Accessible VR Showdown

January 2019 - Current
Image showing Accessible VR Showdown

Project Type

University Project

Software Used


Languages Used


Primary Role(s)

Lead Programmer


Virtual Reality (VR) is a growing source of entertainment, but people who are visually impaired have not been effectively included. Audio cues are motivated as a complement to visuals, making experiences more immersive, but are not a primary cue.

To address this, we implemented a VR game called Virtual Showdown. We based Virtual Showdown on an accessible real-world game called Showdown, where people use their hearing to locate and hit a ball against an opponent. Further, we developed Verbal and Verbal/Vibration Scaffolds to teach people how to play Virtual Showdown.

We assessed the acceptability of Virtual Showdown and compared our scaffolds in an empirical study with 34 youth who are visually impaired. Thirty-three participants wanted to play Virtual Showdown again, and we learned that participants scored higher with the Verbal Scaffold or if they had prior Showdown experience.

This is a standalone version of the game used in this study. It now utilizes a mix of voice commands, keyboard interactions, and Switch Joy-Con button pressed to allow players to play the game without researcher support.