Mobility: The board game

After spending the past six weeks trying to figure out ways to stay mobile due to my shoulder problems, I’ve come face to face again with how tenuous a position all of us with disabilities are in when our equipment needs changing.

I finally decided that I need to put all this information into a format so others can benefit from it. And what better way to do that than in a board game?

I considered other board games while I was planning my game. There’s the ever popular Monopoly and the tempting title Mobility Monopoly. Players could start off without any mobility equipment except, perhaps, a cane and then as they play acquire rollators, scooters, manual wheelchairs and power wheelchairs (not necessarily in that order). They could build accessible houses and buy other properties and put in ramps, accessible bathrooms and such.

But I ran into a few problems with that design. Because acquiring all that equipment just wouldn’t help the player make money and then he/she would lose the game.

So I thought of the game of Life. You start out in a car and proceed along, picking a job and getting married and having kids. I think this game fits best although in my game ( called No Mobility, No Life) players would only be able to move when/if they had the mobility equipment that they needed. Otherwise, just like in real life, players have to stay home. That would be an area at the beginning of the game marked HOME.

You couldn’t leave HOME until you successfully rolled the dice and got lucky numbers in one of three areas: darn good insurance coverage, lucking out on finding a mobility device on ebay or winning the lottery. Then you can get that mobility device you need to move forward and play life.

I think that’s a more realistic start to a game about mobility. Because the main thing I’ve learned about mobility is that with the way our system is currently designed it often comes down to a roll of the dice before you can even get out there to have a life.

Copyright 2007 Ruth Harrigan


Filed under essay

4 responses to “Mobility: The board game

  1. wheelchairdancer

    Ayyyyy. Shoulder problems. Gentle hug.

    Too right about the Mobility game, too. Let’s see. Community chest possibilities: lose your health insurance. Wheelchair sales place decides not to service your chair (you didn’t buy it from them …. no matter that the other place is out of business).


  2. A great post – hits the nail on the head!

  3. I’ve never understood it. They got it right when they invented backgammon. It’s the world’s oldest and best board game. Why waste time with anything else???

  4. Ha-Ha I like your game idea. The only problem is that games are supposed to be fun right? build in some fun along the way.
    dating in spite of
    working in spite of
    getting social security awarded
    workers comp ”
    insurance settlement ”
    ADA case ‘

    You get the idea!

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