Cheating in Virtual Families 2 makes the game much more enjoyable

Cheats in Virtual Families 2

I’ve been a big fan of Virtual Families 2 ever since the game was released. I’ve been playing for a long time and as a result I have spent a ton of money on micro transactions. I knew that I had spent a lot of money on the game, but I didn’t really realize how much I actually spent until I added it all up. I’m kind of embarrassed to tell you, but I have spend over $1000 in the course of a year on Virtual Families 2 coins. Once I saw how much I had spent on such a simple game I knew I had to do something about it. I couldn’t justify spending so much on a game.

Initially I decided that I would quit the game completely, however, one of my friends who also plays the game told me he knew of an alternative way to get coins in Virtual Families 2. My first thought that it would be one of those GPT websites where you complete tasks for iTunes giftcards which you can redeem for in game currency but he told me that was not the case.

He told me that he knew of a website that offered Virtual Families 2 Cheats. Naturally, I was a bit skeptical. How can a website just give away free coins in Virtual Families? However, he told me that it was free to use so I figured that I had nothing to lose by trying it out.

Did the Virtual Families 2 Cheats actually work?

As I mentioned, I was already skeptical about this website offering Virtual Families 2 Cheats, but when my friend told me it was free to use I became even more skeptical. I was a little bit afraid to use their site in case it gave me a virus. However, since I didn’t have to download or install any software to my computer or phone in order to use it I figured I wouldn’t be able to get a virus.

I was a little scared of getting banned, but since I was going to quit playing the game anyway if the cheats didn’t work I quickly got over that fear. I decided to just go for it and try it out. I entered my username on their website and entered how many coins I wanted on Virtual Families. Then their tool went to work. It only took about a minute before their hack was done and it said my coins were added to my account.

I restarted Virtual Families and to my surprise the coins were actually there! It was crazy to see that it was so simple to add coins to your Virtual Families 2 account. It made me feel even more guilty for having spent so much on micro transactions.


These cheats for Virtual Families 2 are a lifesaver for me. Without them I would’ve had to quit playing the game. If you’re a fan of Virtual Families and feel like you spend to much on in-app purchases, I highly recommend you the check them out.

It’s the Same Game

” OMFG, Turok has worse texture on the PS3 compared to the 360!” and “WTF, the online aspect is total crap compared to the 360 version. I’m not buying PS3 ports or any multiplatforms for the PS3 if this keeps up. Arrrghh.”

This whole multiplatform vs issue has become way too heated these days. This generation of gamers is heavy on graphics and I don’t mind that but just because one version of the game has weaker texture or lighting then other version doesn’t make it a different game. If you only owned that console and want to try out the multiplatform title, i say go for it. It may be laggier or have more graphical issues than the other versions but really, how big of a different do you think that is? Unless u bought/rented and played both versions (i don’t know why u would), if you like the game, u’d like it and if u hated the game, u’d hate it, regardless of which version u get. Because it’s still the same damn game!!!

I played Spiderman 3 on my PS3. After playing it, I watched the 360 gameplay footage on the Internet and realized that the PS3 version has wayyyy more pop-in issues, uglier texture, weaker lighting, and has framerate drops on certain parts. But I realize that even if I played Spiderman 3 on the 360, I still would have hated the game. My problems with the game had nothing to do with graphical issues, but with the actual game itself, like repetitive combo system, terrible and convoluted mission structure, lame VO, inconsistent difficulty, and just boring story levels. Would any of that changed if I played it on the 360. I highly, highly doubt it.

The differences between the different versions of the same game are really not that important. It may be more annoying to play one version over the another but really, the experience is nearly identical. The only time where it’s significantly different is when the online aspect of the game is totally different depending on the versions.

I mean, look, there are over 120 million ps2 owners and like 20 million people who bought the xbox. And even in the ps2 days, the story was the same. Most multiplatform games performed and looked way better on the xbox. And since more people owned the Ps2 than the Xbox, we could infer that a lot of people only owned the ps2. So when they bought multiplatform titles, they usually got inferior versions of the game. But did that make that much of a difference? It only made a difference to people who owned both consoles but even then, not by much.

