Any computer nerds willing to help a crip get into gaming?

No need for a lot of background. Suffice it to say I’m totally paralyzed and have to use an on screen keyboard to operate a computer. All full screen games overide my keyboard so I can’t enter any commands. Any help would be a godsend.

This is the system I use


Try text-based adventure games. They tend to be complex and fun, without requiring difficult timing challenges or excessively complicated commands. Basically, you get a text description of what your character is and what’s going on, and then you type in a command, which your character will then do. Note that they are rather difficult in terms of winning, so if you’re just looking for a quick and easy experience, you probably won’t like them.

A few: Nethack, Zork, Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy.

Can you go to a dual monitor setup? keyboard on one screen, game on the other? I’m not familiar with the software, and don’t have a system I can install it on, and try.


I’d note that Nethack is a rather different type of game than Zork and HGttG. Nethack is a roguelike game (genre named after the first such game, Rogue - inventive, yes?). In these games you play on an overhead view, with monsters/dungeon features/etc represented by letters and other characters. Typically the goal is to get to the bottom of the dungeon (with the dungeon becoming more dangerous the lower you go) and defeat the boss there. In Nethack, you also have to bring a certain amulet up out of the dungeon and sacrifice it to your patron deity, with the aforementioned boss reviving and reattacking you along the way.
These games are generally quite unforgiving - if you die, you have to start over from the beginning with a new character. Winning is a process of dying many times to figure out how the game works, and learn how to survive. They can be pretty intricate (see all the ways to kill yourself with a cockatrice corpse in Nethack).
There are many, many roguelikes out there. Another you might want to check out is DoomRL, based on the famous FPS Doom. Here’s a gameplay video with commentary if you want to see what it’s like without downloading anything.

Zork and HGttG meanwhile, are text adventures (or interactive fiction). As you might guess, they’re text based. Surroundings and things that happen are described in text, you type text commands to do things, and the results of your actions are described in text.
As a commercial genre, text adventures are thoroughly dead (Zork is from 1980, and HGttG is from 1984), but interactive fiction is very much alive as indie games. There is an annual Interactive Fiction Competition since 1995, and if pick one of the top rated games from any year, it’s likely to be good. For a random suggestion, try Photopia. Touching story (though considerably more linear than most IF).

I’m not sure about the dual monitor set up, I’ll have one of kids try. My problem isn’t the speed of the game,I would like to try something like Civilization but the game covers up my keyboard.

It is possible to play Civilization IV in windowed mode, though the option is well hidden. Here’s a how to.

I’m wondering if computer versions of boardgames would work.
Most of the ones I’ve looked at recently are heavily mouse driven, though most do not take up the full screen.

There is always play by mail, or a variant - play by forum:


I’d recommend old Lucasarts adventure games like The Secret of Monkey Island or Day of the Tentacle. They’re fun brain teasers with funny dialouge and interesting plots. Best of all, you only need to use the mouse to play them.

I believe ScummVM, the adventure game emulator, allows you to play them in windowed mode.

Blinkie, are you able to use a mouse in any way? Do you have some program that allows you to move a cursor?

If you’ve got a big enough monitor this would probably be an option on most every game. You can almost always find an option or a mod to allow a windowed mode.


Thanks! That’s what I need.
I can operate a mouse with my head and can play simple board games but this opens an avenue that can mentally challenge me.

There’s a demo of Civ4. See if you can get the demo to work with your setup before you buy.

I have the game . Got it for my birthday, now I can play!

I third (fourth?) the Interactive Fiction option both for breadth of free games available and easy pacing. To give you a bit more information you need to install an “interpreter” which is a program that takes the rules for the game and presents it for you. I use Frotz which has versions available for any platform. Then you have to get the game itself and most of those can be downloaded from

Turn based strategy games are a very good option as well since you have a mouse and keyboard. Unfortunately as a genre it has almost completely vanished. The Civilization series is one of the last outposts of it for the PC.

Finally you mentioned board games so I thought I should point out which focuses on physical board games but they maintain a very long list of board games that have been translated to the PC. Since the list of games is also tied up to a lot of information about the physical game you’ll be able to get a lot of options.

Then there’s nothing else to say but happy playing. :slight_smile:

If you want more in games in the turn based strategy genre, Galactic Civilizations 2 is also an excellent game. Works in windowed mode too.

If you’ve got a Mouse, that’s all you pretty much need to playConquer Club, an online game that’s pretty much the equivalent of playing Risk, but with tons of maps and all. I’d urge you to give that one a shot (it’s free but you have a limit of playing up to only 4 games at one time- games are turn based, and you have 24 hours to take your turn, but it can go much quicker than that), or if you choose to pay- then you can play unlimited games.

This this this. Everyone should play Photopia!

THANKS GUYS! This really opens a new world to me


Feel free to post questions about Civ IV if you have them. There’s more than a few players around here, and we all love talking about it.

There’s also a great board called where you can learn more than you’d ever want to know about Civ.

One hint: Never trust Isabelle. Never, ever, ever. :smiley:

Text adventure isn’t completely dead. Dragonrealms is a text based MMO I used to play on AOL back in '95 or so and it is still alive and kicking out on the web.

I’m not sure if it’s you’re thing blinkie, but all you need is to be able to read and type. It’s a lot of fun and I go back and join up every few years.