07

Apr

Video Game Companies Are Catering To The Disabled

Video game disability

With software hacks and innovative hardware, several disabled video game players are enjoying a level playing field and have become some of the world’s best gamers.

The AbleGamers foundation reports that 33 million gamers worldwide are disabled. For those who are disabled, video games can prove to be a perfect way to explore new worlds and go on new adventures without having to leave home.

Texas native Mike Begum, 28, is a perfect example of this. He’s become one of the top Street Fighter players in the country using specialized software that allows him to play with his face, using the control stick with his left cheek and pressing buttons with his right cheek.

“Once you’re playing, it’s like the gloves are off,” he said. “I appreciate that more, because that’s what I’m there for, the competition.”

AbleGamers has made a variety of software to help facilitate gaming for disabled people, including foot panels and one-handed controllers. And across the pond, Special Effect has modified their controllers to function like the joystick in motorized wheelchairs.

Even video game makers are starting to take notice. Top hit games like Madden 17, Uncharted 4 and Overwatch have started adding features including visual customizations and single-handed layouts.

“I was fortunate enough to work with my disability,” said Begum. “I think what I want to do now is help other people overcome that.”