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Posts with tag visually-impaired

Youtube user Kephas demonstrates how to play WoW blind

Everyone remembers the story of Hexu and Davidian, a completely blind player and his helpful friend who acts as a guide dog of sorts to help Hexu find his way. While Youtube user and avid WoW player Kephas isn't completely blind like Hexu, he has no vision in his left eye at all, limited sight in his right, and no peripheral vision. Despite this, Kephas still manages to play World of Warcraft just fine, and decided to make a video to show everyone just what it's like to play WoW as a visually-impaired player.

In the video, Kephas goes over his UI and the addons he uses to make playing possible, even going so far as to provide a demonstration of his dps on a handy target dummy, then following that up with a jaunt to successfully and easily solo Onyxia's Lair. Kephas followed up the first video with a second that details and explains how he plays a variety of classes through the use of clever macros. Paladin, monk, warrior, hunter and death knight all get a play through and some test time on target dummies in the follow up video. While some characters are admittedly better geared than others, Kephas still manages to pull plenty of dps with each.

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Filed under: News items

Blind player Ben Shaw on raiding and WoW for the sightless

Blind player Ben Shaw on raiding and WoW for the sightless THUHOLD FOR IMAGES
It was World of Warcraft's feel-good people story of last year: Ben Shaw, the energetic young British serviceman who, astonishingly, continues to perform at peak efficiency in endgame raiding with the help of a "guide dog" guildmate. Our interview with Davidian, Ben's in-game guide, went viral and was seen on gaming websites and general news publications across the globe. Blizzard took notice, commemorating the duo's partnership with a set of in-game helms.

But after attacking Mists with a new pandaren rogue, Ben said he found himself craving more WoW than ever. By the end of the year, he was ready to reach out for a new guild home, where he's now Shadowstepping into heroics with the best of them.

How does a blind WoW player maintain competitive DPS and utility in endgame content? In an era when making a jump to a new raiding guild can be a challenging proposition for any player, how does a guy who can't see bump to the front of the line? (Hint: It's not PR power.) Ben and I pulled up a virtual chair in a phone conversation across the ocean to talk about the challenges of playing a video game when you're completely blind.

Visually impaired gamers: Check the end of this interview to learn how to connect with Ben's new initiative to share his experience and resources with other blind players.

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Filed under: Interviews, 15 Minutes of Fame

"Guide dog" player and guild embrace sightless guildmate, steer team to victory

Davidian and Hexu
After seeing this guild's victories through the lens of their mutual friendship, you'll never look at the bonds and teamwork among guildmates within Azeroth the same again. Writes our tipster:

My name is Nico and my character is Ignatious on Chamber of Aspects (EU). I'm co-GM/officer in a guild called Die Safe. We are a small (15 to 20 accounts) casual guild whose members like to raid on a couple of nights a week. I'd like to make clear that as a guild we are not hardcore or elitist, and we try to stay out of the realm spotlight as much as possible, so this isn't exactly familiar territory for me.

In our guild, we have a member that raids with us who is completely blind. His name is Ben Shaw, and he currently plays an enhancement shaman called Hexu. Ben used to be a soldier in the British Army and, whilst serving in Iraq, was involved in an incident with a roadside bomb in Basra. As a result of the explosion, Ben suffered multiple shrapnel wounds and had to have both of his eyes surgically removed.

Ben is a strong-willed individual and was not prepared to accept that he could no longer do all the things he previously enjoyed, even if that meant challenging peoples' preconceptions about blindness. Since the incident, he has embarked on numerous activities considered off limits to the visually impaired, some of which have been reported in the international press.

Everyone does their fair share of relaying information to Ben, but none more so than Davidian, our resident death knight.

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Filed under: Interviews, 15 Minutes of Fame

Visually impaired players: The unseen inhabitants of Azeroth

The other night I was chatting to a friend of mine on Skype and she casually mentioned -- because she knows I play WoW -- that she was about to roll a character (Elfly) for the first time. Elfly had had an account for a while but had never been able to try it out while at university and now she has the whole summer stretching out in front of her. Yes, I suspect you know where this going, especially when she twittered a few hours later expressing her new-found love for Azeroth.

But there's a catch. Like me, Elfly is disabled. I'm a VIP (disabled shorthand for visually impaired person) and she's (in her own words) a blindy (shorthand for, well, a blind person). This means we play with our noses touching the screen and get lost. A lot. To give you an example for what the world (in-game or real) is like for me, nip to your nearest Azerothian tavern and quaff flagons of mead until you get completely smashed and the screen goes all blurry, alternatively just click here. Anyway, between the pair of us, we're so blind that we both think Blizzard should insert white canes and guide dogs in patch 3.3's game files. Though, given the game setting, maybe that should be an ornate white staff of sightlessness and a guide wolf?

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Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Virtual selves, Blizzard, Add-Ons, Features

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