I was one of the people who only owned a PS2 and played most multiplatform titles on the PS2. Splinter Cell Chaos Theory was less interactive and had way more loading times on the PS2 version but that’s the version I played and I still really enjoyed the game. The PS2 version of GTA III has the most pop-in compared to the PC and Xbox version but I’m still enjoying GTAIII. I did notice the differences when I went over to my xbox-owning friend’s house but it really wasnt enough of a difference to make me hate the PS2 version or anything. It was still the same damn game.

If you own both the 360 and the PS3 (or maybe you own a good PC as well), I understand why you’d care about those differences. And I understand why most of those people end up buying multiplatform games just for their 360 and only care about exclusives for the PS3 but even so, the differences are so minute, they’re not anything to fight over. Most of those people are probably getting the 360 version not because of the difference but because of achievements, xbl, more friends owning 360, and controller preference. None of that has anything to do with the actual game but is system preference.

You can boycott “inferior” multiplatform titles on the PS3 all you want, but that’s only going to tell the developers that multiplatform titles don’t sell as well on the PS3 so they’re just gonna focus more on 360 development even more. If you only own one console and a multiplatform comes out and you want to try it out, my two cents is that you don’t even look at the differences between the versions and just get it. Dude, I know the Orange Box is laggier and has more problems on the PS3 but I only have a PS3 so I bought the Orange Box for the PS3 and if you ask me, I really don’t see that much of a difference. A good game is a good game and a crappy game is a crappy game, regardless of what platform it is on.

Did Guitar Hero 3 Live Up to the Hype?

Did Guitar Hero 3 live up to the Hype

When the Guitar Hero series first came out on Playstation 2, it was relegated to a tiny column in most gaming magazines and received little fanfare.
But once people realized how innovative and fun the game was, word spread and Guitar Hero and Guitar Hero 2 became the games everyone wanted for the 2006 holiday season.

Now, as the 2007 holiday season approaches, Guitar Hero 3 is sure to be on the top of tons of gamers’ lists, and for good reason. The game takes just about everything that was good with the first two (and a half if you count “Encore: Rocks the 80’s”) and makes it better.

First off, the songs themselves are excellent this time around. Classic air guitar favorites like Guns N’ Roses ” Welcome to the Jungle” and Scorpions’ “Rock You Like a Hurricane” make the cut, as do several newer songs by both established bands and lesser-known ones, the latter as unlockable bonus tracks. Classic rock and blues fans will also be satisfied with songs like the Rolling Stones’ “Paint it Black” and Stevie Ray Vaughn’s “Pride and Joy” on the slate this time. The track selection provides a nice variety of songs that will please fans of all the different genres of rock.

The best news, however, is the fact that almost all of these songs are now the original versions as opposed to cheap knock-offs. While past Guitar Hero games had admirable covers, nothing compares to rocking out to the actual songs while playing every note as if you’re really strumming alongside your favorite guitarists.

The career mode is basically the same as in past releases, but that’s not a bad thing. There are a few cut-scenes added to help tell the story of your band as it works its way from small-time to headliner. The scenes are soundless but brilliantly animated in the style of the band Gorillaz’ videos. All of your brilliant performances along the way lead up to a surprsing and clever end in which you stage an epic guitar duel against a certain Biblical creature all to the tune of a certain famous song. That’s all I’m going to give it away, but it is a fitting end to a great career mode that also allows two players to team up in co-op mode, a welcome new addition.

One other interesting new feature is the addition of guitar battles and legends like Tom Morello of Rage Against the Machine and Slash of Guns N’ Roses. These battles are original compositions that take place in career mode, giving the player the power to disrupt the opponent in various ways by hitting the right notes and gaining special powers that can be triggered at any time. While these battles are fun, there aren’t a whole lot of them and the whole feature seems to be a little bit rushed.

Altogether, Guitar Hero 3 takes what makes the series great and improves upon it, and that alone makes it worth the purchase for all the Guitar Hero fanatics out there whose idea of a good time is spending hours trying to get 5 stars on every song. Casual fans will like the game too simply for its excellent track list.

