Free open-source electronic games for children
- Games for the Blind
- SciFY - Science For You
- Country of Implementation
- Western Europe
- Start Year
- First published
“I really liked it. The only problem is that I want to play more!” A blind child who played Games for the Blind
SciFY is a non-profit organization based in Athens that created Games for the Blind, a series of free electronic games designed for blind children as well as an online platform allowing anyone to create and share their own game. More than 30 accessible electronic games have been created using Games for the Blind since 2016.
Play-based learning opportunities are often not accessible to children with visual impairments. Many blind children therefore miss out on opportunities to acquire and practice new skills or to play with their peers.
Solution, Innovation and Impact
Games for the Blind is a series of games for blind children aged six and over that employs 3D sound technology and an accessible interface. The games are designed to familiarize children with computers, and to allow them to practice their hearing and other skills while having the option to play with their peers. The games include tennis, through which children practice sensing movement, speed, and depth; tic-tac-toe, to practice spatial orientation and strategy; and Curve, a game that uses sounds to express the graphs of mathematical functions. Games for the Blind was created in consultation with blind children, special education teachers, and organizations for the blind. It is also a platform that allows anyone, including children themselves, to create and share their own game. As of 2019, more than 25,000 people have played Games for the Blind.
Funding, Outlook and Transferability
Total development cost was €65,300. The platform receives funding from civil society and businesses, and was initially set up through an EEA Grant (funded by Iceland, Liechtenstein, and Norway). SciFY partnered with Ionian University for the creation of certain games, such as tennis, tic-tac-toe, and Curve. The games are available in English, Greek, and Norwegian and can be easily further developed because they are open source, freely available, and simple to translate. SciFY has also published guidelines for those who are interested in creating new games. Games for the Blind has been endorsed by the Greek Ministry of Education for use in schools. To date, the practice has been replicated multiple times locally (Athens), nationally (other Greek cities), and in various countries such as the Czech Republic and Norway. SciFY is currently investigating the possibility of implementing educational electronic games for children with autism, the ultimate goal being that all children, regardless of the type of disability, have equal opportunities in play, education, and skills development.