Aphantasia is the inability to visualize. Otherwise known as image-free imagination. When people imagine something they are able to visualize that to a varying degree. At one end of this spectrum are people who have very little ability to visualise things in their mind.
“You might imagine a lifelike image of a horse in your mind, while your friend might only see a dim or vague one. Some will find it easy to visualize a horse in all its colours, while others will have to work a little harder to paint that picture. Some of us can only hold images in our minds for mere seconds, others for longer. But almost all of us will have some variation of this quasi-perceptual picture-it system.”
We’ve worked with the Aphantasia Network
to uncover some games that are well suited to people with Aphantasia. These are experiences that offer inclusive design and features to avoid this being an unintended barrier to players. It also includes experiences that ease the extra effort required by players with Aphantasia in other ways:
Some good examples of games that reduce this barrier are Triangle Strategy
which lets you pull up a bio and image for any character who is currently speaking. Phoenix Wright Ace Attorney
and Ghost Trick
are examples of games that let you rewind dialogue at any point if you need to refresh your memory about what was said.
Other examples of games that ease the navigation load by offering direction and maps are Submerged Hidden Depths
and Legend Of The Skyfish
. The latter also provides really helpful lists of missions to keep track of what you still have to do – along with information on where to go for each one.
Finally, there are other accessibility features that generally reduce the cognitive load on the player. These can be useful for people with Aphantasia who are working harder to cope with recall and visualisation aspects of the game:
This list includes 10 games from the last 16 years, with 551 likes. They come from a range of different genres and play-styles and are all good games if you want to be supported to remember and visualise.