But for those who got a little bored with the first two games and are looking for something a little more innovative, it might be save up for Rock Band and all of the musical instrument controllers that come with it and just rent this game in the meantime.

Vintage Video Game Review: Hello Kitty World

Hello Kitty World – A vintage review

Developed by Sanrio; Published by Character Soft
Released in 1992

System: Famicom

Automatic side-scrolling arcade style game

Players: 1 or 2 (Cooperative)

Hello Kitty World was originally released as Balloon Kid for the GameBoy, and then re-released on the Famicom as Hello Kitty World. There were no major changes outside of changing the protagonist to Hello Kitty and colorizing/improving the graphics. In it you play Hello Kitty, who for some reason has two balloons tied to her butt. The balloons give Hello Kitty enough weightlessness that by, simply flapping her arms, she can soar through the air. You flap your arms by tapping A and use the control pad to collect balloons placed throughout the level and avoid the vast amount of enemies that want nothing more than to pop your butt balloons. When a balloon has been popped, you can land somewhere safe and inflate new ones by tapping down on the control pad repeatedly. It’s important to keep balloons inflated, because otherwise you won’t be able to clear some of the larger gaps that you need to clear to reach the end of each level. Many of the enemies (mostly birds) fly in the air, but there are grounded enemies that can make trouble for you. The most bothersome ground enemies were the weird campfire thingies that hopped viciously at my Hello Kitty, trying to singe her little whiskers.

Each level has an entrance to a bonus area (the door is marked with a Strawberry) where you can collect more balloons that float out of pipes that look like they were hijacked from the Mushroom Kingdom. Since I can’t read Japanese, I have a hard time telling you what the balloons you collect do, other than contribute to your score at the end of every level. Also, 1-ups float out of the pipe if you can collect all the balloons without letting one hit the ceiling. The 1-ups were very valuable to me, because I found myself watching Hello Kitty’s balloonless butt fall to her death quite often. Luckily, the game seems to have a sort of checkpoint system in place so you don’t have to start over at the beginning of the level each time you die.

The boss battles were quite easy, and only involved bouncing on some crazed, indistinguishable animal’s head three times. You can’t be holding balloons when you jump though, or you won’t be heavy enough to do any damage.

Graphics: Very bright and colorful. Some of the enemies seem out of scale compared to Hello Kitty — they’re so small they make her seem like a giant. The backgrounds while flat and not very detailed, are cute and appropriate for this type of title. Score: 5/10

Sound: Catchy, cheerful, and repetitive. The song you hear when you watch the cut scene after completing a level is particularly triumphant-sounding. Overall, the music was pretty clean and not too overdone. Score: 5/10

Gameplay/Controls: Pretty straight-forward controls; use the directional pad to move, A to fly, B to release your balloons (which is necessary to make it through some portions of the levels). When you’re on the ground, A makes you jump. The controls were intuitive with a short learning curve. Score: 6/10

Overall: Hello Kitty world would be great to play in an arcade for ten minutes, but I can’t see why anyone would ever want to own it at home. Each level was essentially the same, only with more enemies and a faster scrolling speed. Hello Kitty World is nothing more than a quick time-waster at best. Score: 5/10


Dance Dance Resolution: The Story of a Young Man’s Unusual Weight Loss Method

“It’s so funny to say that a video game saved my life,” exclaims Mike Jameson, an athletic 21-year-old psychology major wearing a t-shirt with ARMY in bold letters across the front.
Jameson is referring to his dramatic weight loss, a feat to be envied by the 66% of adult Americans who are obese or overweight, according to The National Center For Health Statistics.

“Experts” are constantly promoting the latest weight loss methods from dieting to surgery. Jameson no longer had need for any of these solutions when he discovered a much more “fun” way to lose weight: playing a video game.

In one year he lost eighty pounds, a feat which he attributes to Dance Dance Revolution (DDR), a video game played by dancing in time on pads connected to the machine. Neighborhood friends introduced Jameson, a junior in high school at the time, to the game and soon he was playing an hour a day, five days a week and spending 50 dollars a week.

