Auditory Feedback in a Computer Game for Blind People

Auditory Feedback in a Computer Game for Blind People

Ana Teixeira (Polytechnic of Coimbra, Portugal), Anabela Gomes (Polytechnic Institute of Coimbra, Portugal) and Joao Gilberto Orvalho (Polytechnic of Coimbra, Portugal)
Copyright: © 2017 |Pages: 25
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-5225-2492-2.ch007
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The study presents an adaptation of the Mastermind game for blind users called MasterBlind. The game mechanics were simplified and auditory feedback introduced. The research object was to understand what kind of sounds would work better to help blind people play the game. Three versions were presented to the subjects - pentatonic notes, animal sounds and vowels - to help users recall previous steps in the game. The main hypothesis predicted that blind users would consciously benefit from the auditory feedback provided. The second hypothesis predicted that users would benefit less from the feedback that doesn't provide semantic information- auditory icons versus earcons. The results were congruent with the hypothesis. MasterBlind can be a usable, enjoyable and a challenging experience for blind users as long as it provides semantically significant feedback. However, new developments are in progress to prove our ideas having in mind the inclusion of blind people.
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This work aims to discuss the most important aspects related to the development and integration of audio-based educational games as a novel and efficient learning strategy for visually impaired people. Audio games have the potential to promote learning, enhance memory and develop cognitive skills and thus can significantly improve the quality of life of visually impaired people. A review of the literature on the integration of non-speech sounds to visual interfaces and applications from an usability perspective is done.

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