Eighteen Months of Meeple Like Us: An Exploration into the State of Board Game Accessibility

Michael James Heron, Pauline Helen Belford, Hayley Reid, Michael Crabb

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Abstract

The study of game accessibility to date has largely focused on the topic of accessibility within a video game context. Largely underexplored in the academic and professional literature is accessibility in the domain of tabletop games, especially those that are classified as part of the `hobbyist' market. An ongoing series of research annotations, published on the blog Meeple Like Us, has been aimed at addressing this lack of attention. In this paper, the authors report on the work of the Meeple Centred Design project which to date has examined 116 board games for the accessibility issues they manifest and the lessons that can be learned for designers in this space. While the project has not achieved significant coverage of even a fraction of the available library of hobbyist games, currently numbering approximately one hundred thousand, it has discussed the issues with many of the most critically success and popular of these titles. This paper reports on results to date, methodology of the analyses, limitations of the project, and the future plans for work in this interesting game accessibility context.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)75-95
Number of pages21
JournalComputer Games Journal
Volume7
Issue number2
Early online date21 Apr 2018
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Jun 2018

Keywords

  • Board games
  • Accessibility
  • Inclusion
  • Tabletop
  • Meeple Like Us
  • Universal access

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