Jameson says that he found DDR to be “better than a run, so much more fun,” and he soon beat every song at every level. He eventually bought the game and the dance pads off of E-bay for $200.

Initially his determination in this situation might appear unusual, but a conversation with Jameson quickly revealed that he displays the same passion in all areas of his life.

He laughs as he tells me about joining a swim team for the first time in his life because of a cute swim team girl he met during student orientation. While that relationship didn’t work out, Jameson’s relationship with swimming did, and he ended up going to nationals. And at nationals he discovered a room that had a DDR player.

“I remember sneaking up to the DDR area,” he tells me-he was trying to avoid his coach who was regulating their exercise; he was caught and sent back to the rest of the team.

DDR isn’t the only video game that Jameson has tangled with-he also is an expert at World of Warcraft, a game with 7 million subscribers according to Sunday Times (London).

“It’s like virtual crack,” he says and warns me to never start playing.

Along with DDR and World of Warcraft is Jameson’s addiction to Guitar Hero 3, a popular video game that can be played against opponents on the Internet. At one point he was in ninth place on the Internet out of tens of thousands of players.

“I’m a competitive guy. If I like it, I wanna be the best at it.”

His guitar hero expertise is well known-as he sat down to interview, a friend of his came up and said that she hoped to challenge him sometime because of his reputation.

The guitar hero challenger was not the only student to come up and chat with him during our interview; Mike is not a reclusive video game obsessor. He is very personable, friendly, and surprisingly well adjusted considering his less than ‘perfect’ background.

In 1998, when he was in 7th grade, Mike’s parents divorced, and he and his sister weekly alternated living with each parent. Though he didn’t carry the emotional baggage that often characterizes the children of divorcees-“I have a lot of resilience”-it was at this point that he stopped playing sports and ignored the onset of his weight gain.

Life is tough for most adolescents in high school, and being overweight brought Mike more than his fair share of ridicule.

“When’s your baby due?” was a comment thrown at him-one he said he’ll probably remember for the rest of his life.

“You’d look less gay if you played tuba instead of clarinet,” another student told him, causing him to take up tuba.

Even while he was teased at school, he was supported at home.

In an e-mail interview, Mike’s mother said that she was never too worried about Mike’s weight, but was confidant that once Mike reached puberty, he would react positively to the changes in his body.

His mother’s optimism about Mike’s weight was eventually validated, though not through any ordinary method. During his 11th grade year, as his DDR addiction grew-staying up to four hours on some days-he went from 250 to 170 pounds.

His weight loss was gradual and it didn’t initially register until one day he looked at an old picture and was shocked at the difference.

“Once Mike began to lose weight, he was still our same Mike…because it came off gradually and slowly. However, he was most definitely more confident,” his mother says of the transformation.

And the ladies noticed.

“Girls that I liked before (losing weight) started to like me. I dated a lot-just to date almost.” In his senior year he had twelve girlfriends and, in his words, became “a little cocky,” when people started to notice his new physique.

This is not hard to believe; Jameson is tall, dark, and handsome with a perpetual smile, and an engaging manner.

He soon settled down and was the same friendly and determined boy that he had always been-a boy who loves to entertain.

“I’m a performer,” he explains one reason for his enjoyment of DDR. “I do like being in front.” He describes dancing at Disneyland while people walked by. “At the end of the song I’d hear ‘wow’ and I’d look around.”

Mike’s desire to perform has served him well. Aside from enabling his swimming talents it has allowed him to pursue his current dream-the army.

Mike has recently been contracted into the army through the ROTC program at Biola and is training to become an Army Ranger; he’s not in it for the scholarship money.

“I’m doing something that millions will never do or…try.” His rigorous training-up to ten and a half hours a week-is simply another challenge that he is conquering. This desire to succeed is appreciated by his girlfriend, Karen:

“He’s very ambitious…if he sets his mind to anything, he’ll do it,” she said, in a phone interview, explaining one of the qualities that she admires about him.

Karen also appreciates the effect Mike’s “fat years” has had on his personality. His ugly duckling story has allowed him to avoid the arrogance that taints many “good-looking” guys.

