Top 25 Web Sites for Gamers who are Blind - 2007

7-128 Software - Top 25 Web Sites for Gamers who are Blind - 2009


Rank Site Comments
1

PCSGames

www.pcsgames.net
Still the largest list of audio games and blind-accessible computer games and game sites anywhere.

Descriptions of and links to over 300 Windows and Macintosh games and game sites, including games under development.

The only independent consolidated price list for commercial games.

Links that download FREE or commercial games, including: Sarah and the Castle of Witchcraft and Wizardry, PacMan Talks, SuperDog’s Bone Hunt, and Ten Pin Alley

Home of a weekly game chat: Games People Play, as well as a D&D chat site: audiotips.com.

Founded in 2000 and is updated constantly.

Categories: Community, Games, Information.

Platforms: Windows, Macintosh.

In their own words: “My list is primarily designed to search for a type of game or the name of a game and to easily go to the web site where you can download it.”
2

Audyssey

www.audyssey.org
The place to talk with the top developers of audio games and blind-accessible games on Windows, or to get help from the top gamers who are blind.

The most active forum for the most active accessible game developers and players.

Publishes Audyssey Magazine online quarterly. This is an invaluable resource for gamers who are blind.

Founded in 2006. Constant posts.

Categories: Community, Information, Help.

Platforms: Windows.

In their own words: “The main purpose for us is to provide a place where anyone can learn about games which are specifically for blind people, or just happen to be usable by blind people.”
3

AudioGames

www.audiogames.net
A wide variety of information, commentary, and FREE accessible audio and blind-accessible games for Windows and Macintosh.

Entertaining commentary by Dark, one of the moderators and an internationally known audio gamer who has influenced a number of developers.

Offers a recently updated manifest of over 300 FREE downloadable accessible games and descriptions of each game.

Also offers over 42 Indie audio games - all available through their Experimental Audio Games section, as well as MOD downloads that make a number of games blind-accessible.

Offers links to audio reviews of 17 audio games. Also offers many annotated links to game sites, developer tools, newsgroups, and similar resources.

Offers back issues of Audyssey Magazine. Numerous academic articles on their Resources page have been referred to in other significant publications.

Has annotated links to many game sites

Active forum of game developers and players.

Founded in 2002. Frequent posts. Updated constantly.

Catagories: Community, Games, Information, Reviews, Help.

Platforms: Windows, Macintosh.

In their own words: “AudioGames.net is a site dedicated to audio games (games based on sound) and blind-accessible games.”
4

The Game Accessibility Project

www.game-accessibility.com
Much that one would want to know about the design and development of accessible games in general.

Forum with separate areas for games addressing Visual, Auditory, Motion, and Learning disabilities.

Has separate pages discussing games for the Visually Impaired, Audio Impaired, Motion Impaired, and Cognitively Impaired. These pages include discussion of relevant games and annotated links to sites where you can get those games.

Founded in 2006.

Suffered a major spam attack in 2008. Currentness has varied due to a change in moderator.

Categories: Information, Community, Help.

Platforms: Windows.

In their own words: “This website aims to inform disabled gamers about the availability of accessible games, and functions at the same time as an academic resource for developers, publishers and researchers in order to stimulate accessibility in games.”
5

Kitchens Inc.

www.kitchensinc.net
The developer of more FREE Windows audio games than anyone else.

Offers 27 FREE games, including the new Homer on a Harley game, as well as trivia, racing, arcade, golf, word, and puzzle games.

Founded in 2001. Games are added and updated often.

Categories: Games.

Platforms: Windows.

In their own words:” Where you can find Jim Kitchen’s FREE blind accessible speech friendly pc dos and windows games”
6

The Zone BBS

www.zonebbs.com
The most populated forum for gamers, and others, who are blind.

Has several thousand registered participants, with up to a hundred logged in at any time.

Offers; Users’ blogs, BBS by Phone, Voice Chat, Private eMail, Graffiti chat, Person Watch, Quicknotes, and Boards (forums.)

Founded in 2003. Very active.

Categories: Community, Help.

Platforms: Windows, Macintosh.

In their own words: “The Zone BBS is an online community where you can meet new people, play games, and get away from the more stressful parts of life.”
7

Azabat Games

www.azabat.co.uk
Commercial accessible game developer for Windows.

Offers 27 commercial blind-accessible card and puzzle games for Windows.

Founded in 2005. Updated occasionally.

Categories: Games.

Platforms: Windows.

In their own words: “Azabat was formed in 2005 by Steve Crawford, a programmer with no visual impairment who wanted to create computer games that could be played by blind and partially sighted computer novices.”
8

7-128 Software

www.7128.com
Commercial and FREE developer of affordable mainstream games that are accessible to a variety of special needs, including gamers who are blind, for Windows and Macintosh.

