Pinball for the visually impaired - an audio spatialization and sonification mobile game

Drew Berge, Danilo Bettencourt, Stanley Lageweg, Willie Overman, Amir Zaidi, Rafael Bidarra
CHI PLAY 2020 - nov 2020
Download the publication : Pingball.CHIPLAY.CR.pdf [377Ko]  
We present Pingball, an audio-based mobile game that makes the classic experience of a physical pinball machine accessible to everyone, including those with visual impairments or complete blindness. Pingball keeps the essential game mechanics of traditional pinball, but both the game design and the level design were totally overhauled, to be playable without any visuals. This was accomplished by building every feature from the ground up using only sonification techniques, such as shifting pitches and varying volumes, and spatialization techniques, such as moving audio sources through three-dimensional space. The level design makes use of a broad stereo-field by having a widened playing area featuring gameplay objectives spread over different locations. Evaluation has shown the game was considered quite playable and enjoyable by players both with and without a visual impairment.

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BibTex references

@InProceedings { BBLOZB20,
  author       = "Berge, Drew and Bettencourt, Danilo and Lageweg, Stanley and Overman, Willie and Zaidi, Amir and Bidarra,
  title        = "Pinball for the visually impaired - an audio spatialization and sonification mobile game",
  booktitle    = "CHI PLAY 2020",
  month        = "nov",
  year         = "2020",
  publisher    = "ACM Press",
  note         = "Student Game Design Competition",
  url          = ""

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» Stanley Lageweg
» Amir Zaidi
» Rafael Bidarra