Rock Vibe is an accessible 2-player musical game, inspired by Rock Band®, for people with or without visual impairments. In January 2012, Rock Vibe successfully raised over $17,000 on Kickstarter, and was then released to its Kickstarter backers in August 2013. Before the end of 2013, Rock Vibe will be donated to several schools that work with blind children as well as blind gamers, and donations will continue through 2014.
To play Rock Vibe, gamers wear a Rock Vibe belt, and respond to tactile cues that are delivered in time with the music. If a player presses the correct key on the keyboard quickly enough, the score increments and a positive sound plays. If a player makes an incorrect key press or doesn’t respond, a negative sound plays.
Rock Vibe also features a narrated menu, allowing gamers to set up the game without a screen reader. Additionally, users can add their own MIDI arrangements and songs to the game, and replace the included sound effects and narration.
Rock Vibe was first presented at UC Santa Cruz’s Human-Computer Interaction Student Showcase and the paper discussing the project was presented at the Eleventh International ACM SIGACCESS Conference on Computers and Accessibility in October, 2009. The paper is currently available through the Association of Computing Machinery.
In April of 2010, Rock Vibe was rebuilt and installed at the Games for Health Conference in Boston and featured in an article on the BostInnovation website.
Rock Vibe v2:
Rupa Dhillon: Software, hardware, construction, writing, composition, MIDI
Philip Lamperski: MIDI arrangements, SFX
Michael Logue: Narration
Rock Vibe v1:
Troy Allman: Creator, electronics, video documentation, writer
Rupa Dhillon: Creator, programming, electronics, experimental design, writer, presenter
Molly Landau: Creator, recruiter, writer
Sri Kurniawan: Writer, presenter