“He’s very different because he grew up with that fat mentality-he’s very genuine.”

Besides being genuine, she also found him easy to talk to; their early phone conversations lasted three hours.

But then, Mike has many traits that set him apart from others.

“Mike is one of the few people I know who easily lets things go…I have never known him to hold a grudge, he has always been loving and forgiving,” his mother said.

When asked about his positive attitude towards life, he says that he has been lucky and blessed.

“I’ve got a good balance…I’m happy with who I am,” are his thoughts on his natural contentedness and perseverance.

This perseverance has guided Mike through video games and “real life” alike; after he beat every song on the video game guitar hero, he developed a desire to play the real guitar. He taught himself and has become a proficient guitarist.

“He’s amazing,” Karen says of his guitar skills. And her appreciation is fully merited; they actually met at a wedding that he was playing guitar at.

And ROTC? It was really just the next step from virtual reality.

“It’s a video game in life.”

*names changed for privacy

Fable II Pub Games Achievements for the XBOX 360

Fable II Pub Games is an XBLA (Xbox Live Arcade) game that includes three of the games that are functional with the Fable II game. These three games are Spinnerbox, Keystone, and Fortune’s Tower. These were put out by Lionhead and Carbonated Games for the XBOX 360. You can order these online or they are included in the Fable 2 game. The download from the XBOX 360 Live marketplace is 800 points or roughly $10 to buy. You can download the game directly into your XBOX 360 console with this approach.
Spinnerbox is a game that is very much like the slot machines. Keystone is a combination of Craps and Roulette. Fortune’s Tower is a card game, where there are multiple numbers of one through seven. These are the three different pub games that can be played. Earlier on release there was a glitch that made it easy to exploit the games to earn gold in Fable 2, but this is no more.

There are 12 achievements for the XBOX 360 exclusively for the Fable 2 Pub Games. These are going to give you gamerscore points for earning the titles, and this will help tell you how to earn all 12 of them. Beside each of the achievements titles, tells you how to earn the title, and they are arranged by the gamerscore points that they reward the player. There is one achievement with zero gamerscore points associated with it and that is Fabled Financier. To get this play a pub game with the Fable II hero you chose.

10 Gamerscore Point Achievements

Big Spinner – At the Spinnerbox game, win big (100x or more your bet)

Fortunate Finder – You will have to unlock a new game. This can be of any type.

No Stone Unturned – In keystone, get a jackpot.

Not Just Another Mark – You will need to earn a three star rating for this title.

Penultimate Player – You will need to place in a tournament.

Warrior’s Luck – In Fortune’s Tower, get a jackpot.

20 Gamerscore Point Achievements

High Roller’s Club – You must get a five star rating for this title.

Serious Stakeholder – For this achievement, have over 2,500 gold in your bankroll.

30 Gamerscore Point Achievements

Champion of Chance – You will have to win a tournament.

Lucky Locksmith – You need to unlock all the games for this.

40 Gamerscore Point Achievements

I Want It All – You must earn all 15 of the unique items.

Retro Games Like Frogger and Tetris Are Back in Pocket Game Systems

If you can remember the classic games like Frogger or Tetris than you may want to check out these new Pocket Game Systems. No, these are not the popular or the high price Nintendo gaming system. These new game systems are Tablet and Caplet.
Yes, they are hand held. What is great about them is that one can take them on the go and have a lot of choices of the once popular games or clones of popular games. You can even buy optional accessories for both the Tablet and the Caplet such as optional audio/video cables to connect the gaming machines to a television. You can even buy starter kits for about ten dollars which includes a carrying case, lanyard, screen cleaner and a protector.

The Tablet sells for about $29.99. It is round in size and features a bright 2 inch TFT LCD screen. The tablet houses 25 games, including Frogger. Frogger is an arcade classic that challenges the player to navigate a frog across a highway and a river.

The Tablet also includes some clone or knock off games of some favorites such as Lord of the Jewels. This game is a knockoff of the beloved game Tetris, with a new twist. In Lord of the Jewels you can swap the colors inside the falling piece to create a three in a row pattern.

