LEAP

LEAP

The need

There are many games that help kids of all ages to become familiar with technology, opening new horizons in education and knowledge. But when it comes to blind children ... the picture changes.

The games that appeal to blind children are scarce and difficult to access. So, we want to change this by creating a series of serious purpose  computer games (LEAP), which aim at:

  • Increase of the  blind children familiarization with the computer, making it accessible with a pleasant and interesting way,

  • entertainment in a substantial way well-matched to their needs, while strengthening their education,

  • improvement of the sense of space and orientation,

  • highlighting their specific skills, expand their opportunities and ultimately strengthen their self-confidence,

  • autonomy development and self-sufficiency,

  • helping social integration, increase of interaction with their social environment, and with sighted children. 

What is it

LEAP (Listen - LEArn - Play) is not only a series of computer games specially designed for blind children but much more. It is developed to be the base of a building that has to do with the creation of accessible PC games. The first step in this effort is : blind children  to become familiar with the easiest way in the use of computers and also with three-dimensional sound.

 

  • The first game, the Tic Tac Toe, teaches children to use basic keys of PC and also how to move to a two-dimensional sound space

  • With tennis, children sense the movement and speed of sound through three dimensions and interact within it (binaural processing)

  • The last game of this series, is educational and combines the abilities and skills that have developed in the previous two games and transfers standard visual educational processes in the auditory space.

 

Who is it for

 The LEAP is primarily addressed to:

  • blind children, but can pleasantly be used by anyone

  • relatives or whoever interacts with blind children,

  • schools for special education or institutional bodies and organizations dealing with blindness,

  • companies operating in related sectors (assistive technology, special education, computer games)

but also to all those who would find it interesting to use. Besides, the code and the games are freely available and free to be exploited and developed by anyone. Instructions, user manuals and documentation will be available.

How we do it

To achieve LEAP’s objectives, first of all the blind children should embrace it and love it. Only then will it really be worth it!!! So in all stages of development we have the children with us, as assistants and guides, being the final users.

Even from our first meetings with them, we came to realize it was very important to focus on the combination of high-tech three-dimensional sound and open development practices (open source) which allow the creation of user-friendly and fun games with potential for growth and personalization.

Valuable partner in this effort is the Department of Audio and Visual Arts of the Ionian University which bears the bulk of the work on the design of the acoustic environment, as well as the design and the implementation of audio interfaces.

 

 
Also, we want to thank all the volunteers who helped us in the implementation prosses. Special thanks to Stavros G. who helped us with the recording.
 
And because we share the technology, we offer the code of all the three games for free, for everyone that wishes to use it and develop it, in GitHub, at the following links:

Play here!

   

LEAP - TicTacToe LEAP - Tennis Curve

Download Tic-Tac-Toe!

Download Tennis!

Download Curve!

Welcome to the world of LEAP games!
Are you ready to play and live the experience of the three dimensional binaural sound?
Wear your headphones for better experience (If you have stereo ones, even better), play with the sounds to find which one suits you better and the confrontation begins!
Our team is here to help you to install and answer your questions ( you can email us at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.).

You can begin playing Tic-Tac-Toe, with your computer as your opponent!
Your helpers, Elektra or Thodoris, guide you with their voices through the menu by pressing Q or W. If you want to change sound during the game, no problem: all you have to do is press Q, W, E,R, T and choose a new set of sounds.

If you feel you are “on fire” and longing for some action, grab your racket and join the electronic Tennis court!
Your opponent hits the ball and you try to repel it. The better you do, your score increases and you win prizes!
But while you advance levels, your opponent will continuously get better too…
Play with the left and right keys, press ENTER to call on your assistants, Elektra or Thodoris, but also to start a New Game!

Do you want something more intelligent and hard? Prepare to hear math in a new way with the Curve game. Listen to mathematical functions playing music! Each function corresponds to a different set of notes and you have a time limit to learn and reproduce them. Adjust the time so that the game gets tougher. Move with the arrow keys as you did in previous games. Listen carefully to the blank key and the zero key, and choose the right notes with the enter key to win!

