Friday, July 29, 2005

Does he play by sense of smell? 

Brice Mellen is a whiz at video games such as "Mortal Kombat." In that regard, the 17-year-old isn't much different from so many others his age. Except for one thing: He's blind.

And as he easily dispatched foes who took him on recently at a Lincoln gaming center, the affable and smiling Mellen remained humble.

"I can't say that I'm a superpro," he said, working the controller like an extension of his body. "I can be beat." ...

Blind since birth when his optic nerve didn't connect because of Leber's disease, Mellen honed his video game skills over the years through patient and not-so-patient playing, memorizing key joystick operations and moves in certain games, asking lots of questions and paying particular attention to audio cues. He worked his way up from games such as "Space Invaders" and "Asteroid," onto the modern combat games.

"I guess I don't know how I do it, really," Mellen said, as he continued playing while facing away from the screen. "It's beyond me." ...

How Mellen became so good is a mystery to his father.

"He just sat there and he tried and tried until he got it right," Larry Mellen said. "He didn't ever complain to me or anyone about how hard it was."

Mellen hangs out any chance he gets at the DogTags Gaming Center in Lincoln, which opened last month. Every now and then someone will come in and think he can easily beat the blind kid.

That attitude doesn't faze Mellen.

"I'll challenge them, maybe. If I feel like a challenge," he said, displaying an infectious confidence. "I freak people out by playing facing backwards."


By Blogger Cardinalpark, at Fri Jul 29, 12:11:00 PM:

TH - do you think everybody understands the Pete Townshend title?  

By Blogger TigerHawk, at Fri Jul 29, 12:54:00 PM:

The cool people do.  

By Blogger cakreiz, at Fri Jul 29, 03:13:00 PM:

Cardinal: rats, you beat me to it.  

By Anonymous Kathy K, at Sat Jul 30, 11:56:00 AM:

Wow - that's the first time I've been 'cool' in decades!


By Anonymous Anonymous, at Tue Oct 04, 09:26:00 AM:

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