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Subject: Helping the Disabled Game rss

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Pablito A
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I went to college was a young woman who had been born with severe spastic cerebral palsy. I got to know her because I lost a huge amount of my vision in college and ended up on the floor for people with disabilities. She was an amazing woman and she really changed how I viewed the world.

She was, to put it mildly, simply brilliant. I’m no dimbulb but she was… scary smart. Her challenge was the CP affected her ability to speak and move in any sort of coordinated fashion. The fact that she was witty, humorous, and phenomenally creative was hidden by her disability. Her biggest frustration was that nearly everyone assumed she significantly learning disabled. To quote her, “Everybody thinks I’m f***ing retarded. I f***ing hate people.” Yes, yes, yes I know the word is inappropriate.

She use to come over to my room and play Russian Campaign in the evenings. I put little magnetic stickers on the backs of each unit and mounted the map on the wall. Yea it took forever to go through all her units but we worked out a system. I really enjoyed hanging out with her. But… It was really tough to get her to go anywhere to meet new people because of the assumptions that would be made about her and how most people wrote her off as soon as they saw her. I did manage to get a couple people off the floor to learn Cosmic Encounters. We’d hang out and play. It was very very cool. I had to play like I didn't know what her cards were but she didn’t mind. Unfortunately I've lost track of her.

Now a days… My vision is pretty mucked up and while some people are glad to help out with reading text or identifying colors, many seem to view it as an inconvenience. “Can’t you read?” or “Can’t you see that?” The answer to the second question would be no… I asked for help for a reason. Case in point, last year I went to a meet up at a person's house. They wanted to play Arkham Horror but wanted to play with the lights so dim I couldn't see squat. I said I was fine with the low light but added that I'd need help reading and seeing things... No one was exactly thrilled with that either. I sat out for a while before leaving.

So the question is… At what point would helping a person with a disability detract from your enjoyment of a game?
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Anna F.
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My condolences for your terrible experience.

I haven't had your exact experience but probably the closest thing would be that I play with elderly people somewhat often. We are usually more than OK with reiterating rules for hearing impairment and helping differentiate pieces for visual impairment.

When it gets problematic is when they don't want to play by the rules or insist you play easy on them because then it's not really a game anymore.
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'Bernard Wingrave'
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To me it sounds like you were asking for reasonable accommodation.

I'm just one person, but for me, a couple of things come to mind:

If I have to look at hidden information that I'm not supposed to see in order to help someone, then I'm not really playing the game as it was intended to be played -- I'm now a game facilitator. If I know that going into the game, then it might not be a big deal.

If a game is going to take a lot (say, two or more times) longer than I expected due to helping someone, that's another possibility for detracting from enjoyment.
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Julian Wasson
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Who cares if it detracts from my enjoyment of the game? You have to live with a disability! I can read your cards to you or turn the lights on, it's fine. I mean if you're a jerk about it, that's one thing, but if you just need a little help and ask nicely? What kind of jerk would get all pissy about that?

I might avoid certain games with certain disabilities, or opt to be more like a facilitator? Like, if you needed help reading, that's okay, but I would generally avoid games that relied on a lot of hidden information, or if you had difficulty with fine motor control I might avoid games with lots of fiddly bits.
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Pablito A
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snapdragon23 wrote:
My condolences for your terrible experience.

I haven't had your exact experience but probably the closest thing would be that I play with elderly people somewhat often. We are usually more than OK with reiterating rules for hearing impairment and helping differentiate pieces for visual impairment.

When it gets problematic is when they don't want to play by the rules or insist you play easy on them because then it's not really a game anymore.


Not really a terrible experience, but it wasn't eye opening either... so to speak. I understand people wanting to get into the atmosphere of a game and I understand that there are hardcore gamers out there that want a "pure" experience. I've always been more than happy to allow others play as they like... But if you make the lights really dim... Don't blame me if I pull out my tactical flashlight and blind everybody when I try to find my standee.
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At a private residence, we did have a blind person game with us. We did Wits & Wagers. After everyone put in their responses, he would say his and someone else would write in it for him on his answer white board. We would then say which slot he'd like to bet on after everyone threw in their bets, and we'd read them out loud. He only came that one night. Otherwise, I'm thinking it may have been rough, as we don't always play party games, and strategy, euro, other standard fare would've tested some folk's patience.


At one group, a talk brought up if someone was deaf, whereas one person replied "I would never play with a deaf person".


