Six Board Game Accessibility Fails, and How to Hack Them: Part Two

Board Game Accessibility Fails and How to Hack Them: Part Two, background is a close up of wood tokens and dice

In part one of this series, I covered the inaccessibility of hidden information, dexterity mechanics, and real-time games. Below are three more game mechanics and styles that prohibit me (and other disabled folks) from enjoying board games to their fullest. As always, please share your thoughts in the comments, or send a tweet to @geekygimp!

Component Heavy with picture of trains in ticket to rideComponent Heavy

The Problem: While component-heavy games could be appealing, especially when it comes to miniatures, they present an access barrier. Some games require different tokens to track a plethora of stats, points, and movements; add in multiple card decks and 20 robot miniatures, and you’re inundated with cardboard and plastic. I have trouble extending my arms, and my table space is limited, making it hard to keep all the components separate and organized. For someone with shaky hands, stackable tokens and exact component placement render many component-heavy games difficult or entirely inaccessible. … Read more…

The Geeky Gimp’s Best of 2016

The Geeky Gimp's Best of 2016. Image of Erin overlayed with fireworks.

While 2016 has been a difficult year for many, I want to reflect on my favorite things that helped me get through the hardest days. Our joy and entertainment, our binge-watching Netflix or slipping away for a few hours with a good book, will aid us now and in the coming years. I hope you enjoy my Best of 2016 list – in the comments below, let me know what you think of my choices, and what’s on your best-of list!

Best Video Game: Stardew Valley

Best video game: Stardew Valley by Chucklefish

By far my most-played game this year, clocking in at 129 hours and counting. You leave a dull office job and travel to Stardew Valley, a small, struggling community with a farm you’ve just inherited from your grandfather. By growing, harvesting, and selling crops, as well as caring for livestock, you earn enough money to expand your farm and help rebuild the derelict community center. You can also go fishing and mining to level up your character. The game never punishes you too much, and there are no time limits for the overall goals; this eliminates the boring grind of most farming sims. Despite all the hours put in, I feel like I’ve just scratched the surface. Pick this up if you liked Harvest MoonAvailable on Steam. … Read more…

The Walking Dead, and books everywhere!

So, I recorded more podcasts with Geek Girl Riot:

Did The Walking Dead season 7 premiere go too far? Cindy and I share our thoughts and chat about violence on the show.

surreal image of a bookcase, camera pointing straight up, and clouds and a sun imposed over the image

I have a story that involves yard sales and Stephen King, and it’s not good. The Rioters share our favorite and not-so-favorite authors in this bookish confab. We talk about Spock smut, too – why not?

 

Recap of #CripTrek

#CripTrek Twitter Chat Recap over a starry background

Hey Trekkers/Trekkies! If you missed the live #CripTrek Twitter chat, you can read the recap below.

We need to keep the conversation going, so please continue using the #CripTrek hashtag to talk about disability representation in Star Trek! You can also share the recap on your own page – don’t hesitate to link to it or tweet about it.

Here is a link to the recap on Storify, or view it in the slideshow below. Thank you to everyone involved! Until then, live long and prosper.

#CripTrek: To Boldly Go Where No Crip Has Gone Before

#CripTrek header, logo on a star background, images of Geordi, 7 or 9, and Melora

Hey disabled Star Trek fans – let’s let CBS know we’re here and we want disability representation in their new series, Star Trek: Discovery! Using two hashtags, #StarTrekDiscovery and #CripTrek, share an idea, picture, video, audio recording, piece of writing, or other digital representation of YOU and your love of all things Trek. Maybe a pic of the Vulcan salute, a poem confessing your Spock and Bones ship, or a video acting out your favorite scene – be creative!

Lt Barclay, wearing yellow TNG uniformTweet at @StarTrekCBS and tell them why you want a disabled character in the cast! Post your contribution with the hashtags on Twitter or Instagram to make sure everyone sees your creation. You can also just share overall thoughts about disability and Trek using #CripTrek – we will keep the conversation going.

