Three hundred and fifty million people worldwide are colorblind, including 13 million Americans. And damn do they have a tough time playing the popular card game UNO ⏤ those red and green cards are practically indistinguishable. Or, at least, they once were. Yesterday, Mattel released a new color-blind friendly UNO deck that uses symbols to identify colors.
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Designed in collaboration with a Portuguese-based organization for colorblind awareness, ColorADD, cards in the new version (aptly named UNO® ColorADD) display small icons next to the numbers in the corners to convey the color. In ColorADD’s system, each primary color gets its own shape (a triangle or line) and the other colors are defined by a combination of those shapes ⏤ much as the color would be made mixing primary colors. For example, the new green card includes both the red and yellow symbol. Simple enough. Color-blind players can then spy the shape to the know the card’s color before accidentally tossing the wrong card on the stack.
In terms of the actual game, nothing changes. No new rules, no new cards, same old awesome UNO. But now everybody at the table can play. Which, considering by some accounts it’s one of the top five best-selling games in the country, is kind of a big deal. That said, Mattel wasn’t entirely sure how big demand would be and is only selling the new version on its website for $5.99.