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Mar. 4 2010 - 12:54 pm | 1,101 views | 0 recommendations | 1 comment

Internet Heroes Help Blind Gamer Beat Ocarina of Time

As much as I love gaming, I can’t honestly say I see the phrases “touching news story” and video games” together in the same sentence very often, but there’s really no other way to describe this story other than to say its truly extraordinary.

A few years ago, Jordan Verner made a series of YouTube videos documenting his attempts to play The Legend of Zelda: The Ocarina of Time, a pretty hard game by anyone’s count. However, things get a little more complicated when you learn that Jordan is blind, and he’s playing the game through sound and repetition alone.

Above is a news report that resulted from the amazing story that followed. A few fellow gamers found Jordan’s videos online, and told him that they would help him beat the game. They played it themselves, and wrote down every single action, every jump, roll, sword swing and boomerang throw they executed, and sent Jordan the insturctions which his computer read back to him as he played. After two years of this, Jordan was finally able to beat the game with help from his online friends.

“I felt great,” said Jordan. “I felt strong. I felt like the sky’s the limit.”

“Our school’s motto — and I live by it — is the impossible is only the untried,” said Jordan.

Truly, an inspiring story, but one I can’t even begin to fathom. When I first heard a blind kid beat Zelda, I assumed it was the NES or Gameboy versions, which have a lot simpler controls and enemies, but to beat Ocarina of Time, a 3D game with dynamic battles and puzzles? Even I didn’t beat Ocarina of Time! I got stuck in the damn Water Temple!

I understand how navigating through the level would work, and even solving puzzles, but I can’t understand how he managed to get through combat sections. I suppose that each battle would have to be perfectly choreographed, but that’s assuming the enemies behave the same way every time. I also doubt there are sounds to correspond with each action an enemy makes, so how does he fight harder enemies and bosses that only reveal their weak spots sporadically? I imagine trial and error, hence why this process took two years to complete.

It may seem trivial to devote this much time and energy to beating a simple video game, but it’s more a metaphor for the “you can achieve anything” mentality that ALL of us should employ in our daily lives, not just the disabled.

Alright Jordan, what game is up next for you?


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    After rising to blogging fame as the University of Michigan's answer to Gossip Girl, I took the EIC job at a student blog network spreading my wealth of college experience across the nation. My passion project is a movie/tv/gaming site called Unreality and I'm a movie news editor at JoBlo.com. I'm new to this business, and I think I'm a part of the first generation of journalists to skip print media entirely. When I started out, I had zero idea blogging could be a career, but I've learned more in the last ten months than I did in four years of college. What exactly did I major in again?

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