I have played games with folks who are motor impaired, so placing cubes, moving pieces, or drawing cards takes 5x as long as typical, so that could really add to the game time. For the most part, others are happy to help such folks with that by doing it for them, and setting up card racks helps with a hand of cards.
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Mark Watson
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Get off my lawn wrote:
“Can’t you see that?” The answer to the second question would be no… I asked for help for a reason.


Were they aware of the reason though? If someone tells me they can't see something then I'd usually ask why unless I already knew the reason - there's a bit of a difference in what I'm going to do if someone tells me they can't see due to visual acuity versus being unable to see due to poor lighting.

It's not just about my enjoyment, but also that of the other players. If someone has problems reading the small text on Arkham Horror's cards for example I'd rather go fetch a table lamp and magnifying glass than read their cards for them; it's not that I'm unwilling to do so if necessary but I figure they're going to enjoy the game a lot more if they're able to play it themselves rather than having to rely on someone else.

One thing I've found quite useful when going to meet ups these days is to take at least one miniature game (or miniature including game). It can be helpful when you do have players with visual impairments or problems distinguishing colour to be able to swap pieces out for something a little more distinctive and easier to see, even if you do end up with a somewhat Lord of the Rings flavoured Keyflower.
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Pablito A
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Archonsod wrote:
Get off my lawn wrote:
“Can’t you see that?” The answer to the second question would be no… I asked for help for a reason.


Were they aware of the reason though? If someone tells me they can't see something then I'd usually ask why unless I already knew the reason - there's a bit of a difference in what I'm going to do if someone tells me they can't see due to visual acuity versus being unable to see due to poor lighting.

It's not just about my enjoyment, but also that of the other players. If someone has problems reading the small text on Arkham Horror's cards for example I'd rather go fetch a table lamp and magnifying glass than read their cards for them; it's not that I'm unwilling to do so if necessary but I figure they're going to enjoy the game a lot more if they're able to play it themselves rather than having to rely on someone else.

One thing I've found quite useful when going to meet ups these days is to take at least one miniature game (or miniature including game). It can be helpful when you do have players with visual impairments or problems distinguishing colour to be able to swap pieces out for something a little more distinctive and easier to see, even if you do end up with a somewhat Lord of the Rings flavoured Keyflower.


I bring lights and magnifiers almost everywhere I go. I dislike having to rely on other people. But sometimes it just doesn't work out.
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Dan Mansfield
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ackmondual wrote:
At one group, a talk brought up if someone was deaf, whereas one person replied "I would never play with a deaf person".


Huh? Wow, that's rather prejudiced. I'm deaf, and I can play pretty much any game unless it involves a long, drawn-out narrative. Even so, I've played Imperial Assault; all the Imperial player had to do was read the narrative and then let me read the text, covering up the other information with a sticky note.

That would almost be like saying, "I would never play with a woman." (I'll play with fun women over rude guys any day.)
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Sredni Vashtar wrote:
ackmondual wrote:
At one group, a talk brought up if someone was deaf, whereas one person replied "I would never play with a deaf person".


Huh? Wow, that's rather prejudiced. I'm deaf, and I can play pretty much any game unless it involves a long, drawn-out narrative. Even so, I've played Imperial Assault; all the Imperial player had to do was read the narrative and then let me read the text, covering up the other information with a sticky note.

That would almost be like saying, "I would never play with a woman." (I'll play with fun women over rude guys any day.)
I was taken aback by that comment since that guy is otherwise a good member to game with.

FWIW, I would probably attribute it more to preferences vs. prejudice. Even though disabilities can create hindrances, I suppose he simply didn't know any better? And TBF, such preferences have extended to some very odd and extreme things too, like if a game can't play with a certain time limit (so someone expects a game to finish within the time limit, but for most folks, they need to add an hour since they simply can't move THAT fast, even if there are folks that could play that fast), or any game by a certain designer, etc.
 
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BG Innovation
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Both my husband and myself are disabled. He has MS, and any day he can have an exacerbation that leaves him with vision issues, increased spasticity etc. We have been very lucky with the course of his disease.

I have multiple autoimmune disorders that take their toll. In addition I have dyslexia and spatial reasoning issues. So far those we have played with, at conventions, and in our home have been wonderful. I do make sure to bow out occasionally so everyone can play a Robo Rally or other game that totally confuses me.

If someone invited me, and insisted on playing a game with spatial reasoning, and then refused to help me, I'd be upset.

If your ever in the Raleigh area, I'd read your cards for you.

Elaine
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J Holmes
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The only disability I wont play with is analysis paralysis.
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