Accessible Game Day is a success

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Participants partake in Accessible Game Day in Hale Library. (Mara Aberle | Collegian Media Group)

One hundred fourteen people attended the Accessible Game Day held in Hale Library on Oct. 3, said Angie Brunk and Daniel Ireton, Academic Service librarians and organizers of the event. 

The event provided board games modified for people with disabilities, Brunk said.

Aaron Savoy, junior in accounting, said he decided to come to the event after seeing an email about it. 

“Not only do I get to play with people who I have not known since today, but I get to socialize with them as well,” Savoy said. “That’s one of the best things about board games. It’s not through a cellphone or technology, it’s face to face.”

 Avalon, a social deduction game, was popular among students, Brunk said.

“It was one that we spent a particular amount of time creating modifications for to make it more accessible, so it was nice to see that work,” Ireton said.

Avalon involves players voting in secret using tokens printed with the words “yes” or “no,” Ireton said. With the modification, players placed tactile tokens in a small bag to vote, accommodating people who are visually impaired, Ireton said.

“If you had just the printed ones, but you were visually impaired, you might not be able to see the difference at all, and if you have to ask, well that’s breaking the game right there. That information has to stay secret,” Ireton said.

Tactile tokens allow the players to discern between votes by touch, Ireton said.

This modification to Avalon enhances the overall gameplay, as keeping the tokens in the bag adds to the mysticism of the game, Brunk said.

 Cards Against Humanity was another popular game, Ireton and Brunk said.

“Nobody touched Apples to Apples, so apparently everybody wanted it a little wild,” said Brunk. “But, it felt like the Cards Against Humanity table was always full, and the games seemed to go on for a while.”

Prior to the event, Brunk and Ireton said they tested the modified games.

“Over the summer we were doing it probably every couple of weeks,” Ireton said. “We’d get together and play a couple of games and discuss what worked, what didn’t, and what modification might make it better.” 

Taylor Haynes, freshman in journalism and mass communications, participated in the game day and said he appreciated the disabilities awareness.

“I didn’t really realize this before, but most games that are out there today aren’t accessible. Therefore, they’re having to modify these games in order to make them accessible,” Haynes said. “Actually having to play these games, like, while they’re as accessible as they can be, really opened my eyes.”

Brunk said they are planning on hosting the event annually or on a semesterly basis. In the end, the event is about the importance of access to fun, Ireton said. 

“Everyone needs leisure time, everyone needs something that is not work, and is not just going to bed — something fun for you to do, and games can be that for a lot of people,” Ireton said. “They bring people together and something like this … it’s improving quality of life for anyone, and those sorts of leisure opportunities should be available to anyone that wants to engage with them.”

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