A FATHER-of-four was inspired by his daughter to set up a company that creates video games for the blind and visually impaired.
After watching his now 16-year-old daughter Daisy miss out on playing video games with her siblings, Selwyn Lloyd wanted to start a company that would tailor games to include blind and visually impaired players.
Daisy lost her sight after battling eye cancer 11 years ago.
Mr Lloyd, 48, who studied his MBA at Oxford’s Said Business School, said: “Over a 10-year period we watched Daisy struggle in school and at play.
“Her peers didn’t know how to include her in their world and their games, we didn’t know the impact and we felt powerless. The final straw was when we bought a family games console for our three other children and saw Daisy really wanting to join in the fun.”
Mr Lloyd, who is also a director of Oxford’s Charitable Football League and chairman of World Eye Cancer Hope, based in Chalgrove, called on MBA classmates Barbara Verardo and Anarika Didigova to help him set up Audazzle.
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Two years on and the social enterprise has released its first game, Jumpin Saucers, which uses the effects of 3D sound to allow blind and partially sighted gamers create their own story in a fantasy world.
Mr Lloyd, who lives with his wife Marie and children in Southsea, Portsmouth, said Daisy was thrilled when she piloted the game. He said: “I finished it just in time for Christmas and when I gave it to Daisy to play, she was thrilled and happy.
“The game is based on the classic space invaders and it involves placing a collection of sound within the game objects of a virtual three-dimensional space.
“When the audio is played through headphones, it can then create the illusion of sound coming not only from the left or right, but also from in front, behind, above and below the listener.
“What we are trying to do is help people overcome social barriers and one of the things we were really concerned with was children becoming isolated because they are different from other kids.”
The company held a stand and gave a talk at the Insomnia Gaming Festival at the NEC in Birmingham in December.
Mr Lloyd said: “Young people are very competitive and like to be challenged, so when we were at the festival explaining how the game worked they embraced it, but you could see the dads and mums who brought them there frowning in the background.
“We are really excited about the way the company is rapidly developing, we are just in the process of piloting and showcasing our games in three schools.
“We’re continuing to work with Oxford in terms of the research, particularly in social enterprise.”