Don’t think I’m a creep quite yet! I’m talking about a new kind of Touchy Feely, a game being developed by Marbles Brain Workshop. What is our version like? I can’t reveal everything but it uses stereognosis, the ability to tell what an object is without looking at it. Many games rely on (if not take advantage of) peoples’ sense of sight, whereas Touchy Feely relies almost exclusively on tactile perception, a sense rarely exercised.
While developing this game I spoke to two occupational therapists for professional feedback, and both gave me great insight into the potential Touchy Feely has. First, I was informed it can be a very useful tool for people with nerve damage and/or nerve hypersensitivity. “Nerves are overloaded in patients with hypersensitivity and when agitated, the sensations are dispersed.” Even someone without nerve damage or hypersensitive nerves could be frightened by an abundance of forms, sizes and textures but fear not. The thing you should be frightened (and amazed) by is how well you’re able to recognize an object without seeing it!
Second, I learned about the homunculus, a fascinating concept. In layman’s terms, the homunculus is a mental image of oneself. The idea is mapped out quite well in the image below.
In the homunculus a disproportionately large area is taken up by the hands due to the amount of fine motor control they have. Not that you need to understand the science behind these concepts, but it’s fascinating to know all of the responses and reactions that are bound to take place while playing!
We made a pretty cool mock-up here in the Workshop and play tested it many times with the folks at Marbles HQ.
Touchy Feely will come with basic instructions, but like any great game, gameplay can be tweaked to players’ liking. It can also be played solo or with another person; play alone in a race against time or race your opponent. Either way, Touchy Feely is guaranteed to excite and inform people in a new way, so keep an eye out as it hits shelves later this summer.