How A Blind Gamer Manages To Seriously Play Fighting Games

Illustration for article titled How A Blind Gamer Manages To Seriously Play Fighting Games

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Illustration for article titled How A Blind Gamer Manages To Seriously Play Fighting Games

Dwarf Fortress is, for me, in the same category as EVE Online: I’m thankful it exists, even if I have no interest in playing it. The dedication behind the brothers building Dwarf Fortress is admirable, as the two seem to feel Dwarf Fortress is something they’ll work on their whole lives. Wes Fenlon’s headline is what caught my eye; could they really only be 42% of the way done? Given the ambitious systems they’re working on—right now, it’s a creation myth generator—maybe I’m not surprised.

The 100-hour weeks are not all necessarily on Dwarf Fortress. It’s, like, 80:20 or something, and the 20 is side projects and stuff. Oftentimes the side projects that I spend time on, 3-4 hours in the evening. You sit in front of the TV and not watch it, with a laptop on your lap, writing a myths generator or something, right? That’s kind of how it goes.

That’s the evening hours, spent doing that. It’s work. I mean, it doesn’t feel like work. None of it really feels like work, unless I’m debugging or something, which is a lot of the time. But that’s where the hours come from. I mean, I’m not, bragging about the hours, because it’s all fun. It’s all fun, right?

Illustration for article titled How A Blind Gamer Manages To Seriously Play Fighting Games

It’s hard to wrap my head around the concept of playing video games without a sense of sight, yet Sightless Kombat does exactly that. Though he primarily spends his time with fighting games, as they take place on a 2D plane, it makes his accomplishments no less impressive. The videos are the real reason to check out Sightless Kombat, though; they break down how he leverages different UI elements to generate an image in his mind, allowing him to participate. A hat tip is also due to the developers of Killer Instinct, who added features specifically to make the game more accessible!

I have never had any sight whatsoever. It’s interesting to see the reactions of people who are unfamiliar with the idea of those without sight playing video games in any format, mainstream or otherwise. There are games intended for those with visual impairments or a complete lack of sight, but when I say to people that I play mainstream games against people with sight (and win), their surprise is normally pretty noticeable.

Once I go through how I work with games that rely heavily on visuals, they begin to see that my blindness, whilst it can be problematic in certain scenarios, doesn’t mean I can’t compete with sighted players on a similar level (even factoring in the inherent barriers that come with not being able to see animations for fighting games for example).


If You Click It, It Will Play

Oh, And This Other Stuff

  • Ed Smith explained why he adores Rockstar’s ultra-violent Manhunt.
  • Jody Macgregor interviewed a person trying to make games playable on the lowest possible graphical settings.
  • Nick Dinicola argued Undertale’s “pacifist” ending has a dark streak.
  • Todd Mitchell profiled all the games from, uh, Clarissa Explains It All.
  • Brandon Sheffield wrote about why his studio dropped support for Wii U after Nintendo decided to fire Alison Rapp.
  • Kat Bailey spoke with people who worked at Sega when the Dreamcast was canceled.

Senior reporter at Kotaku, streaming Mario deaths at

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