WATCH: Man born ‘without eyes’ is an avid video gamer
Have you ever tried playing a video game with your eyes closed? For most people, this would be an impossibility. One man would beg to differ because he has been playing video games since he was five years old. And he’s blind.
Toby Ott is a 27-year-old gamer who enjoys what he does despite having never seen what is on the screen, according to a short video documentary called “Gaming Through New Eyes”.
Ott suffers from a condition called bilateral anopthalmia which means that he was born without eyes. Yet despite the circumstances, he fell in love with video games when he played “Mortal Combat” in an arcade when he was five.
“Video games are challenging to play because obviously they’re very visual but I enjoy the challenge of learning how to play these games,” says Ott.
He’s a big fan of fighting games where he has gone online, fought and won against other players. Ott uses sound cues to determine where his character is on the screen and fight against his opponents.
Ott is also a big role-playing game (RPG) fan, particularly of the “Final Fantasy” series. To play an RPG, he asks assistance from friends and cousins in order to learn the menu and battle system of a particular game. He generally memorizes how many presses are needed to go to a particular menu or perform a certain action. Then he goes back to sound cues and music to determine his location in the game. From here on out, he successfully plays a game like “Final Fantasy X” while enjoying both gameplay and the story.
“Music is a big part for me in terms of gaming,” Ott adds, “I enjoy voice acting as well because voice acting is the way that you sort of feel attached to the character or characters in the story.”
Ott also plays shooters like “DOOM” and has even gotten into game modding.
While Ott is able to pour hours of his life into playing video games, he admits that there are some games that he is unable to play. However he does hope that future games would have more visual cues included in the menus because this would enable him to learn a game on his own.
“Gaming Through New Eyes” is a short documentary made by Berk Icel. JB