Offers 19 blind-accessible commercial mainstream games, including word games, puzzle games, the Inspector Cyndi in Newport mysteries, and 7 blind-accessible educational games for young children.

Also offers 5 FREE blind-accessible word games from time to time.

Recently released their entire inventory to the Macintosh.

Home of the ALERT (Accessible Learning through Entertainment and Recreation Tools) project, FREE information on applying accessible computer games in a learning environment.

Entertainment includes serialized stories, online trivia, poetry.

Founded in 2007. Updated monthly.

Categories: Games, Information.

Platforms: Windows, Macintosh.

In their own words: ”Our games entertain you with stories, puzzles, and word challenges that are fun for and accessible to every casual gamer.”
9

Spoonbill Software

www.spoonbillsoftware.com.au/
blindgamers.htm
FREE blind-accessible game developer for Windows.

Offers 14 FREE blind-accessible puzzle and card games for Windows.

Founded in 2005. Occasionally adds new games.

Categories: Games.

Platforms: Windows.

In their own words: “I thought it would be a good idea to share (my games) with other people too. That’s when I created my website, Spoonbill Software.”
10

BSC Games

www.bscgames.com
Commercial and FREE game blind-accessible developer for Windows.

Offers a total of 14 blind-accessible games:

Of those, 9 are commercial games, including 6 arcade games and 3 educational games.

The remaining 5 games are FREE.

Founded in 2002. Updated occasionally.

Categories: Games.

Platforms: Windows.

In their own words: “We specialize in creating accessible computer games for the blind or visually impaired.”
11

GMA Games

www.gmagames.com
Commercial and FREE blind-accessible game developer for Windows.

Offers 9 accessible games, including 5 commercial games such as the popular Tank Commander, Lone Wolf, Star Trek, and Shades of Doom games, plus 4 FREE games.

Founded in 2001. Updated occasionally.

Categories: Games.

Platforms: Windows.

In their own words: “Games designed to be fully accessible to blind and visually impaired individuals. GMA concentrates its efforts on developing sophisticated Windows-based games, while keeping its prices affordable.”
12

VIP Gameszone

www.vipgameszone.com
Commercial and FREE blind-accessible game developer for Windows.

Offers 15 accessible games:
7 commercial games: arcade adventure, sport multiplayer games, strategy multiplayer games.
5 FREE games: Puzzle, maze, strategy, shooter.
3 FREE special educational applications for kids who are blind or visually impaired.

Founded 2003. Updated occasionally.

Categories: Games.

Platforms: Windows.

In their own words: “We specialize on the developing of accessible games and accessible software for blind and visually impaired people.”
13

Draconis Entertainment

www.draconisentertainment.com
Commercial and FREE blind-accessible game developer for Windows.

Offers 10 commercial accessible games including Pinball, Alien Outback, and Sarah and the Castle of Witchcraft and Wizardry. Also offers two FREE games.

Founded in 2005. Updated occasionally.

Categories: Games.

Platforms: Windows.

In their own words: “The array of accessible computer games offered by Draconis Entertainment ranges widely, from sports, to puzzle-oriented, to arcade-style, to exciting first-person adventure games.”
14

Gaming Galaxy!

www.galaxy.tmantv.net
An active games list with annotated links to where to find good blind-accessible games brought to you by T-Man.

Web site founded in 2007.

As of January 2009 it is undergoing major renovations.

Categories: Information.

Platforms: Windows.

In their own words: “if you don't want to take the time to search, then stay right here!”
15

MacVisionaries

http://groups.google.com/
group/macvisionaries

Over 200 Macintosh users and developers who are blind.

Lively discussons about VoiceOver and blind-accessibility to Macintosh software, including games. A great place to get informed help.

Founded in 2004.

Moved from its listserv to Google Groups in January 2009 and was still shaking out some bugs as of then.

Categories: Community, Help.

Platforms: Macintosh.

In their own words:
Discussion: “This list exists for users to provide help and advice to each other on general topics related to the use of Mac OS X by the blind.”

Developer: " This list exists for users to provide help and advice to each other on all topics related to software development for Mac OS X by the blind. It also covers the use of the Mac's Unix under-pinnings with VoiceOver. "
16

IGDA - Game Accessibility SIG

seven.pairlist.net
/mailman/listinfo/games_access


gameaccessibility.blogspot.com
The International Game Development Association - Game Accessibility SIG is where the experts meet to discuss game accessibility.

This is actually two sites: The GASIG forum and the GASIG blog.

The forum includes an interesting mix of academics and industry people, including some of the top people in game accessibilty.

The blog tends to focus on motion-impairment, but includes discussions of blind-accessibility.

Forum founded in 2004. Blog founded in 2007. Both are active.

