Fred’s Head from APH, a Blindness Blog

Fred’s Head, offered by the American Printing House for the Blind, contains tips, techniques, tutorials, in-depth articles, and resources for and by blind or visually impaired people. Our blog is named after the legendary Fred Gissoni, renowned for answering a seemingly infinite variety of questions on every aspect of blindness.

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Tuesday, September 29, 2009

This Game Really Smells

The following information comes to us from the Tails Gone West blog and is reposted for your convenience.

Seriously. You can't win this game if you don't use your sniffer!

Picture of the game

{all pics can be clicked on to see a larger image}

The game is called - as you can see - "Follow Your Nose", and is one of the "sensory games" produced by Sentosphere. (Note: as it says on that site, you can not order directly from them. You can find a list of retailers on their site, or you can google for others - we ordered ours through Spectrum Educational Supplies in Ontario.)

We were quite excited to get this game, as it's the very first board game that puts Christopher and the rest of us very nearly on equal footing when playing, and requires almost no adapting -- I just need to put the braille words on the cards.

The back of the box looks like this, giving some info about the game (in French, English, and... I *think* that's German?):

Back of game box

When you open the box, you find the playing cards and a lot of cute little vials:

Game cards and vials

The vials themselves are quite tiny:

Game vials

Which is fine - they don't need to be large. What they need to be - and they are - is very smelly! When you pull the top off a vial, you'll see some patterned holes ~ reminds me a bit of an air freshener! ~ and, inside the vial, some very tiny little scented beads.

Game beads

Moving over to the cards - the first card contains the instructions for playing the game:

Game cards

The next cards are set up much like bingo cards - each card has an assortment of pictures that match up to the scents in the vials:

Game cards

{Obviously Christopher can't work with the pictures, so I'll be adding the braille words on each space. I may also outline each square with a hot glue gun, making it easier for him to identify the boundaries to each section.}

The vials themselves are labeled (on the bottom) with the scent that they contain, such as "orange flower"...

orange flower

Or "coconut"...


And my personal favourite, "chimney"....


When I read the bottom of that one, I thought "ewww!" ~ until I smelled it and realized it's fireplace/campfire - a pleasant smell, not what I'd envisioned with "chimney" LOL

We haven't played through a full game yet, as a) I need to get the braille set up on the cards, and b) it just arrived late Friday afternoon and we've been pretty busy all weekend, but we've read through the rules and checked out all the scents and we're quite pleased with the game. As I said above, we're pretty near on even ground in terms of what senses are important in the game - the main sense required is the sense of smell. Yes, sighted players will have a slight advantage seeing the pictures and being reminded - but so would a fluent braille reader if the cards have the braille words on them!

The only thing that really stops this from being a game that can be quickly adapted to be played with *only* visually impaired users (no sighted player/s) is the fact that the vials don't lend themselves well to having braille labels affixed to them - they're too tiny for that. What you *could* do - we won't at this point as Christopher isn't a fully fluent braille user yet and will be playing with sighted family/friends - is attach only a number or letter to each vial and then make yourself a little code card with the numbers/letters matched to scents or something, there are always ways to make things work and that wouldn't be too difficult.

Overall, I'd say the game is a winner - Christopher was very curious about the scents while we investigated the game, and particularly fond of the one that smells like cookies *grin* ...It's bit pricey at just under $50 from Spectrum Educational Supplies, but I think it was worth it.

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