MOSCOW, RUSSIA – According to the statistics of the NGO Сonnection there are more than 4000 people with deaf-blindness in Russia. However, there is almost no infrastructure and facilities for them across the country. To draw attention to this problem, Connection asked Russia’s first cause marketing agency RedMe for help, and the result is an interactive educational game about living by touch.
The game intends to give everyone a clearer understanding of the experiences and realities of people with deaf-blindness.
To explain to a wide audience how the deaf-blind people perceive the world, we ourselves needed to understand their perception model. Because of conducting a number of interviews with deaf-blind people and consulting with ophthalmologists, Connection found out that not all deaf-blind people have complete loss of vision. Many distinguish light, some of them see the contours, and some see the world through a “window” that has a diameter of a pencil. In addition, many deaf-blind people have a unique tactile perception of the world. So the concept of the first interactive game in Russia appeared in a way on behalf of a deaf-blind person.
The game goes like this:
- Images of items processed through special filters appear on the user’s screen. They have been created on the basis of a medical description of various visual diseases;
- The game is accompanied by audio effects that better show the texture of objects, allowing the user to feel them;
- In total, the game consists of five levels with increasing difficulty. To go to the next level, one must answer the question “What is in front of you?” and choose one of four answers;
- The faster the user guesses what the objects are and the fewer mistakes he or she makes, the more points they can score;
- In conclusion, users will be able to find out how they would feel in the world of a deaf-blind person, share a link to the game on social networks, and donate to the “Сonnection”.
The project proved to be a success as the game led a significant number of new leads to the Connection website, wanting to learn more about how to help our deaf-blind neighbors. This, on the one hand, has raised the awareness of the audience about the problem, and on the other hand, has increased the amount of donations.
Moreover, the project also involved a number of business partners, such as Vkontakte, e-sports broadcasting studio RuHub, and e-sports holding ESforce. These sources have helped attract an audience of young people who would not learn about the problem of deafblindness otherwise.
In the end, more than 83,000 players have played the online game, and it was mentioned in 149 publications. In 2019 alone, donations to the «Сonnection» increased by 561 thousand rubles and amounted to 1.787 million rubles. In 2018, they amounted to 1.226 million rubles.