To some people, physical challenge is not a barrier to exceptional talent.
This is the case with Sven Van de Wege, a professional gamer who plays Street Fighter by sound alone.
When Sven lost his sight to cancer at the age of six he taught he would never play video games again. He ended up being a super champ in it to the extent he is now known as Sven The Blind Warrior.
Today, “Blind Warrior Sven” is a competitive gamer who trounces some of the world’s best players at his favorite game “Street Fighter.” It is always an amazing site watching Sven use his razor sharp gaming instincts to punish his opponents.
What is very stunning is how Sven turned his handicap into an advantage that made him a celebrated professional gamer.
After his tragic sight loss, Sven was determined to keep playing video games. His plan was simple, but would take a tremendous amount of discipline. He would start by learning to play “Street Fighter II” using the sound effects of the game alone!
What’s amazing about Sven’s first victory is that he’d only been playing “Street Fighter V” for a year when he won the match. Since then, Blind Warrior Sven has become an international icon in the world of gaming.
Modern brain scientists say that hearing and vision are processed by the same part of the human brain. This means, the more visual stimulation your brain gets, the less “bandwidth” it has to process what you’re hearing.
The extra brain power in a brain that gets no visual stimulation goes towards processing auditory input. This is exactly how Blind Warrior Sven uses only his bat like hearing to exploit the weaknesses of his opponents. But there’s more to Sven’s superhuman ability.
The human brain can also rewire itself to make up for visual handicaps by enhancing other faculties. Brain scientists call this “neuroplasticity.” Here’s what Corinna M. Bauer, a scientists and instructor of ophthalmology at Harvard Medical School, said in a report about this miraculous phenomenon:
“Our results demonstrate that the structural and functional neuroplastic brain changes occurring as a result of early ocular blindness may be more widespread than initially thought. We observed significant changes not only in the occipital cortex (where vision is processed), but also areas implicated in memory, language processing, and sensory motor functions.”
This means that a brain which no longer has to process visual information will rewire itself to enhance memory, language procession and motor functions, according to Dr. Bauer. So, Sven might have lost his eyesight, but he traded it for a set of “superpowers,” that make him deadly to his opponents.
Via Oddity Central