Categories: Community, Information.

Platforms: Windows, Macintosh.

In their own words: “The Game Accessibility SIG was formed to help the game community strive towards creating mainstream games that are universally accessible to all, regardless of age, experience and disability. ”
17

GamesForTheBlind.com

www.gamesfortheblind.com
Commercial blind-accessible game developer for Windows.

Offers 8 commercial self-voicing games for Windows, including puzzles, word and memory games.

Founded in 2000. Updated occasionally.

Categories: Games.

Platforms: Windows.

In their own words: “Accessible Games SV are designed specifically for visually impaired and blind computer users”
18

Klango Games

http://en.klango.net
FREE blind-accessible game developer for Windows.

Has undergone a radical transformation from a developer of two commercial games to a developer of six FREE games, all that run on the Klango game engine.

A Polish group with blogs in a variety of European languages.

Founded in 2006. Active blogs.

Categories: Games, Community.

Platforms: Windows.

In their own words: “The purpose of existence of Klango is to give as much enjoyment as it’s possible to people who like or have to listen to computer programs.

The community of the blind is our natural audience. However, Klango ain’t going to substitute screen-readers or any other professional assistive technology - it’s not our goal. Games, having fun with a computer and “edutainment” are the very first steps into the world of real computing and serious work and that’s the area of our interest.

We add a visual layer to our programs too, but we try to keep the rule “first audio then video”. It’s up to you to judge the effectiveness of our approach to the user interface.”
19

DreamtechInteractive

www.geocities.com/kenwdowney
FREE blind-accessible game developer for Windows.

Offers 3 FREE games: World of Darkness, Enemy Attack, Wrecking ball.

Founded 2001. Updated occasionally.

Categories: Games.

Platforms: Windows.

In their own words: “…games, jokes, and other fun stuff to do.”
20

The Accessible Friends Network

www.tafn.org.uk/games.htm
Reviews and demos of blind-accessible games.

Offers Top 10 Accessible Games list, reviews of games, their own audio demos and walkthroughs of games, live support via chat over the computer.

Founded in 2004. Updated occasionally.

Categories: Information, Community, Reviews.

Platforms: Windows.

In their own words: “The Accessible Friends Network is a user-led U K voluntary group who use email, the internet, voice conferencing & other resources to improve the quality of life for people who are registered blind (who may also have other disabilities) & their partners, by networking.”
21

Bavisoft

www.bavisoft.com
Commercial blind-accessible games developer for Windows.

Offers 2 well-reviewed commercial games: Grizzly Gulch and Chillingham.

As a special note, Bavisoft is included in the Game On exhibition, which has been touring major museums around the world since 2002.

Founded in 2000. Updated occasionally.

Their anti-spam efforts have slowed their eMail response, but they are still up and running as of January 2009.

Categories: Games.

Platforms: Windows.

In their own words: “In place of graphics, our audio games are powered purely with sound imagery, opening a new world of entertainment for the blind and visually impaired.”
22

BlindCoolTech

www.blindcooltech.com
Multiple podcasts every week related to blind-accessible computing. Include roughly one game review a month.

Podcasts archived back to 2005. Several added each week.

Categories: Information, Reviews.

Platforms: Windows.

In their own words: “The show provides interviews, brings you along on sound seeing tours, and discusses life and cool technology, especially technology that blind people can use”
23

PIN Interactive

www.pininteractive.com
Commercial blind-accessible game developer for Windows.

Offers 1 commercial game, the award-winning blind-accessible Terraformers. Developed by Thomas Weston, co-founder of the IGDA Game Accessibilty SIG.

Founded in 2003. Updated occasionally.

Categories: Games

Platforms: Windows

In their own words: “PIN Interactive offers the award winning accessible computer game, Terraformers. The game is a visual / audio hybrid playable by both sighted and sight disabled / blind”
24

Blind Adrenaline Simulations

www.blindadrenaline.com
Commercial audio game developer for Windows.

Offers 1 commercial blind-accessible game, the well-known Rail Racer.

Founded in 2006. Frequent game updates are found at this site.

Categories: Games

Platforms: Windows

In their own words: “…the coolest racing game ever made for the blind…”
25

SoundRTS

http://jlpo.free.fr/soundrts
FREE audio game developer for Windows.

Offers 1 FREE audio realtime strategy game, the popular SoundRTS.

Founded in 2007. Frequent game updates are found at this site.

Categories: Games

Platforms: Windows

In their own words: “SoundRTS is a real-time strategy audio game. I tried to put in an audio game the fun from Warcraft.”


Sites to Watch


These are sites that don't fit in the above ordered list for one reason or another, but they are too significant to overlook.

We present them in no particular order.

Site Comments

AbleGamers

www.ablegamers.com
The first place to go for industry news in accessible gaming.

