Gaming charity SpecialEffect is staging an amicable (and very welcome) takeover of the PC Gamer Community Forums this week, so we want to take this time to highlight some of the excellent work its team carries out to ensure everyone has equal access to the videogames we love.
If you aren't familiar with the UK-based charity, it strives to offer gamers with physical disabilities the equipment required to allow everyone to game at their very best. One way it's going about its mission is with EyeMine, a free software package that enables players to interact with Minecraft with eye movement alone.
With only a small range of eye movement required—to select between five large on-screen buttons in the most pared back mode—the EyeMine software is able to offer a range of actions in-game: including walking, flying, and attacking. With greater range of tracking and some more on-screen furniture, it's able to deliver complete access to crafting, building, and even chat functionality.
If you know of any incredible Minecraft worlds that might be a good fit for eye tracking, and easy to navigate with basic controls, let SpecialEffect know over in the forums.
The software supports a number of widely-available eye trackers, including those from Tobii (such as the plug and play Tobii Eye Tracker 4C), most trackers built into gaming laptops, and assistive units from MyGaze and Alea. Other eye trackers are likely compatible in mouse emulation mode, too.
You can find the full list of compatible eye trackers over at the EyeMine GitHub page. That's also where you'll find a zipped and up-to-date release with everything you need to get started.
Otherwise, all that's required is a Windows PC and a Minecraft account—you can even test the software first to ensure it's all up-and-running before buying the game.
EyeMine was built by Kirsty McNaught for SpecialEffect, and first released in 2018. It's a game-specific fork of the free Optikey software that enables a breadth of PC control through eye tracking.
And if you're no Minecraft aficionado, you can still help out by showing your support for the charity whichever way you can. If you can spare a donation, SpecialEffect would love to have it. You can find the SpecialEffect donation page here.
The charity continues to work on new and innovative ways to connect gamers to the games they love. It recently worked with Logitech G, Cherry Rae, and The Able Gamers Charity to design and release the Adaptive Gaming Kit—a collection of buttons and switches built for the Xbox Adaptive Controller and designed to tear down some of the barriers facing traditional layouts—and the colourful G Pro special editions. It's also working with Sun and Moon Studios on a collection of eye tracking-compatible games for the web.