Installing the games:

You download the game you choose from the website gamesfortheblind depending on your operating system and by following the installation guide you are ready to play!

New game...

 

Do you want to be the first to learn about the next edition of the game?

Register to LEAP’s Newsletter here and be a member of the

assistive technologies community for blind and visually impaired.

Results

The results are very encouraging:

We begun with Tic-tac-toe…

LEAP 

  • We have established our cooperation with the Special Education Elementary School for the Blind and KEAT (Education and Rehabilitation Center for the Blind) in Kallithea.
  • We involved teachers, special education teachers and social workers in the process, creating multipliable benefits.
  • Through personal interviews with children aged 7-20 years old we confirmed that they enjoyed the first game and that it is user friendly. The average rating reached 8-8.5 out of 10. While some of the children used a computer for the first time in their lives!!!
  • We released the code of the game - as we always do - with open source licenses in GitHub, so everyone can develop it.
  • Our greatest reward? The moment we heard the children’s spontaneous joyful reactions to the game, yelling either “I want to play” or “awesome, I don’t have words, if I could rate it, I would give it a 100 out of 10!!!!” 

 

We continued with the Tennis…

tennis 

  • Having completed the first LEAP game, Tic-tac-toe, we set sail for a new adventure… it’s name? Tennis.
  • We followed the same procedure as we did with Tic-tac-toe. We visited a place accommodating children and teenagers with visual impairments and we tested the Tennis game. We asked the children, the directly interested, to describe to us their experience after playing the game. Their response to our call and their answers were very moving… Despite the wide age range - from 11 year old children to university students - there was a convergence in their ratings, indicatively the average score on the question “How much did you like Tennis?” was over 9,5 out of 10, while when asked if it was user friendly the score was over 9 out of 10.
  • Do you believe we are settling with these actions? Of course not… we have set a new goal, for our friends to play on the computer without using a keyboard :)... and we’ve made it! Do you want to see Electra playing Tennis without touching any device? Press here Electra plays “Tennis for the blind” using @LeapMotion #eDJAm.
  • Furthermore, we presented Tennis and Tic-Tac-Toe to a large crowd during the International White Cane Day and at the event Sparks by Glovo 2015. 

Next stop “Curve”...

 curve

  • We have finalised the third game for blind children, “curve”. The children’s impatience to play was obvious from the first moment we showed them the game. Once again their spontaneous comments were proof that this effort is worthwhile. Indicatively one of the comments was “I give it a 10!! I liked it a lot, I can now suffer math”.
  • The children’s excitement was obvious even at the personal interviews we did. Our most strict judges but also the final recievers of our project, the children, rated the game’s usability and its user friendliness with 9 out of 10.
  • Even though only a few weeks have passed since it’s implementation , it has been downloaded by over 200 users.

LEAP

Our aim is not only to create games, but also to distribute them to schools for blind children or for children with visual impairments. For this reason we have conducted a series of tournaments, with the participation of blind and sighted students. We were impressed because no one cared about winning, they only wanted to play and have fun.

All together, the 3 games of the LEAP series have been downloaded by more than 3500 users and this is a message to us that we must go on… we owe it to them.

We would also like to thank all the media for their positive comments and for promoting SciFY’s project. Indicatively we can mention the below:

Fortunegreece, Huffington Post Greece, EFSYN (the Greek newspaper’s website), Article at the website of Perkins, and of course the interview of the creators of the games at ANAMPA (Greek news agency) which was published at ΑNT1’s website (greek TV channel).

I want to support this project.

This project is funded by Iceland, Liechtenstein and Norway under the EEA Grants Greek NGO Programme “We are all Citizens”. The Bodossaki Foundation is the Fund Operator of this Programme. The Programme aims to strengthen civil society and enhance the contribution of NGOs to social justice, democracy and sustainable development.

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