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A summary of the state of Meeple Like Us's take on board game accessibility in December, 2016.

Michael Heron, Blogger

January 2, 2017

3 Min Read

You can read more of my writing over at the Meeple Like Us blog, or the Textual Intercourse blog over at Epitaph Online.  You can some information about my research interests over at my personal homepage, or on my profile at Robert Gordon University.

You can find part one of this series here.

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Hello Internet, it's your boy Michael here! I believe that is what the kids are saying these days.

Happy new year everyone, and what better way to start 2017 than with a recap of what we did during December of 2016? If there is a better way, I sure as heckfire don't know it.

We started off with the accessibility teardown of Bloodbowl, which gave us a new 'least accessible game ever' winner. A great game, but an inaccessible prospect for most. We were very enthusiastic about Blood Bowl in our review, and it's a shame more people can't play it as GW intended.

We then looked at Sherlock Holmes: Consulting detective both in a review which was very positive, and a teardown which was significantly more nuanced. It's a great game, but it does expect you to have cognitive cycles to spare when playing.

Next up was Codenames, about which we have a somewhat contrarian view. Accessibility wise though it's a strong contender. We also did a kind of 'top up' review and teardown of Codenames Pictures, reasoning people wouldn't be very likely to be expecting meatier articles over the Christmas period. 'It's just like Codenames, but with pictures' is the summary for both articles although as you might expect pictures do make a difference in terms of accessibility.

It was for the 'Christmas lull' reason that we scheduled our first expansion review over the lead-up to Festive season. We looked at Scoundrels of Skullport - I would describe it as a 'must buy' expansion although it does make a difference for the accessibillity of the game.

I also wrote up a review for the excellent The Monopolists - a book about the history of Monopoly. I know how it sounds, but it's as pacey as an action thriller and will vindicate any lingering feelings of hatred you have for the Monopoly brand.

Ian Hamilton was kind enough to let us reproduce an excellent Facebook comment of his about colour blindness in board-games as a guest post. Ian has been extremely active in the topic of video game accessibility for over a decade, and so it was great to see him weighing in here.

Finally, we did something of a 'rebrand' over December, since I finally got around to doing up a logo for the site. The theme I was using didn't let me really get the best out of it, so I also changed our Wordpress setup and did some hacking at the code until the site did what I wanted. I think it looks a lot better now, and even if people disagree it's not going to stop me wearing MEEPLE LIKE US branded t-shirts everywhere I go!

On that topic, we'll be at UKGE in 2017 - if anyone is (or knows) a game designer that wants to chat over accessibility design and get some initial impressions on prototypes, or if anyone just wants to meet up, let me know!

Here's to a 2017 that is less harrowing than 2016!

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