Three-year-old Tanner Jensen and his 20-month-old brother Skyler were both born with a rare genetic condition that you have probably never heard of. It is called Spinal Muscular Atrophy and it means they can’t walk or crawl.
The man you see here is Alex. He is a gamer who suffers from spinal muscular atrophy. That means that he lacks the muscular control and therefore the precision to use standard controllers. Now stop for a second and imagine how frustrating that must be.
Our favorite modder, Ben Heck, has come up with another cool creation. As he has done numerous times in the past, he has built a special controller to help the disabled to play video games. The modified gaming controller was requested by one of his viewers and as usual, he has delivered.
All around the world there are a huge number of people who have been injured in automotive, leisure or industrial accidents, or were born with limited control over their bodies. There are a number of medical conditions that can make people unable to control their arms well enough to work the gadgets that many take for granted, such as tablets and laptops.
My grandfather was paralyzed from the waist down from an accident before I was born. As he aged, his health deteriorated until he was unable to drive his own car despite it having specially outfitted controls operated by his hands.
Most of us can get around just fine on our two feet, but those who are confined to wheelchairs can have a hard time getting around. Those who are paralyzed often need someone to push them, if they do not have the motor function to do it themselves.
Disabled gamers still have limited options when it comes to customizing controllers to better suit their condition. Fortunately, there are kind hearted souls who are working on a solution, like the folks at Evil Controllers and the Able Gamers Foundation, who have released a controller made specially for the disabled.
Just like the ironically good and smart folks at Evil Mad Scientist Labs, custom gamepad maker Evil Controllers isn’t living up to its name. The company teamed up with The Able Gamers Foundation to create the Adroit Switchblade, a controller designed to be used by gamers with a limited range of motion.
It’s been a while since I went down over to the local arcade, but I went crazy with the racing games the last time I was there. I’m a really bad driver, so crashing and veering off the road without any real consequences was a welcome change for me.