Offers well executed interviews with the people who make computer games, including people from the largest companies. Asks the hard questions about accessibilty. Is having a demonstrable positive influence on mainstream game developers.

Also offers articles on the state of accessible game development.

Recently added a regular column by Michelle Hinn, Chair of the IGDA Game Accessibility SIG.

Has an active blog and a growing number of game reviews.

That being said, as of January 2009 it is still developing its blind accessibility.

We encourage gamers who are blind to visit this site for its excellent industry coverage. Then tell the Webmeister what could be improved with respect to blind accessibility.

Founded in 2004 and is very current.

Categories: Information, Reviews, Community.

Platforms: Windows, Macintosh.

In their own words: “AbleGamers is the premier space online for disabled gamers. We spend a great deal of our time reaching out to game developers. Inviting them to reach out to our community, speak to our users, and recognize the 10% of the gaming market.”

USA Games

www.usagamesinteractive.com

usagamesinteractive.com/mailman/ listinfo/developers_ usagamesinteractive.com
Commercial and FREE blind-accessible game developer for Windows.

Offers 6 games: The commercial USA Raceway, the FREE game: Star Trek: Final Conflict, and four FREE games formerly offered by DanZ games.

Also has a forum for accessible game developers, moderated by one of the best known developers of blind-accessible games.

Founded in 2004. Updated occasionally.

Electronic storefront is down as of January 2009. Thomas assures us it will be up again.

Categories: Games, Community.

Platforms: Windows.

In their own words: “USA Games Interactive is dedicated to delivering the most advanced, top of the line, high quality accessible games for blind and low vision gamers.”

Game Forward

www.gamefwd.org
A growing source of accessible gaming news and reviews of accessible games across all platforms.

Recently underwent a major renovation. A very professional site with excellent writing by a professional journalist.

Blog uses captcha, but with an audio alternative.

Offers a blog and accessible-games news.

Not much content for the blind as of January 2009, but given the quality of their work, we expect good things from them.

Founded in 2007. Constant updates.

Categories: Information, Reviews, Community

Platforms: General

In their own words: “I want Game Forward to someday be regarded as one of the premiere resources dedicated to accessible gaming, serious games and educational and training software in the future and hope to have other sites or publications under our umbrella. Maybe we'll even start up a charitable organization.”

GameCritics

www.gamecritics.com
A very professional game review site that has recently re-emphasized accessibility in its coverage.

Has long covered hearing accessibility issues, though not much for the blind yet.

However, stay tuned. Anything written especially by Tera Kirk may be useful to gamers who are blind.

Has a forum and a blog.

Founded in 1999. Updated constantly.

Categories: Reviews, Community

Platforms: General

In their own words: "GameCritics.com is an independently owned videogame webzine dedicated to the following principles:
Provide consumers with insightful, useful, and entertaining content on videogames.
Present a diverse range of perspectives and opinions from writers of different backgrounds.
Redefine the grammar of game criticism and mainstream perception of videogames."

L-Works

www.l-works.net
Commercial and FREE accessible games developer.

Offers 11 audio games, including the 7 commercial games including the well-known Super Liam, as well as Judgement Day, a pack of 5 arcade games, and 4 FREE games.

Site was founded in 2002. Updated occasionally.

Electronic storefront was offline as of January 2009. Since Liam is still very active in the gaming community, we expect this to be temporary.

Categories: Games.

Platforms: Windows.

In their own words: “LWorks produces affordable computer games for those with visual impairments.”

The AGRIP Project

www.agrip.org.uk/
FREE blind-accessible game developer for Windows and Macintosh.

Offers 1 FREE blind-accessible first person shooter, AudioQuake for Windows and the Macintosh.
They also offer a blind-accessible level editor for the game.

Founded in 2007.

Posts by the Webmeister suggest that they may be scaling back their efforts due to time conflicts.

Categories: Games

Platforms: Macintosh, Windows

In their own words: “Our aim is to provide access to the mainstream gaming community not by producing specialist "accessible games" but by making mainstream games—and their associated extension and development tools—accessible.”

AllInPlay

www.allinplay.com/
Commercial blind-accessible online game developer.

We make this exception to our rule of not covering online, Web based games because our research repeatedly uncovered positive references to this site.

Though we can't include them in our rated list, they are a site that any blind gamer should be aware of.

Offers 4 subscription-based blind-accessible games: The Anagram Game, Texas Hold'em, Crazy Eights, and Draw Poker.

Enables you to play against the computer or with others over the Web, participate in tournaments, and chat with others.

Offers free trials.

Current Web site was founded in 2003.

Categories: Games, Community

Platforms: Windows

In their own words: "Building something amazing that touched the lives of people all around the world... now *that* was something to wake up to every morning!"