John Evans' Blog

Try not to become a man of success, but try rather to become a man of value. –Albert Einstein

by on Aug.14, 2008, under Uncategorized

Tonight I attended the IGDA New York City chapter’s “Demo Night VII”. People with just-completed or nearly-completed games come to show them off.

There was one I found particularly interesting. There was a man named Ilan Schifter who…I don’t know how or why he got into this, or even many of the details. But he visited a hospital where they had children who were developmentally disabled, or something…many of them in wheelchairs, having the mind of a 3-year-old, not really able to do anything on their own. And sometimes the teachers would just have to leave them alone to amuse themselves…only some of them couldn’t do anything more than blink.

So he decided to make a game for them. What he finally decided upon was a game that sensed motion. It was actually quite clever. A camera was pointed at the player, showing them on screen. When they moved, little green flashes showed the movement detection. (Or it could be changed to blue or red flashes, or flashes on a white background instead of video–because the kids couldn’t all see the same way.)

The game itself was quite simple. A bubble floated onto the screen, wafting toward the center. You sometimes heard “Pop the bubble!”. And if you moved in such a way as to intersect the bubble, it popped and revealed a little picture…A guy in a car, an airplane, a television. And you heard something like “Good job!”.

It was…really something. I don’t know why, but…The thought of these kids starved for entertainment, being able to play this simple, cute little game…It brought tears to my eyes.

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