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Fred’s Head, offered by the American Printing House for the Blind, contains tips, techniques, tutorials, in-depth articles, and resources for and by blind or visually impaired people. Our blog is named after the legendary Fred Gissoni, renowned for answering a seemingly infinite variety of questions on every aspect of blindness.

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Wednesday, March 04, 2009

Play An Audio Version of Who Wants To Be A Millionaire At Your Next Party or Convention

It won't be long before the Kentucky School for the Blind's Alumni Association meets for another year of fun and memories. We have a reunion on campus every year, usually close to graduation. This gives us a chance to reconnect with old friends, and to make some new ones.

This year I thought of doing a Who Wants To Be A Millionaire trivia game night. I really like doing these kinds of events, especially with the game show theme. I want to make the experience as real as possible, even using the music if I can find it.

The first place I went to start putting the event together was Google. Every search starts with Google it seems. I was looking for three things, a basic guide and instructions for the game, audio files, and some way to play those files in the same way the TV show does.

It wasn't too long before I came across Brendan Harris' website and discovered his "How to make your own Who Wants to be a Millionaire TV show" page. This is great, but a little too complicated for me. I don't need cameras and lighting and all that fancy stuff. I was able to find the Who Wants To Be A Millionaire sound effect files from his site. I bookmarked this page and continued my Google search.

My search soon turned up James J. Cochran's paper on Who Wants To Be A Millionaire: The Classroom Edition. This gave me some great ideas of how to modify the original gameplay so the maximum number of people could play the game. I wasn't interested in using his Power Point presentation, but it did look cool.

Now, I have the rules and the sounds. All I need to complete this little project is some way to play the sounds. One thing that I love about the TV show is that the music is almost constant, and very coordinated with the gameplay. How could I pull this off?

I sat around for most of an evening trying to figure this out. I soon remembered some very basic games for preschool children. I specifically remember a program that allowed the keyboard to play audio files with the press of a key. That's all it did. If I could find a program like that, I'd be in business. Well, it's back to Google again.

This time, my search found something rather quickly from the Freeware World Team website. Scroll down the page and you'll find a program called Baseball Audio File Player. "This program allows you to create banks of sound effects you can play by pressing a button with your mouse or just pressing one of the keys on your keyboard. Pressing a number key (0-9) will switch the soundbank, pressing a letter key (a-z) will play a sound. The program uses a config file in which the key-to-sound mapping is specified."

I immediately downloaded this program, and loaded the audio files I had previously downloaded for the game. It worked great. Now, we will have the correct sound for whatever is going on. Now all I have to do is find some trivia questions, not a difficult job with all the websites out there that specialize in trivia. Wouldn't this be cool for playing Family Feud or Greed?

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