There are many tools out there with which to engage children but video games are a great way to immerse children into various different scenarios and develop empathy for people who are different from them or have different needs. In the UK, there are almost 2 million people living with sight loss and of these, around 360,000 are registered as blind or partially sighted. To help children understand what it means to be blind or partially sighted you could use blindfolds to give the children an idea of what it feels like to have a special need. Also you could use a really interesting video game called Beyond Eyes.
According to Steam:
Beyond Eyes is a modern fairy tale about finding courage and friendship as you carefully guide young Rae on a life changing journey, uncovering an incredible world, step by step. Blinded as a young child, and reluctant to leave the protection of her family home, Rae’s world is once more shattered as Nani, her pet cat, goes missing. Summoning up all the courage she can muster, Rae learns to face her fears and ventures out into the world, to find her best friend.
- Experience the world from the unique perspective of a young blind girl, as she is faced with the world outside of her parent’s home and the challenges her disability brings.
- Immerse yourself in a uniquely painted and explorable environment, overlaid with a haunting musical score.
- On Rae’s journey to reunite herself with her feline friend Nani, you will help Rae make sense of this unfamiliar world, changed in the years since she first lost her sight.
I played the game and was struck with how the world was painted and opened up as you moved forward. I believe that you could use the game as a stimulus to help write poetry, or a descriptive piece that focuses on the other sense as we seem to rely on sight more than any of our other senses. The video game could be used to teach empathy and give children an understanding of the difficulties people who are disabled deal with daily. It is a great as a wow PSHCE lesson or English writing piece.