” A game for every player This motto is that of Asmodee, publishers of board games since 1995. Especially known for the famous Jungle Speed or Pokémon cards, he certainly had that in mind when he founded the Access+ studio, which launched last May.
It all started with the creation of Asmodee Research in 2018, a department that promotes research into gambling and its benefits and supports the writing of university theses on these topics. However, as pointed out by Professor Philippe Robert of the University of Côte d’Azur in Nice, with whom the Access+ studio has collaborated for its achievements, ” It’s not enough that there’s a game context for people to play in. It also needs to be adjusted. »
In France, Unafam – National Association of Families and Friends of the Sick and/or Mentally Disabled – counts no fewer than 3 million people with physical disorders. difficult “. That’s just as many people who can’t reap the medical benefits of stimulating cognitive function and the senses, but also the social benefits of play.
For example, Studio Access+ announces the release of three Asmodee classics, all adapted to enable participation by people with mental and cognitive disabilities, such as the elderly. ” It is a real pride to know that millions of people, patients, carers but also families and carers can benefit from it. » admits Mikaël Le Bourhis, director of Access+ and Asmodee Research. ” Our position as market leader gives us a social responsibility », adds Thomas Koegler, Executive Vice President Interactive & Entertainment at Asmodee.
Inclusive and innovative classics
Why adapt existing games and not directly create new ones for this audience? ” A logic of integration is about having the same thing in order to have the impression of playing the same thing explains Mikaël Le Bourhis. Children also have it easier in the home environment if they don’t have to relearn the rules.
The three classics in question are Double, timeline and Cortex Challenge. Each of them stimulates different cognitive functions. In their Access+ version, a chart is displayed on the back of each box, showing the requested global features.
Graphic illustrating the global capabilities requested for Dobble Access+
Perhaps the best known of these is Double. To win, you must recognize the similar illustrations on your card and the one placed in the center of the table. In the Dobble Access+ Edition, the cards are larger, thicker and washable, a necessary feature when playing in a medical environment.
All the symbols of the original version have not been retained, those that could be confusing – like the turtle and the hat – are absent. Three levels of difficulty are also available, because we recognized that competitiveness was a barrier to inclusion ‘, emphasizes Mikaël Le Bourhis.
timeline is certainly the one that offers the most new elements. The goal is to successfully put events in their chronological order, such as the creation of the wheel or the first appearance of Frankenstein’s creature.
In which Timeline Access+, a chronological frieze is distributed to each player to help them position themselves and in turn reduce competitiveness. But most importantly, the studio added a deck of cards dedicated to personal history – first shelter, onset of illness – to help the person remember facts and spark speech. The little story that joins the big one.
Finally for Cortex Challenge, the principle remains the same: win the challenges to win the game. Also in the Access + version, the cards have been redesigned in a more suitable format and better quality, always with a view to easier handling. The challenges have been carefully selected and divided into two levels of difficulty to make them accessible to as many people as possible. A solution booklet has been added to make the nurses’ job easier.
In the direction of accessibility
With all the adjustments, it was important to the team behind it to retain as many peculiarities as possible so that the rules of the game remain as true to the original as possible. All maps have been enlarged and their qualities improved, a 1-player mode has been added to encourage player autonomy, and expert mediation is now included in the rules in each box.
The first games in the Access + catalog will be available online in France and Belgium through traditional distribution channels, but also on healthcare networks before expanding to school networks. Expected for October 10th, the studio will also release its three games in Canada in French and English.
Photo credit: ActuaLitté (CC BY-SA 2.0)