Tablet also includes Mutant Hunt which plays a lot like the World War II shooter 1942 and Battle Blocks that is a lot like Arkanoid. In Mutant Hunt you control a pilot who must shoot down the enemy. In Battle Blocks you control a ball and you try to keep it from escaping from your paddle as you destroy colored bricks on the screen.

Then there is the game Billboards Master. This game is a pool simulator game that can be played by one or two players.

Tablet is controlled by directional buttons on the left side of the game machine. On the right side is also two more control buttons, which are larger labeled A and B.

A few quips about Tablet are that it has no headphone settings, you can’t save your progress if you need to turn it off, even though it does have a pause button and there are no in game instructions.

You can buy the Tablet in such colors as: lime green, off white or magenta.

Caplet sells for about $39.99. It is similar to Tablet. It has a 7 inch wide screen.

Why is it more expensive than Tablet? One reason is that it hosts 35 games instead of just 25 and it has a headphone jack for private listening.

It features three retro classics: Space Invaders (in which you blast down aliens), Burger Time and Bust a Move (the popular bubble popping game).

Many of the rest of the 32 games are based on 1980’s classics, yet they are no name title games. Adventures of Waldo is similar to Mario Brothers in that you must jump on ledges, avoid bugs and collect fruit. Magic Jelly is like Bomberman in which the player plants bombs to destroy the bad men.

Just like with Tablet, you can’t save your progress when playing Caplet and it doesn’t come with any game instructions.

Caplet comes in blue, gray, orange or red colors.

Neither Caplet nor Tablet comes with rechargeable batteries like Nintendo Gameboy. Caplets and Tablet runs off of three AAA batteries.

Should you buy a Tablet or a Caplet game system for your child? It isn’t a bad deal price wise. Either machine may be a good starter system for a child to see how your child will take care of a system. You should help your child learn how to play the games, though since they don’t come with instructions.

Another game system to watch out for is the upcoming Disney based gaming machine from VG Pocket called GAMEit. This system will come with preloaded games featuring beloved Disney characters.

Forge of Empires Cheats

Cheats for Forge of Empires

Recently I’ve been playing a lot of Forge of Empires, it’s without a doubt my new favorite mobile game. There’s a lot of strategy involved in the game, which makes it very fun to play. It’s also quite balanced. There’s one thing that throws off the balance though and that’s that you can pay real money to get ahead through micro-transactions. Luckily one of my friends who also plays the game know of a site that offers Forge of Empires Cheats which allows me to generate resources, coins and diamonds for free. It has helped me a lot in staying competitive in the game, without having to spend thousands of dollars. You might think that I’m exaggerating when I say thousands of dollars, but the people in the top Forge of Empires clans actually spend way more than that. I simply could not afford to keep spending $100+ a month on a mobile game so I’m glad that there’s a website out there that offers cheats for Forge of Empires.

To be fair, I’m not sure exactly how these Forge of Empires cheats work, but they do the job and I’ve been using them for months without having my account getting in any trouble. If you’re a fan of strategy games like me you can download Forge of Empires here for Android or here for iOS. I highly recommend the game if you’re looking for a new game to play, and if you do decide to start playing then you should definitely use the cheats I mentioned. They will make Forge of Empires so much more enjoyable. I would not know what to do without them, I might have quit the game already if it wasn’t for those cheats. Although I do have to admit that the game is quite time consuming and pretty addicting. I used to not be a very big fan of mobile games, but Forge of Empires has converted me and convinced me that mobile games can be just as fun and challenging as games on PC!


Nanotechnology Fabrication Takes Massive Leap

Nanotech Fabrication

Nanotube fabrication took another leap forward with the announcement in the journal Advanced Materials of a method for creating the ultra-small structures in virtually any length desired. A research team in the Department of Mechanical Science and Engineering at the University of Illinois have created a system akin to a fountain pen for the process.
The project, led by Professor Min-Feng Yu, fabricated a micropipette with an aperture just 100 nanometers wide, and connected it to a reservoir filled with the special ink to create freestanding nanoblocks, wires, and tubes as long as 16 millimeters.

