The number of people globally suffering from low vision is over 200 million. Accidents caused by people falling down from station platforms are on the rise in Japan, with some turning into fatal accidents. The primary reason is that people without impairments are not interested in people with low vision, and don’t address them.
So how do we make them interested in low vision?
We developed a completely new kind of virtual romance game.
Young Japanese people are not interested in low vision, but are interested in "romance" and "games".
What at first sight looks like a romance game, is actually a newly invented hands-on type VR game where the player experiences low vision as the story advances.Players fully utilize their five senses and fully experience the story.
We built a story based on the actual experiences of people with low vision. Players experience difficulties that people with low vision have to deal with.
People with low vision know the time by touching the watch hands and dials of their watches. Some watches have small balls instead of watch hands for them.
At a station, a song of birds and a chime tell people where the ticket gate is. This system is started from Japan.
The number of fall accidents of visually impaired people at stations’ platforms is 377 in 5 years. If you see the people walking on the warning blocks, call to them and lead them to the safe zone.
Braille blocks really helps people with low vision to walk on roads. Don’t stand playing with your smartphones on them.
Braille blocks have some types. At stations' platforms, the braille blocks warn people of danger. Walk behind the blocks.
When you guide someone with low vision, you walk a half step ahead and he/she holds your arm just above the elbow with him/her free hand. He/she receives the feedback of your arm’s movement and know when to stop or go up and down stairs by it.
Many people with low vision can’t tell beef from pork and have bought the wrong one.
How people with low vision see depends on their symptoms and conditions. Not only the range of vision and also how to feel light or color is different depending on the person.
One person with low vision said he was able to see the partner’s face for the first time when they kissed. It sounds romantic somehow.
This game was used during special school classes. The students' comments are as follows. We turned the power of a romance game into the power to have compassion for the visually impaired.