Visually impaired people, in the Egyptian context, are often overlooked. They face a multitude of hardships and barriers (both physical and metaphorical) when it comes to most aspects of life. Be it, in the context of academia, personal life, commute, walking down the street, or even browsing the internet, the visually impaired person is often faced with some obstacles: lack of accessibility, accommodation, and consideration. Coupled with our personal experience with the topic and the lack of public awareness (on the part of sighted people), it was both necessary and convenient to choose this topic. The game is almost heavily reliant on personal experience from both Yasser and Ali’s perspectives, drawing on situations encountered by both of their acquaintances, friends, and colleagues.

The Game

The game entails two perspectives, where the player can either play as a visually impaired or a sighted person. Obviously, by the end of the game, the player should become aware, empathetic, and – perhaps most importantly – considerate of visually impaired people. Should the player opt for the visually impaired path, they will be faced with a handful of scenarios pertaining to personal life, academia, and casual day-to-day interactions by taking them through a day in the life of. We hope to break down the barriers that are encountered by visually impaired people, while circumventing the traditional, cliché representations that result from stereotypes and misconceptions about the visually impaired. In addition, the other path incorporates events that help sighted people evaluate their behavior with the visually impaired so that they can better their interactions with the visually impaired.


Scenario One: Barrier

You are a visually impaired university student. It is the morning and you’re already running late to class; unfortunately, your white cane stumbles upon a booth.

  1. Option 1: Wait for someone to offer help
    1. Consequence: You have waited for an extra five minutes until, gladly, someone offered help. Despite that you are still ten minutes late to class.
      1. Sub-Option 1: Go to class and risk being counted as half-absent
      2. Sub-Option 2: Get back to your residence
    2. Option 2: Venture and find your way with your white cane. Move it around until you sense that there is no obstacle.
      1. Consequence: You have crashed into one of the hurdles – apparently it was a booth promoting an event. As a result, you have been injured and your white cane is broken.
    3. Option 3: Motion with your white cane around, signaling for help.
      1. Consequence: Someone offers help and you reach class on time.

This scenario was inspired by the personal experience that I, Yasser, encounter at the university campus. Also, many of the blind and partially sighted colleagues find it very difficult to navigate between booths and banners. Most recently, I have been noticing the increasing numbers of barriers placed in university campuses including AUC, and I have been trying to advocate for it in hopes that people understand such risky problem. Therefore, this scenario is designed based on this real experience to portray the challenges that might go unnoticed.

Scenario Two: Class

You are now attending class. The instructor announces an assignment, which involves creating an infographic, leaving it open to work individually or in groups.

  1. Option 1: Work individually
    1. Consequence: There is no other format for the assignment, you must hand in an infographic.
      1. Sub-Option 1: Talk to the instructor, asking for an alternative
      2. Sub-Option 2: Ask a friend to create the visuals for you
    2. Option 2: Work in a group
      1. Consequence: Your colleagues do not involve you in the decision-making process.
        1. Sub-Option 1: Talk to the instructor to see if he can help by telling them you can contribute to the content itself (in terms of research).
          1. Consequence: The group involves you, assigning research for you. Apparently, the instructor has reached out to them

This scenario evolved as a part of Yasser’s experience in two formal academic classes. As a blind person, an infographic has been assigned, with no apparent alternative format to replace this infographic. Talking to the instructor did not yield an even solution; therefore, we both tried to research the idea and portray this incident. Instead of theoretically describing this problem, we fitted the events in the game, so purposely, sighted people including academics would understand such major challenge. In addition, many scholarly articles agreed that to make an educational journey accessible for blind and partially sighted people, it is a must to provide alternative formats or assistance. Obviously, in Yasser’s experience, the existence of alternative formats facilitated the ways in which assignments got implemented. Through this game, seeing this scenario would elicit more the challenge and some of its solutions.

Scenario Three: Sighted Person

You’re standing casually with a group of friends. After a while, you notice a person walking down the street – alone… who appears to be visually impaired.

  1. Option 1: Ask them if they need help, insistently, because they might be shy
    1. Consequence: They tell you they need help navigating through the street. You drop them off at their destination
  2. Option 2: Just let them be because you don’t want to seem like you show-off, anyways
    1. Consequence: You notice that this person continues to have a hard time navigating around. Meanwhile, one of your friends rushes towards this person and slowly motions you – he’ll be right back after he’s done helping.
  3. Option 3: Do nothing because, after thinking about it, you don’t want to intrude and induce the feeling that you’re doing this out of pity.
    1. Consequence: The person stumbles upon a trash can that has been misplaced in the middle of the way, bringing his venture to a brief pause. You…
      1. Sub-option 1: Help, anyways, because it is better to risk intruding than seeing them suffering an injury because of your lack of action.

This scenario was encountered several times by Ali. Upon surveying friends, Ali found out that it was a common ‘dilemma’  that sighted people face. The dilemma is fundamentally caused by overthinking. Some people want to help out but feel insincere or not genuine enough because some people are watching. Others, after “overthinking” about it, do not offer help since they fear risking offending the visually impaired person or instilling the feeling that they are doing this out of sympathy. As such, it was necessary to include a scenario that captured this issue. Ali, after numerous encounters, had noticed that the less you think about it, the more likely you are to not help out; besides, offering help would not cause any harm in any case: if they need help they’ll say and if they don’t, they will, likewise, indicate. This becomes an even more pressing issue in the context of Egypt, because, after lengthy discussions with Yasser in the past, it was noticed that the streets/ sidewalks in Egypt are not supportive for the visually impaired. Hence, it might get difficult navigating the sidewalks sometimes for them.