I continue to connect with colourblind1 folks in the gaming community to understand their experiences playing, designing, and publishing games. Jonathan Bradley is a colourblind photographer, musician, and game designer whom I first met via The Blind Truth: A Virtual Exhibition, the YouTube version of his art installation focused on colour vision deficiency.
“The Blind Truth addresses social stereotypes surrounding colour visual defects. Often labelled as ‘Colour Blindness,’ the stigmas and barriers that many individuals endure in diagnosis are rarely addressed, often arising from poor education and communication.”
Let’s meet Jon Bradley!
How did you learn about your colour vision deficiency, and what type to you have?
I can’t remember exactly, but it was around when I was 9 or 10. I vividly remember being marched into the general assembly hall and being screened with Ishihara plates. I couldn’t read many of them. It was a pretty horrible experience!
I’m Deutan. In particular, my red and green wavelength cones aren’t efficient at detecting subtle shades of green.
What are some of your favorite games?
Where do I start? Monopoly! Cluedo! Balance of Power! Carcassonne! Chess! Backgammon!
What’s the most difficult for you when playing games?
That’s an interesting question – I’ve NEVER had problems playing games! I think that’s why I wanted to explore these challenges in our upcoming game, Gamut!
Are there any colour-based tasks you assumed you couldn’t do, but were surprised you can?
Being a photographer, I always thought colour matching might be a problem for me. Traditional colour printing always filled me with dread because I knew that you must manually adjust the colour balance when printing, but it turned out trying it wasn’t so bad. I wasn’t as bad as thought I was.
What do you wish people would know about your vision deficiency?
That there’s still a person behind it, and issues people are having might not be obvious. Also, the genetics behind colour vision perception are amazing!
Do you experience any advantages because of your vision impairments?
Yes! I can grey scale match more sensitively, which is brilliant for black and white darkroom work! My coloursight is VERY sensitive to looking at and evaluating exposure test prints!
How can we see more of your work and follow you online?
Music: Check out http://soundcloud.com/jon-bradley for my music work! (Brian’s note: Jon is a carillonneur, which I needed to look up online. A carillon is a pitched percussion instrument that is played with a keyboard and consists of 20+ cast-bronze bells. It is absolutely beautiful.)
Game Design: Gamut is my newest game that I would love to share with everyone. It’s a fun tile-laying colour matching game that anyone can play! Gamut is a game consisting of 400 square tiles based on the Farnsworth-Munsell 100 colour perception diagnostic screen. Players place tiles next to each other sequentially to score points.
It is a colour perception game that can be played by anyone, regardless of their colour vision abilities. In fact, Gamut tends to favour people who may have some colour perceptive disfunction since these individuals may be able to subjectively match a larger range of presented colours.
Photography: Have a look at www.bradley-photography.com. (Brian’s note: I also highly recommend watching Jonathan’s The Blind Truth virtual exhibit.)
1 Jonathan is from the UK, so we’re spelling it “colour” today. 🙂