What is it like to be blind as a child? There must be many things you cannot enjoy whilst other kids do. Berk Icel’s short documentary ‘Gaming Through New Eyes‘ tells the story of a young man who has challenged exactly that: resigning to what he would not be able to do. The young man’s hobbies are watching TV and films and – most of all – gaming. Yes, he plays video games.
Berk Icel’s story is very humane putting a spotlight on Toby as a blind young man who has developed an ability to prevail over his handicap and has found a way to become a proficient computer user. From equipments endowed with features for Braille readers to Apple’s VoiceOver application that facilitates Toby knowing what he is writing or doing on the computer, to cultivating the skill of getting around video games by the use of his hearing have turned Toby into an everyday technology user and more: a video gamer. The story of Toby makes one think about the modern era we have come to live, one in which technology prevails and sight is the main sense needed to ensure survival. In such an era being blind becomes a true challenge, especially professionally, narrowing down the activities and preoccupations such an individual can take on.
The character of ‘Gaming Through New Eyes’ is with no doubt one of those rare individuals that prove nothing is impossible and that inexhaustible resources lie in the human spirit: where there is will there is always a solution at hand. Toby is the case of the individual disadvantaged by life who finds a way to nurture his passion against all odds; but he is also the case that shows the world that they need to try harder to meet the needs of such individuals as him.
Berk Icel’s film has a strange way of reflecting the ‘selfish’ attitude of the society against its individuals, and a strange feeling emerges from Toby’s determination and ability to succeed in spite of this. ‘Gaming Through New Eyes’ is sensitising, motivational and reflective. A worthy watch!