Ten Games with Great Accessibility Design Lessons

Board Games with Great Lessons for Accessible Design

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I know it looks like it, but this isn’t a top ten list. Yes, it’s a list. Yes it contains ten(ish) games. Yes it’s in the template that I’ve used for previous top tens on the site. But there’s an important reason why this doesn’t count as a top ten – it’s not actually ranked. It’s just a ten. Not a top ten. It’s a thing. Yes it is. Okay, it’s not. But I’m making it a thing.

This site, as you may have noticed, has something of a focus on accessibility and it’s not something we’ve really emphasized much in our top tens to date. We’ve done one on board game apps, one on video games for board gamers, and our recurring general top tens (2017 and 2018) at the end of the year. Accessibility, in those features, is at best a side note. That’s not good enough.

Today’s special feature then is going to address that. Here are ten (ish) games that have great accessibility lessons to impart – not lessons that are specific to their design but rather lessons that are widely generalisable to all kinds of games. In other words – look to these games for good design lessons for accessibility.

They won’t work for every game. They won’t be appropriate in every case where they’d work. There’s clever design in here though and you might be surprised at how much of an impact they’d make if you have an opportunity to draw inspiration.

Cards in Blank

For this list, I’m not including games that have fantastic accessibility features that are bound up in their own idiosyncratic design. Blank from Hub Games for example is probably the single most cognitively adaptable game on the market but ‘turn your rulebook into a roll and write’ has less applicability than you’d maybe think. Cards Against Humanity (I know, I know) has some of the clearest and most visually distinctive graphic design in gaming. Unless you’re doing ‘words on a card’ as the entire core of your game it might be difficult to learn much from it.

So, with no further ado – ten(ish) games with great accessible design features that game designers should emulate!

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