When I moved to Texas last year, never did I think that I would be given the opportunity to work with such amazing and inspiring people. And I didn’t just say that for the sake of this review, I really mean it.
Emily, one of the creators behind 64 oz. Games, is so proactive in the Visually Impaired community that it makes me wish I did more for the special needs community. To top it all off, her and her husband spend countless hours behind the scenes of 64 oz. Games to bring board games to our friends with visual impairments… so much so that I wanted to introduce you to the world of board games for the visually impaired!
originally intended with this. Richard is a huge board game nerd. He has
been for as long as I’ve know him. We own over 300 board games
ourselves. Richard is also a hobby board game designer and is working to
get his own games published. 2 years ago, when we started this, we were
hoping to run a kickstarter for one of Richard’s games to self publish
one of Richard’s games. To set his game apart, we decided that we would
make an accessible (braille) copy as well so our blind friends could
play. When we were trying to do that, we talked to board game
manufacturers and none of them were able to put braille on cards. So
then, we talked to braille production houses and none of them could
make custom braille playing cards. It then dawned on us that no one was
making games accessible. It was something that should exist but no one
was doing it. That was the moment our entire project flipped and we
started working to make accessibility kits for existing games.
got started by running a successful Kickstarter in April of 2015. We
raised enough money to buy a braille embosser and some start up
materials. That got us started making our accessibility kits. We
finished the kickstarter with kits for 15 different games and now we
offer kits for over 70!
The name is another
story. We are both huge fans of Game of Thrones, so sitting around with
friends one night we were asked what our ‘Sigil’ would be. In Game of
Thrones, a ‘Sigil’ is the sign that represents a house or family. I said
I didn’t know what our sigil would be but our friends were quick to
point out that perfect sigil for my Diet Coke loving husband would be a
Big Gulp Cup. From that moment, 64oz Games was born.
We are Richard and Emily Gibbs. Richard is a life skills teacher for a
high school in Texas. He loves using games in his classroom to engage
his students and teach new skills. This year he even has a blind student
who benefits from his knowledge of braille and accessibility. I am a
Teacher of the Visually Impaired and I have a huge passion for braille
literacy. We are uniquely suited for this work because it perfectly
combines both our interests and skills.
It depends very much on the game. A basic kit is braille stickers
and card sleeves. The customer has to buy a copy of the game on their
own and then puts the kit and the game together to make a fully
specialized pieces because they need them for the game. A good example
of this is a dice game called Roll for It. For this game we designed a
special dice tray that holds the dice still. This dice tray is included
with every kit.
information to fit in braille on each card. For these games, we use QR
codes. The main text of the card is in braille and any other text can be
on the QR code on the back of the card. This can be scanned and read
with the users phone.
I truly feel like we have affirming moments all the time. For me,
when we saw our first kickstarter fund, that was huge because it meant
that this dream was something that other people are willing to support.
Then just this week when we have received some much love and support for
our current kickstarter. We were even featured as a kickstarter staff
pick! It keeps reminding me that what we are doing is worthwhile.
opportunity to share the games he loves with an entirely new group of
people who haven’t had the opportunity to play these games before. We’ve
definitely found that when we get games into blind people’s hands they
love them. We have had many people who have become rabid gamers after
playing a few of our games.
to increase braille literacy. There is a braille literacy crisis in
America today with only 10 percent of all blind people learning and
reading braille. Studies have shown that braille literacy has a direct
correlation with future employment. If I can support and promote braille
literacy through games, then there is nothing I want more!
Kickstarter campaign. This one is to create braille dice for Role
Playing games, like Dungeons and Dragons. We’ve already funded within
the first 48 hours of the campaign, which is amazing! This will let us
buy a new 3D printer and start producing dice. However, we are working
toward additional goals and tools that we can use to make more products.
We are working on Stretch Goals now. We want to get a CNC mill that
will let us cut out shapes out of wood or plastic. This unlocks more
ways we can make games accessible. For instance, with this tool we will
be able to make overlays for more complicated boards. We want to start
adapting more complicated board games and this is the first step.
Thank you so much for your time! Please contact us at Braille@64ouncegames.com if you have any questions for us! We love to talk about what we are doing.