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    Posted December 15, 2011 by
    mountain view, California
    This iReport is part of an assignment:
    What's your big idea?

    Rock Vibe, a Musical Computer Game for Blind Gamers, Gains Support From Video Game Industry


    CNN PRODUCER NOTE     rupa211 is one of the original creators of Rock Vibe, a spin on the videogame Rock Band being developed for blind gamers. She submitted this video overview of the project: 'I'm extremely passionate about finishing Rock Vibe and getting it into the homes of blind gamers and organizations, such as schools, that work with blind children,' she said. 'It'd be a dream come true for the Kickstarter [campaign] to be successful, so I can finish the game and then donate it to organizations that work with blind children.'
    - jmsaba, CNN iReport producer

    Rock Vibe, an accessible rhythm game for blind and sighted gamers, has received support from Alex Rigopulos, CEO of Harmonix, the company that makes Rock Band, and an artist from Sledgehammer Games, one of the companies responsible for Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3.


    Rock Vibe launched its campaign on Kickstarter.com on November 21, 2011, and is aiming to raise $32,000 by January 20, 2012. If the funding goal is reached, Rock Vibe's development will be completed and the game will be donated to organizations that work with blind children.


    Rock Vibe's aim is to close the gap between games for blind users and games for sighted users by appealing to both groups. Current audio games for blind gamers don't do this, since they're often too simple for sighted gamers. Additionally, games for sighted gamers are largely inaccessible to blind gamers.


    Like the video games Rock Band and Guitar Hero, Rock Vibe relies on popular music and rhythm for gameplay. The player wears an electronic device embedded in a glove or belt. The wearable device contains vibrating motors in specific locations, and each motor corresponds to a button on a computer keyboard, Rock Band instrument or MIDI controller. When the player feels a vibration, he presses the corresponding button to the rhythm of the music.


    Rock Vibe has been in development since 2008 and has come a long way since its humble beginnings as a Rock Band add-on that literally translated Rock Band's onscreen cues into vibrations by reading the Rock Band screen. Today, Rock Vibe is being developed as a standalone computer game to increase its accessibility to a wider range of users. It is being developed by Rupinder Dhillon, one of the original creators of the game. She served as the project leader and programmer.


    If Rock Vibe is fully funded on the Kickstarter website by January 20, people who donate to the project will receive rewards, including the Rock Vibe game and the opportunity to define its features. If it doesn't reach its goal, its development and donation plans will be put on hold.

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