The very first question I was asked when I started this series was how I saw the world. For many years, I had an answer, but it was hard for people to relate to.
My typical answer used to go like this:
Stand five feet away from a book. Look at it, and think about what you see. The detail on the art cover, the lettering, whatever.
Now back up twenty feet. You're now twenty five feet away from the book. What can you see?
It got smaller.
Of course it did. It's perspective. I mean, can you read what it says? What can you see about the cover? How thick is it to you?
Um... it's smaller?
The point I was *attempting* to make was that, unlike many people with eyesight issues, the way I see the world isn't blurry. It's just... more simple. If I can't read a street sign, the letters are not blurred out, they just don't exist (or they're some blocks of the letter color over the sign color). Everything is sharp and clear, and actually a bit over-saturated (albinism- without pigment, my eyes let in too much light), but simple.
Same thing with faces- your face isn't blurry to me. I know what "Blur" looks like- I use Photoshop all the time. But it IS 'simple'; you have eyes, a nose , mouth, ears, probably hair, maybe glasses. I can tell what color your hair and skin are. And that's where it ends. If you have some unique feature, like an eyepatch or the like, I'll remember you by sight. Otherwise, you're just another face, and when you take off your clothes and change, you're not the same to me anymore.
Suddenly the reason why I like anime so much makes sense! Visually distinct archetypes!
That's when I started using video game consoles to explain how I see the world.
"My eyes see the world like an N64, yours are a PS2."
Brings a whole new meaning to this guy.
But it didn't really help to explain my point to most over 30, and many under.
Sure, it helped some, but it didn't really get across the point of super simplification with clear, sharp edges, over-saturation of color, and extreme light/dark changes that albinism creates.
And then Minecraft was created.
Everybody knows what Minecraft is. When I interned in the State Department I remembered that we were teaching African kids city planning in Minecraft (not me, personally, but still). Seriously, everybody at least knows WHAT it is, even if they have never played. It has extreme day/night cycles, simple but non-blurry shapes, and a long depth of field.
And I swear, I've been to "THIS EXACT CAVE" when I've gone spelunking. This is next gen graphics, right here.
It is the physical embodiment of how I see the entire world in game form, and it's an easy shorthand for almost everyone I come in contact with. Even if they haven't played it, I can easily boot up my copy on my computer or log in on theirs. They can wander the world on Peaceful and literally step a mile in my shoes.
I know there are tons of games, both experimental and actually available, that have you "walk a mile in a blind person's shoes". Some are whimsical, some are more 'realistic' (a shooter with NO visuals where the blind players are thrashing the sighted, for example). But they don't replicate 'my' experience.
It is, however, kind of cool to know there is one game that does. And you've probably already seen my world from it.