Free software that lets people play Minecraft using just their eyes has been released by a UK charity.
SpecialEffect, which creates and loans customised control set-ups to help gamers with physical disabilities, has made EyeMine available for anyone with a Windows computer, a Minecraft account and a suitable eye-tracking device.
The block-building title is one of the most popular computer games of all time, with 122 million copies sold to date. Around 55 million fans play the game every month, and it is hoped that more people with physical disabilities will now be able to join them.
EyeMine is used with any eye tracker that can control a mouse pointer. SpecialEffect believes that many gamers will be able to make their Minecraft character walk, fly and attack, while more accurate eye control will enable them to build, select items from the inventory and chat online.
The charity has worked with several people with physical disabilities to develop the open-source technology.
Dr Mick Donegan, founder and Chief Executive of SpecialEffect, said: “For us, EyeMine represents a watershed development. It’s a flagship example of taking the experience we’ve gained through our one-to-one work with gamers with the most severe physical disabilities and translating it into a means of helping a huge number of people on a global scale.”
Gamers need to calibrate their eye-tracker, and will then be able to control their character by looking at an on-screen keyboard. For example, by triggering the “Look with gaze” button on the screen through a stare, the character will look around, while triggering the “Walk” button will make the character move around based on where the user is looking.
Minecraft players have built and shared numerous creations in their worlds, including an accurate replica of the Large Hadron Collider at CERN, in Switzerland. An education edition of the game is also available to help teach children about subjects such as maths and science. Earlier this year it was revealed that a chemistry update, which has been created with input from teachers, students and Minecraft Global Mentors, will let teachers run complex experiments in classrooms.
You can download EyeMine here.