The above video is an interview with Tony Garrett, a 23 year-old mechanical engineering student who has been completely blind since age 10. Garrett has developed a system involving trial and error, game audio, walkthroughs and a bit of help from someone who can read menus or convey the occasional cut scene that has allowed him to play and complete games without ever needing to see them himself.
Accompanying Garrett’s voice is gameplay footage of him playing Oddworld: Abe’s Exoddus. That game is how this remarkable story came to us. Impressed with the audio quality and design in the pair of games starring Abe (which allowed Tony to complete them without referencing a walkthrough), Tony sent an e-mail to Oddworld Inhabitants to thank them. The folks at Oddworld Inhabitants were so intrigued by the story that they asked if they could see gameplay footage and interview Tony. This video is the end result.
It is a rather fascinating watch. In the last thirty seconds, you’re presented with a segment of the game without the visuals. The resulting cacophony is completely disorienting without its accompanying graphics. I know that I’m aware of all the sounds Abe and the other inhabitants of Oddworld make but I can’t visualize them on their own and it just makes Garrett’s ability all the more impressive.
Introducing Terry Garrett; a man possessing a gaming achievement better than yours. [Oddworld Inhabitants]