Links:


SightlessKombat Logo

Who Am I?

Hello. I'm SightlessKombat, an accessibility consultant and gamer without sight (GWS).

What is A Gamer Without Sight?

I use the term GWS as "legal blindness", often just shortened to being "blind" can and often does include usable and/or residual vision, which I've never had. Put simply, I've never had any sight shwatsoever.

I am an accessibility advocate for mainstream videogames as well as being a Winston Churchill Fellow after writing the Fellowship report linked here. I also write accessibility reviews of mainstream games and hardware, found on the linked page.

If you're interested in enlisting my services as a consultant, contact me here to start a dialogue about any projects.

So, what's the purpose of this site?

The gaming scene with no vision

Many games are renowned for their graphical quality, open worlds and cinematic visuals.

Graphics though aren't really of much use, especially when you have no sight. Whilst you can sometimes appreciate their value, for example by having special edition skins that other players might recognise or compliment you on in Killer Instinct or Gears Of War, they have very little impact on, for instance, whether you will end up purchasing a game's premium edition that comes with several of them. If a premium edition comes with, say, a physical statue of a main character though, that can easily swing the balance in favour of the higher tier edition since, as a gamer without sight, using tactile resources to understand the game's world can be key to enhancing the experience overall.

Certain sectors of the videogame industry seem to be under a misconception that "the graphics make the game". However, I am a firm believer in the idea that "when everybody plays, we all win", as popularised by Microsoft's phenomenally successful Super Bowl ad. When accessibility is considered from the ground up as part of a videogame's development, at the earliest stages and carried through post-launch as a core pillar of the title, with Gears 5 being a notable example, it allows so many more players to access these immersive and culturally significant titles than ever before.

Of course, there are older games that have patched in accessibility after launch, even if the options added in weren't actually thought about during development. Take Killer Instinct. This particular game, thanks to community feedback and input, has incorporated features to allow those with no vision to better understand and interface with the game, other than in the case of Shadow Lords mode where text and menu navigation create their own accessibility issues. These adjustments allow players with no sight to compete on a similar level to those with full vision, even if some clear disadvantages are encountered along the way.

So, how do you actually play these games if you can't see?

Numerous people have asked this question in different formats over the years I've been working as an accessibility consultant. The short and straightforward answer is that I play videogames working with a combination of the following methods:
  1. Audio Cues and in-game accessibility features (such as menu and UI narration).
  2. Sighted Assistance and/or use of Optical Character Recognition (OCR) where required.
  3. Simply dedicating time to a game and learning through experience.
Here's a practical example of the first point in the above list.

Let's say I'm playing Killer Instinct, with Jago fighting Fulgore. If I am playing as Jago, and I hear the sound of Fulgore's teleport, I attempt to anticipate where he will appear on the screen and perform a move that will hopefully connect with him as he reappears (such as the forward roundhouse). If successfull, I'll either hear Jago hit him once or twice as he comes out of his teleport and can then carry on hitting my opponent.

If the match is the reverse, however, I will be on the lookout for Jago's fireballs (listening for the shouts of "endokuken!"). When I hear that shout, I will attempt, situation allowing, to block or punish the attack whether it's with a move that can go through projectiles or a move that can get to my opponent before the fireball's even hit me, both of which I'll have learnt through my numerous spent in matches tackling such strategies.

Who built the website?

I built everything on this website by hand using HTML, other than the contact form which I took from tutwow.com , thanks to Josh, the original author, for that.

If you see any errors that you wish to report, please use the contact form

Back to home

Copyright © SightlessKombat.