A Man Born Without Eyes Plays Video Games
Toby Ott, a 27 years old guy, who’s born with bilateral anophthalmia (A rare condition which means that he was born without eyeballs). He’s playing video games since he was five years old. He first tried Mortal Kombat in an arcade.
While this obviously presents significant challenges to enjoying a medium that’s primarily visual, as the short documentary Gaming Through New Eyes explains, that hasn’t stopped Toby from playing all kinds of games over the decades.
Toby loves playing fighting video games, and he even plays online against human opponents, because titles like Injustice are full of audio cues, from which Toby’s able to use to get a sense for where he’s on a stage.
Toby also likes to play Final Fantasy, a series he’s into as much for its story and characters as its game-play. With the help of his friend and cousin, who walks Toby through the structure of the game’s menus (so Toby’s able to memories how many button presses it takes to perform an action). He’s been able to sink countless hours into games like Final Fantasy X and XIII.
Toby even enjoys old-school shooters like Duke Nukem and Doom (the latter of which he’s even into modding), though with these games he has to enable a few cheats since it’s almost impossible for him to find objects like health packs and keys.
So what keeps Toby entertained if he can’t see what’s going on? Aside from the story, music and characters, playing a game like Final Fantasy while blind presents a set of challenges that for Toby are seen as part of the game. While beating a boss can be a monumental achievement—he once spent eight weeks trying to get past one in FFX—things we would take for granted, like navigating a menu screen, are just different kinds of puzzles and boss battles to overcome.
A Man Born Without Eyes Plays Video Games Gaming Through New Eyes was made by Berk Icel, and you can watch the whole thing below.