Asmodee Launches Access+ for Players with Cognitive Disabilities
Asmodee, a leading publisher of board games around the world, today announced Access+, a first-of-its-kind board game studio adapting Asmodee’s hit titles for players with cognitive disabilities. Created using clinical data from Asmodee Research (the research and development department of Asmodee), Access+ games open up the fun world of board gaming to all by making their top games more accessible and creating a welcoming style of play for patients, families and caregivers. To kick off the new studio, Access+ will create Spot It! Access+, Cortex Access+ and Timeline Access+; adapted from three of Asmodee’s greatest hits and will be available in France, Belgium and Canada in late 2022 and worldwide in 2023.
Asmodee has also brought in an external scientific committee of expert care professionals to join forces and create games for players with cognitive disabilities affecting speech, social relation, attention, emotional control, planning and memory. These outside researchers have joined forces with Access+, an Asmodee studio that is passionate about the company’s mission to make board games for every gamer, but also have a positive social impact. The Access+ team and its partners will adapt and test the material, rules and difficulty of its titles to stimulate cognitive functions, promote positive emotions and social relationships and provide the joy in discovering (or rediscovering) the pleasure of playing together.
“Over several years, Asmodee has invested in scientific research to demonstrate the societal impact board games can have” said Mikaël Le Bourhis, head of Asmodee Research. “Now we’re ready to put that research into practice with Access+, creating games that not only are fun to play but provide real, tested benefits to those with special needs, starting with cognitive impairment.”
“Access+ is launched because, at Asmodee, we believe board games are universal. By starting to adapt some of our most popular titles to fit the needs of all, we can strive to make board gaming as inclusive and accessible as possible,” said Stéphane Carville, CEO of Asmodee. “As an industry leader, we want to create products that can truly make a difference in people’s lives. Board gaming is social by nature, and Access+ titles allow families and friends to re-introduce the fun of board gaming to their loved ones with special needs, creating moments of happiness that can only come from shared experiences.”
Access+ titles are ideal games for medical practitioners, schools and caregivers who have people with special needs, including cognitive disabilities, under their care. Accessibility features of Access+ games include bigger, thicker and easy-to-hold cards, adapted rules, different difficulty options and a “single-player” version to promote patient autonomy. Each game comes with a booklet presenting the benefits of playing this game, according to scientific experts.
To create Access+, Asmodee partnered with an external scientific committee of expert care professionals, setting out to understand how their hit games could be best adapted for players with cognitive disabilities affecting speech, social relation, attention, emotional control, planning, and memory. Below are a handful of research findings that informed how Access+ makes board games:
- 93% of experts agreed that playing board games with other seniors improves quality of life and helps increase skills like empathy and emotional regulation (Source: Frontiers in Aging Neuroscience).
- Board games were shown to help patients with dementia regulate emotional control, with 45% of patients showing continued emotional health over the course of the study (Source: Game in Lab).
- Board games were shown to have better results than digital games in teaching social skills to children with autism (Source: Frontiers in Aging Neuroscience)