Mortal Kombat can be hard enough at the best of times, but could you play it with your eyes closed? Course you couldn't. And even then, you at least know what the stage and characters look like when you open your eyes again. James, blind from birth, does not. Which is what makes his story so remarkable.
An avid gamer and fighting game fan, James recently began playing Mortal Kombat competitively, which leads to all kinds of questions, chief amongst them how the hell does he actually play?
Turns out his brother, Devontae, acts as his "eyes", letting him know things like how much health he has left and when his meters are full enough to launch a special attack. That's about it though, as the rest is all James; sitting close enough to the TV to hear as many audio cues as he can get, his knowledge of every player's moves allows him to get enough of a bearing on the game to not only be able to play, but play pretty damn well.
James hopes to get to EVO 2013, which would be great. The fighting game community did a great job getting disabled Japanese gamer Osamu Ichikawa to the tournament last year, and Broly was there as well, so there's certainly precedent for a disabled gamer kicking ass and taking names.
Come to think of it, there's even precedent for blind Mortal Kombat players kicking ass, as back in 2005 a blind gamer beat series creator Ed Boon. On TV.