G’day, g’day; how y’ going alright?; and throw another shrimp on the barbie. (We call them prawns, and we don’t cook them on the BBQ.)
I’m Jed, Sightless Fun’s newest contributor.
Who the bloody hell are you?
An Australian, I have X-linked Retinitis Pigmentosa. Although I lack night/low light and peripheral vision, and my colour perception is woeful, I maintain useable central vision that enables me to read larger print comfortably and strain for small print for short periods.
Beyond my diagnosis: I have an academic background in international relations and political economy; am a public servant; am also on the board of a small not-for-profit blindness organisation in my state; listen to a lot of YouTube videos on politics, philosophy, and science; enjoy model railroading; and play blind cricket.
What is your experience with tabletop gaming?
I’ve always been into boardgames, and gaming in general. My family is a big boardgames family and I grew up playing games such as Monopoly, Rail Baron (an old Avalon Hill game that’s like Monopoly, but longer. Yes, you read that right, longer), Rummy Club, Skipbo, and Mhing, as well as classic card games like Crib and Hearts.
Growing up, I was also introduced to both tabletop wargaming and tabletop RPGs by friends. While I’ve recently given up the former, I run two RPG groups – one fortnightly, the other monthly. My own boardgame collection started around 2008/09 with War on Terror, then St Petersburg, Carcassonne (a birthday present for dad), and 7 Wonders.
These days I have over 50 and contains, covering a wide range of game types and seeing various amounts of play. As my sight deteriorates however, even those that see the most play become harder for me to do so. Accordingly, I started thinking about the accessibility of boardgames:
Which games are most accessible right out of the box?
What can be done to improve the accessibility of games in my collection?
Are there games that people who are vision impaired/blind need avoid altogether? (Yes, it’s called Mysterium.)
By chance I connected with Ertay through Reddit and we began discussing these topics and my own intentions of writing a blog very similar to Sightless Fun. We decided to collaborate, both producing content for Sightless Fun to share our passion for accessible gaming with you.
What are you going to post about?
In the first instance: accessible boardgame reviews. I’ve a number of games and it will be great to share my thoughts on them with you, outline how accessible they are out the box, and provide ideas of things you can do to improve their accessibility.
Other content I’d like to share includes reviews of tabletop RPGs (I own about a dozen), and some more general thoughts on accessibility and pastimes that you, or someone who is vision impaired/blind that you know, can enjoy.
I hope you will find our content interesting and it will stimulate your passion for gaming and other activities. Happy gaming!