Disabled players get their game on just like abled gamers do. Organizations such as AbleGamers help disabled people have fun through playing video games. These disabled players find ways through customized hardware and software to compete against the best players in the world.
According to a 2008 study, games improve disabled gamers lives. There are many who have limited mobility and cannot leave their homes and have adventures. The disabled players are equals on the game tournaments despite their physical disability.
Disabled gamer, Begum says:
“Once you’re playing, its like the gloves are off. I appreciate that more, because thats what im there for, the competition.”
Begum was born with Arthrogryposis – preventing his brain from sending messages to his muscles to grow.
Begum found a way to up his game with a simple button layout tweak.
Fighting games allow players to remap buttons for various commands, a feature added for people who prefer arcade style joysticks.
Begum started playing Nintendo’s Super Mario Bros 3. The gamer changed the button layout to work with his unique play style. He plays on an Xbox360 controller, using his left cheek on the control and pressing buttons with his tongue in his right cheek. By doing this he feels he has an advantage playing using his face, making less input errors.
There are however drawbacks such as not being able to reach buttons away from the face of the control, making shooting games difficult. He still managed to get fourth place at a tournament in Dallas playing offensively.
AbleGamers isn’t the only organization that helps disabled games. A UK based organization called Special Effect serves a similar role. They designed controllers to function like joysticks for people who use motorized wheelchairs.
The organization helps as many as 300 gamers yearly and thousands more by providing online resources.