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LAHORE: A 2014 graduate from the Product Design Department of the National College of Arts has designed a pioneering set of games for the visually impaired children.

Nihan Karim has developed and designed these games as her thesis project which has not only been appreciated by her alma mater but also by visitors who came to see the thesis show. She also won a distinction for her thesis.

A Toronto-based businessman also evinced a keen interest in introducing these games to a school of special children in Canada.

Why Nihan had the brainwave on crafting a game for the blind children was the question to which she said: “My uncle is losing sight little by little and this perilous development has forced me to work on some novel method. So I came up with an idea to design games for the blind children”.

She said the game developing took her to 50 families from different backgrounds making her realize that the blind children felt themselves segregated.

“Through these games I wish to diminish the element of lonesomeness among the blind children,” she said.

She visited Government School for Special Children in Sheranwala Gate and found many innocent souls in search for some activity.

Nihan said she also visited other schools of special children and worked there on a collaborative project between the NCA and the Lahore Museum and focused on blind children.

Explaining all about the mechanism and the design of games she had developed, Nihan said she designed five games -- Orange Game: Name: Match the patch enhancing abilities: Texture and shape recognition, object permanence, reach and search behavior. Blue Game: Name: Shape shifter enhancing abilities: Match and fix behavior, shape and object recognition.

Green Game: Name: Maze runner enhancing abilities: spatial knowledge, object permanence, route finding. Yellow Game: Name: Braille board enhancing abilities: Braille learning, memory boost, search and fix knowledge, vocabulary building, Round Game: Name: Word whirl, enhancing abilities: Braille learning, sentence building, word recognition and motor skill development.

Nihan has designed these games in acrylic, but she says that once these games will go into mass production, the best material for them will be plastic, the price for each game will be around Rs300.

Published in Dawn, February 26th, 2015

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