Menu Card, Video & Board Games - Disability Info SA

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If you enjoy playing Card, Video or Board games, this is something that you should still be able to do despite your Mobility Impairment. You might need help or the assistance of assistive devices, but most of these games are still possible and can be played on your own or in groups . In many instances, your disability will not affect how well you play, so you can play against disabled or able bodied opponents.

Card Games

Playing cards can be a pastime that offers pleasure and social enjoyment. A game of cards is a way of entertaining yourself in a group and it is one of the most popular indoor activities for people to participate in. It is also a form of entertainment that will not cost you anything.

People who can't use their hands, can sit next to the dealers. They can handle your cards and chips. Most dealers are happy to help.

If you prefer to be independent, you can use:

  • larger cards (7″ x 4.5″) these can be easier to handle.
  • A card holder which takes large or standard-sized cards can be useful for holding and sorting your hand.
  • MattVision is another product out, which makes it easier to see the cards, it is a product that holds playing cards, and has a series of mirrors to show the upper left corners of the cards through the small viewer (not visible to others around; you need to be right behind the view window). It's a great invention. You can get it online.

If you are unable to play the actual versions, there are also computerised versions of Card Games. Some windows operating software comes with a variety of card games, or you can download many different games for free. Many of these games can be played by yourself or against others.

Video Games

If you enjoy playing video games. There are several games that can be played by people with a physical disability. You get games that can be played on your PC, including sports games like Golf or Pool. Other Games are only available on devices like a Xbox, etc.

These games can be categorized as:

  1. games not specifically designed to be accessible (mainstream video games)
  2. games specifically designed to be accessible (one switch games).

Mainstream Video Games

Many mainstream video games are more or less accessible for gamers with a physical disability, usually using special hardware. The most advanced hardware interfaces are mouth-controllers and head- or eye-trackers. Besides these controllers, alternative switch interfaces are used, which enable larger buttons or (custom) grouped buttons.

One Switch Games

For gamers with a severe physical disability the number of controls might be limited to just one or two buttons. There are games specifically designed to be played with just one button. These games are often referred to as “one-switch”-games or “single-switch”-games. Many early arcade games actually used only a few buttons but as games grew more complex, the number of controls increased. For instance, the Playstation 2 controller consists of 15 buttons and two analog sticks. Unfortunately there are no guidelines for designing game accessibility for physically disabled gamers.

Remappable button configuration

One way to make games more accessible is to give gamers the option to remap their controls. One-handed gamers for example will be able to re-configurate the buttons to their liking, putting the buttons more used closer than others.

Board games & Puzzles

If you enjoy Board games & Puzzles, there are a wide range of games and puzzles, which are available, and can be played with most physical disabilities. Some have been adapted to enable disabled people, including blind or partially sighted people, to enjoy them. Some games may be brighter, more tactile or have larger print than standard games, and some include Braille for those with sight loss. Examples of Board Games include:

  • Chess
  • Monopoly
  • Draughts
  • Scrabble

Most of these games can be played, depending on the severity of your mobility impairment. For those with severe mobility impairments there are assistive devices available that can help.

Games  like Chess are available as computer games, if you prefer, or if you are unable to play the original version. There is a wide range of other board games available in versions that are tactile, large scale and/or with good colour contrast, to enable everyone to join in the fun.

Whatever you choose, whether it is Cards, Video or Board games, this is something that you should be able to play, that is inexpensive, good fun & also a form of physical & Mental Therapy.

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