Inspirational Gamers of the Week: Jordan Verner & Roy Williams

Good morning folks! My apologizes for taking a little downtime from updating the site. I’ve caught a bit of a bug, and thus, it’s been slowing my writing time down. With that being said though, let me introduce you to a wonderfully heartwarming story I’ve found.

Now this event occurred almost two years ago, but to me, the meaning behind it is still relevant. Today’s Inspirational Gamer of the Week is actually a culmination of two people: Jordan Verner; a blind gamer from Ontario, Canada; and Roy Williams; a fellow gamer who lent a hand to Jordan’s gaming needs.

This story touched me so much that I felt I just had to post about it, even if the event is old, the story is still filled with emotional connection. Jordan expressed his desires to complete the Nintendo game ” Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time“, arguably one of the best in the vast saga of Zelda lore. Jordan posted out to the world, via Skype, his overwhelming desire to receive help beating this game, and low and behold, an individual miles away from him took it upon himself to help Jordan beat the game. How was this accomplished?

Well Roy went about writing a transcript for Jordan with the aid of some friends and it basically entailed every timed move of the game, every treasure chest, every turn of a joystick, every sound cue, everything was detailed down to the n-th degree.

This is a story that I’m ecstatic about, because it shows that there are gamers out there who do appreciate the desires of gamers with disabilities. They recognize a players limitations, and instead of chastising them for being different, wish to aid them in succeeding. Roy and Jordan are a true example of the friendship and camaraderie that the gaming universe can have. The online universe isn’t filled with strictly twelve year old potty-mouth tools who only want to own you within a game just so they can brag to their friends like some troll on Youtube.

Every once in a while you’ll find wonderful cases like this – where one gamer reaches out to another so that an impaired player can receive the same amount of satisfaction and accomplishment as any abled player could. I think, especially now, that we need to look at these aspects as designers, not necessarily to promote games just for the blind, but to start thinking in a generous manner. We need so start examining the design of our games as a whole and ask ourselves: Who does this game cater to? – is our audience broad enough? How can we make it broader?

We should look to design games that give players the opportunity of compassion and love for their fellow gamer. Games that become accessible on multiple fronts, and games that can be shared and played by all people. Gaming is vastly becoming a premiere mix-multimedia that allows individuals to express their goals, beliefs, and ideas out to the world.

If Roy and Jordan can use Ocarina of Time to show and express the power of compassion and friendship, can’t we then use this knowledge going forward to help build games that provides that sense of teamwork and interconnection with our fellow man – regardless of the struggles and difficulties each of us have to overcome? We are all human, and for those of us who enjoy games, it’s a way for us to escape to a sense of accomplishment that we wouldn’t get anywhere else – so why shouldn’t it be able to empower us to share this feeling with everyone?

Thanks Roy and Jordan. Your story inspired me to keep aware of the different types of gamers I’m designing for, and you’ve given me faith in a loving, caring, and beautiful gaming society. Thanks again – and I hope others take your wonderful triumph to heart.

– Chad K.

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