“The process is like drawing with a fountain pen – the ink comes out and quickly dries or ‘solidifies,’ ” said Yu in a press release from the University of Illinois. “But, unlike drawing with a fountain pen, we can draw objects in three dimensions.”

The technique is similar to one developed by a colleague at Illinois revealed earlier this year, but her process used a pipette roughly ten times larger than that used in this process, and also required the creation of a new type of ink.

The breakthrough process shows promise in a variety of fields, ranging from electronics to power transmission, and could revolutionize microchip technology. And perhaps, beyond. As a proof the versatility of the technology, the team created a variety of nanostructures from materials as diverse as sugar, potassium hydroxide (a commonly used chemical in manufacturing), and densely packed quantum dots.

Current manufacture of electronic circuits requires careful etching and deposition of ceramo-metallic substances within the etches to build microcircuits, and that technology is rapidly approaching its limits in scaling. The possibility with the sol-gel process is to directly write the circuits onto the substrate, eliminating the painstaking etching and templating process. The etching and templating process creates impurities that can cause up to one in ten of the manufactured microcircuits to be unusable and end up as trash.

“Our procedure offers an economically viable alternative for the direct-write manufacture of nanofibers made from many materials,” Yu said. “In addition, the process can be used to integrate nanoscale and microscale components.”

Principal authors of the paper were graduate students Abhijit Suryavanshi and Jie Hu, working under Yu’s supervision. Work was funded in part by the Grainger Foundation, the National Science Foundation, the Office of Naval Research, and the U.S. Department of Energy.

Advanced Materials published the article January 31 on its website in advance of it going to print.

How the Internet Has Improved My Quality of Life as a Blind Man

The internet improved my life

There are many technological innovations which have improved quality of life for blind people such as myself. There’s the screenreader, speech synthesizer, refreshable Braille display, notetakers, and even a couple talking GPS systems. It is my opinion, however, that no innovation has had as big an impact as the internet. The internet has opened many doors to us which either weren’t open, or were cluttered with obstacles in the past.
First, the internet, and email in particular, allows for easier communication with friends and family, both blind and sighted. In the past, if you wanted to send a sighted person a letter, you could record it on tape, type it up on a typewriter, or have someone write it in print for you. Now, you can send off an email in a matter of seconds. It’s even made communicating with other blind people easier. For one thing, not all blind people, even those of us who are totally blind, read braille. For another, braille paper isn’t cheap. In short, the internet has made written communication for the blind much more simple.

The internet has made it easier than ever for myself and other blind people to pay our own bills. In the past, you’d either have to use telephone banking, have a friend or family member help you write your checks, or use some sort of cumbersome check guide. Now, I log on to the site of whoever I need to pay, or onto my bank’s website, and set up the payment in a few minutes. No more hoping my friend wrote the right amount on the check, no more mailing the payment.

The internet has also opened up a world of material which used to only be available in printed form. Now, I can read the newspaper, look up phone numbers and addresses, search for information, and research products with just a few keyboard commands. No more having to ask someone to transcribe printed materials for me, or to read them out loud. Now, almost any magazine or newspaper I want to read, or any subject I want more information on, is available online.

Probably the biggest thing the internet has done for me as a blind person is given me more personal freedom in shopping. In the past, I’d either have to go to the store with someone, or go alone and hope the store would provide an employee to assist me without complaining too much. Grocery stores are usually willing to do this, but in my experience, most department stores and non-grocery stores, if they do provide assistance, do it grudgingly. Now, when it’s time to buy Christmas presents for my wife, I can simply go to whatever online store I want, find the products I want, add them to my cart, and order them. Then, I can choose to have the items shipped to me, or in many cases, choose in-store pick-up and pick them up when we’re out and about. I can also take my time picking things out, and not have to worry that the sighted worker assisting me is going to be in a hurry, or not have to take up a family member or friend’s time.

I realize the above items have also made life easier for most sighted people. The difference is, it’s given me more independence; it’s simply given you another choice. The internet is a wonderful thing; let’s never forget it.