears her underwear on her head, it must be only in the privacy of her own home … I’ve certainly never seen it.

  3. Now – the really sad thing is that this isn’t the first time lars-jacob has given me that quote! So I guess I’ll just have to start wearing my underware on my head now, huh?

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