Pinball for the visually impaired: An audio spatialization and sonification mobile game

Drew Berge, Danilo Bettencourt, Stanley Lageweg, Willie Overman, Amir Zaidi, Rafael Bidarra

Research output: Chapter in Book/Conference proceedings/Edited volumeConference contributionScientificpeer-review

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Abstract

We present Pingball, an audio-based mobile game that makes the classic experience of a physical pinball machine accessible to everyone, including those with visual impairments or complete blindness. Pingball keeps the essential game mechanics of traditional pinball, but both the game design and the level design were totally overhauled, to be playable without any visuals. This was accomplished by building every feature from the ground up using only sonification techniques, such as shifting pitches and varying volumes, and spatialization techniques, such as moving audio sources through three-dimensional space. The level design makes use of a broad stereo-field by having a widened playing area featuring gameplay objectives spread over different locations. Evaluation has shown the game was considered quite playable and enjoyable by players both with and without a visual impairment.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationCHI PLAY 2020
Subtitle of host publicationExtended Abstracts of the 2020 Annual Symposium on Computer-Human Interaction in Play
Place of PublicationNew York
PublisherAssociation for Computing Machinery (ACM)
Pages43-46
Number of pages4
ISBN (Print)978-1-4503-7587-0
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2020
Event7th ACM SIGCHI Annual Symposium on Computer-Human Interaction in Play, CHI PLAY 2020 - Virtual, Online, Canada
Duration: 2 Nov 20204 Nov 2020

Conference

Conference7th ACM SIGCHI Annual Symposium on Computer-Human Interaction in Play, CHI PLAY 2020
CountryCanada
CityVirtual, Online
Period2/11/204/11/20

Keywords

  • Audio games
  • Audio spatialization
  • Blindness
  • Inclusive games
  • Mobile games
  • Pinball
  • Sonification

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