On September 1st at 7pm EST, I’ll host a Star Trek and disability Twitter chat along with Alice Wong of the Disability Visibility Project. The Disability Visibility Project™ is a community partnership with StoryCorps and an online community dedicated to recording, amplifying, and sharing disability stories and culture.

To join that chat, log onto Twitter and follow @geekygimp. Starting at 7pm EST, I’ll start posting the questions below, and you can answer using the #CripTrek and #StarTrekDiscovery hashtags. If you have any questions or accessibility concerns, please get in touch with me through the contact page.

Thanks to Mike Mort and his design skills, we have this awesome #CripTrek graphic! Feel free to grab the image and use it as your social media profile pic of choice. The background is transparent to use as you wish. If you have trouble downloading, please contact me.

CripTrek logo is blue insignia with name below and a wheelchair in the insigniaRead more…

Star Trek and Disability Live Panel: Part Two

cast of Star Trek: The Next Generation standing in front of a blue background

Space, the final frontier…

You probably know by now I’m a huge Star Trek fan. It’s one of the few sci-fi shows to address disability directly; sometimes it gets it right, other times it doesn’t. But it gives us something to think about, and a vision of the future that still includes disability.

Unsurprisingly, there are a lot of disabled Trekkers out there (the disabled population is huge in general) who like philosophizing about their favorite show – including my friends and me. We got together last year on Google Hangouts, and it was so much fun that we’ve decided to give it another go this past Friday, February 26th.

Missed the chat? No big deal. You can watch the recording below – subtitles are available!

Jump to:

 

The Live Event Recap


On February 26th at 8pm EST, I hosted a live panel on Star Trek and disability! We focused on a few topics, followed by a Q&A with questions from our viewers.

You can watch the event on my YouTube channel and above on the video.

I was joined by my friends and fellow Trekkers: Alice Wong, Andrew Pulrang, and Day Al-Mohamed. Meriah wasn’t able to make the event, but I will post her thoughts on Trek here soon.

The Panel


An woman smiling, wearing glasses and a green knit Yoda hatAlice Wong runs the Disability Visibility Project, a community partnership with StoryCorps and an online community dedicated to recording, amplifying, and sharing disability stories and culture. She’s also a fan of Spot the Cat.

 

A man smiling, wearing glasses, and a red shirtAndrew Pulrang is a disability blogger and a Star Trek fan. You can find him at www.disabilitythinking.com.

 

 

black and white photo of a woman smiling, wearing hoop earings and sunglasses atop her headDay Al-Mohamed is a part-time science fiction author, and a full-time science fiction fan. 🙂 Her first novel, “Baba Ali and the Clockwork Djinn” was published by DarkQuest books in 2014; her stories can be found in SFF magazines and anthologies. Her current project is a short historical film about the “Invalid Corps and the Battle of Fort Stevens” due out in 2016. She is an advocate and policy advisor and works on disability youth employment issues for the Federal government. Also, despite the fact she loves all kinds of tea, she loathes Earl Grey.

woman wearing blue cat eye glasses with blue streaked hair smilingErin Hawley runs The Geeky Gimp blog and YouTube channel. She is also the Digital Content Producer at Easter Seals Thrive, which promotes self-empowerment for young women with disabilities through online communities. Her favorite Trek series is TOS (and is obsessed with Spock), followed closely by DS9. She likes all kinds of tea, especially Earl Grey.

woman with short blondish hair, smilingMeriah Nichols is a deaf Humboldt Housewife who lives off the grid and coordinates the Two Thirds of the Planet (www.twothirdsoftheplanet.com) site via satellite. She writes about travel, disability and chickens at http://www.meriahnichols.com when she’s not. She likes her tea Earl Grey, and hot.

