Love is Blind - Color Blind Gaming and how we can help
Joel Carlson
United States
Pepperell
Massachusetts
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This has come up a few times in recent conversation with gamer friends, and I think it is worth discussing as a community.

Color Blindness seems to be, for whatever reason, a relatively common feature in gamers. I have no idea what the stats are on this, but more than a few times I've been witness to fellow gamers gaze in dismay at a handful of cards that are identical, save for the colored bars that are so obvious to the rest of us.

I would like to see BGG embrace this issue and help elevate it to designers by putting a "Color Blind Friendly" rating, akin to the language dependence/conversion description. I think it would be a valuable service to the gaming community.

Let me know what you think! I've posted a few games on the list that I think make for good and bad examples of design for my friends!

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1. Board Game: Battlestar Galactica: The Board Game [Average Rating:7.74 Overall Rank:65]
Joel Carlson
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Pepperell
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One of my all time favorite games is, sadly, a catalyst for this list. The tiny cards that allow players to pass challenges and foil humans (as the Cylon traitor) are virtually identical, save for the color.

To make matters worse, the Red/Green/Blue/Yellow palette is pretty tough, and making a mistake can easily expose you as a traitor or make your fellow humans think you're a Cylon! While this may be fun for the rest of us in a diabolic way, my CB friends are not so lucky...
 
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2. Board Game: Tigris & Euphrates [Average Rating:7.71 Overall Rank:72]
Joel Carlson
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Pepperell
Massachusetts
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Another classic that seems like it could be very tough. The hidden cube scoring relies on being able to quickly differentiate colors and.. you guessed it... there are red and green cubes.

The tiles have different artwork, so that isn't so bad
 
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3. Board Game: Nightfall [Average Rating:6.52 Overall Rank:1450] [Average Rating:6.52 Unranked]
Joel Carlson
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Pepperell
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This is a bad one... my buddy almost killed himself peering at Moons in the corners of the cards, trying to setup combos. Eeesh!
 
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4. Board Game: Blue Moon [Average Rating:6.71 Overall Rank:974]
Joel Carlson
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Pepperell
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Ah ha! This is actually a great example of a game that has no color issues. Blue Moon's elements are backed by pictures, and always hold relative position on the cards.

All of the factions have very unique art, and the combos in the game are all text-dependent.
 
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5. Board Game: Ticket to Ride [Average Rating:7.45 Overall Rank:139] [Average Rating:7.45 Unranked]
Clare Cannon
Wales
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Ticket to ride has symbols for each train colour as well making it easy for those who struggle with the colours.
The symbols are also printed on the coloured routes on the board
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6. Board Game: Through the Desert [Average Rating:7.06 Overall Rank:446]
Evan Dunn
United States
Brooklyn
New York
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I took some paint markers and put different patterns on the side of the camels so my colorblind friend had a hope of telling the camel colors apart.
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7. Board Game: Innovation [Average Rating:7.24 Overall Rank:304]
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Each of the 5 colours has a matching symbol which appears between the symbols on each card, and the reference card includes the symbol look-up list. Very clearly aimed at making sure colourblind players aren't left behind.

Sadly, the IELLO edition doesn't appear to have made the same concessions.
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