Walking around the city, casually moving in and out of crowds, and nipping in and out of shops can prove to be back-breaking tasks if you're a person with reduced mobility who can only move around using a wheelchair. While governments are leaving no stone unturned in order to make cities more disability friendly, that's not necessarily the case in some countries.
Bearing that in mind, ViRa Games, a Ukraine-based Indie game development studio has created Wheelchair Simulator VR. The recently debuted comedic game gives players a glimpse of what it's like to use wheelchairs in a modernized world.
Wheelchair Simulator VR involves traveling a city by pushing two wheels using your hands. Players soon figure out that the place is not wheelchair accessible. It doesn't take too long either for them to realize that the place can actually be deemed inhospitable to wheelchair users.
The game features a sarcastic storyteller who not only divulges his own story, evokes laughter, but also comments on players' achievements and shortcomings. Dmytro Schebetyuk is the narrator.
Despite suffering a spinal injury in 2011, Schebetyuk was dead set on performing extreme wheelchair stunts, traveling around the world and taking part in the Paralympics. Several videos that Schebetyuk and his Dostupno UA initiative posted on the internet inspired Igor Kachinskij to create Wheelchair Simulator VR. Kachinskij is producer and lead game designer at ViRa Games according to LinkedIn profile.
“They made us realize that Ukrainian cities are very poorly adapted for people with special needs and these issues are almost completely invisible to “normal” people,” Kachinskij said in a statement.
“So we decided to change that. We quickly made a locomotion prototype and reached Dmytro with our idea to literally put other people in his shoes in VR. Dmytro had a blast with the prototype and agreed to share his life story, talent and sense of humor with the project,” he added.
ViRa Games gearing up to launch Wheelchair Simulator VR via Steam next week. The game was launched for Oculus Rift and HTC Vive on Monday, May 7th. Aside from that, the title is expected to hit the Oculus Store and Viveport in near future.
The game development team will give the profit from Wheelchair Simulator VR to the Dostupno UA initiative in a bid to help people who are differently-abled in Ukraine. You can check out the Wheelchair Simulator VR trailer below.
Image credit: VRFocus / YouTube screencap