The Topics


Some topics we covered during the event:

  • Captain Pike (“The Menagerie” and “The Cage” episodes)
  • Lieutenant Barclay
  • Our favorite Star Trek foods and drinks
  • PTSD and Deep Space 9
  • JJ Abrams Trek
  • What would make an ideal Star Trek episode relating to disability?

How to Watch


Here is the link to the video: Star Trek and Disability Panel, Part Two

Join in the Conversation


Even though the show is over, we’d love to continue the conversation about Trek and disability. If you want to chat with fellow Trekkies and Trekkers, tag your tweets with #Trekability!

Accessibility


Subtitles are available on the video. Please send me an e-mail using the contact form for any suggestions for future events.

 

The Geeky Gimp Presents – Disability and Star Trek: live panel recording!

Video is closed-captioned, and the transcript is below!

In this live (recording) of our Google hangout, we chat about disability and Star Trek, including the episodes: “The Managerie,” “Melora,” “Ethics,” “The Loss,” and “Is There in Truth No Beauty?” We also discussed Geordi LaForge and the portrayal of blind characters, whether or not Data represents disability, and so much more!

The guests were:

Thank you to all my guests for a wonderful discussion! … Read more…

The Geeky Gimp Presents #6 – A Podcast with Chris!

Chris (@preiman709 on Twitter) and I chat about Daredevil, blindness portrayed in Star Trek, RPGs, and dating while disabled. You can subscribe to my podcast by searching for “The Geeky Gimp” on iTunes, or using the subscribe button in the right menu. As always, English subtitles are available on the YouTube video, and the transcript is below. Enjoy!

Thank you to Todd for providing us with this transcript and subtitles. Please support him by visiting his blog at http://boardgamemadness.blogspot.com! … Read more…

The Geeky Gimp Presents #5 – A Podcast with Steve Way

Steve Way is a comedian and actor with Muscular Dystrophy. We discuss his awesome web series Uplifting Dystrophy, disability representation in media, the inaccessibility of NYC, and more. You can visit Steve’s website at thesteveway.com!

As always, thanks to my friend E, the transcript is available below and the video is closed captioned.

Read more…

TV Review #2 – Star Trek: TNG’s “Ethics”

When I reviewed “The Loss” from Next Generation, I wrote about my general disappointment with the show. At that point, I’d only seen up to season four, and I felt it was bogged down by too many crew meetings and negotiations. Well, now that I’ve seen the series in its entirety, I have to say that I ended up loving it. Season five was an overall masterpiece, especially the episode “The Inner Light” – it changed my attitude toward the show, and the episodes continued to impress until the end of the series. The episode I’m reviewing now, “Ethics,” is the 16th installment from season five. I decided to review it because it’s sort of the opposite of “The Loss”; while there are a few misfires regarding disability, “Ethics” tends to get it right. I expected lots of cringe-worthy moments based on the synopsis and ableist trailer, but was pleasantly surprised by the points raised in the script. So let’s take a look at the episode, and see if you agree.      

We open with Worf and La Forge investigating some chemical leak in cargo bay three. As they scan the area, they discuss a recent poker game. Thanks to his VISOR, Geordi can see through the cards, but he only admits to peeking after the hand is over. I liked this little banter between the two because it connects the reality of disability with everyday life. Some suggest that Geordi’s disability/VISOR are only used to make him “special” or “superhuman,” thus falling into a disability trope, but I disagree. His VISOR helps him navigate the world, just like my wheelchair helps me navigate the world. The fact that his VISOR can sometimes be helpful in a mission or, in this case, give him an advantage in a poker game, doesn’t take away from his fully-developed character; he has a backstory, love interests, hobbies, a personality, etc. TNG doesn’t focus on his disability – it is treated as part of who he is, but does not define who he is. What his VISOR can do is just a reality of the adaptive technology of that time period. My wheelchair can do some pretty nifty things as well, but that doesn’t make me “superhuman.” … Read more…