During my Christmas holiday, I was blessed to be able to spend over a week at home with my family. I got to clear my head from work and freelancing and focus on quality time with my wife and daughters. A significant element of relaxing and having fun for me is playing games, which we did over the holiday. It was those games and conversations my wife and I had at the end of the holiday that got me to thinking again about accessibility and gaming. As I have mentioned here before, my wife has Multiple Sclerosis and I am her caregiver. As we live life together with MS, we have had to make adjustments in our life which include our hobbies. We have found ways over the years to make gaming more accessible and enjoyable for Angie. A new adjustment we have made was an extended discussion about furnishings in our home. I have been contemplating purchasing a gaming table from one of the various providers now in the industry. But, as we gamed together and discussed it over the holiday, we realized that the recessed gaming area would be impossible for Angie to access. While a game table is a wonderful addition to a gaming household for many people, such a table would be difficult for my wife and take away from her enjoyment of the games. She would have difficult reaching down into the gaming area, which I hadn’t thought of that until I really watched her playing games over the holiday and how she reaches her game cards and components. Accessibility is something you have to take notice of deliberately and make modifications accordingly. We discussed Angie’s gaming experience at length and decided a game table is not right for us. That means we are staying with our dining room table but looking at gaming mats and chair sliders/casters to make the table friendlier to Angie when she games.
I bring up the topic of gaming and accessibility here on the blog again as that holiday conversation with my wife and two recent posts by Erin Hawley (see below) really got me focused on accessibility and gaming at the start of this new year. You may not realize how many people are out there enjoy the gaming hobby and have accessibility challenges. As a caregiver, I experience it and am sensitive to the need. I am hoping I can add another voice to this discussion to increase awareness and offer some suggestions for learning even more. So, if you have family or friends with accessibility challenges, are a game designer developing new games, a publisher looking at games to possibly release, or a crafter who offers accessories and furnishings for games, then here are some individuals and companies to help you learn more about accessibility and gaming. I hope these might help find or create products that are more accessible and thus available to more people to enjoy.
Erin Hawley – The Geeky Gimp
Disabled latina writer, podcaster at #GeekGirlRiot, tabletop/video game enthusiast, #comics fan, & watcher of hockey.
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Six Board Game Accessibility Fails and How to Hack Them (Part 1 | Part 2)
Accessibility in Game Design – Guest Post by Erin Hawley
Meeple Like Us
Board-game reviews with an accessibility focus. Persistently controversial. The bad boy of board games. Bad to the board.
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Meeple Like Us Master Accessibility List
What other individuals or companies do you recommend that support accessibility in gaming? What questions do you have about Multiple Sclerosis or accessibility and gaming? Please comment below and let’s discuss this topic.