One of the best feelings that you can get as an AbleGamers volunteer is seeing the excitement and surprise on people’s faces when they learn that there are devices that they can utilize and become part of the gaming community. Those moments stick with me the most. There have been countless times where I’ve had to briefly look away so I don’t tear up. With each event, there’s always some deep, emotional moments that you experience and those will always stick with you. To this day, I can look back and relive that memory from how it made me feel. It brings such happiness to know that you’ve just witnessed a change that can help someone’s quality of life.
This past event at UMPC Mercy of Pittsburgh, PA was not only amazing, but eye opening for patients and staff. There was this one particular person that visited that stood out to me.. Michael and his mom took the time to stop by, leaving school early just to see what we had set up. At first glance, you can see the hesitation from both mother and son, preparing themselves for the disappointment that Michael might not be able to do what all the other kids can do. He’s that typical kid that just wants to be able to play video games with his brother and friends. How could he when his left arm is working like “normal” and his right is functioning at less than 25%?
Michael walked up to our Xbox One demo table that was equipped with Xbox Elite and Axis controllers . He grabbed the Xbox Elite controller with his left hand and was trying to position his other hand in a comfortable way to still be able to prevent the controller from moving. Seeing this, I stopped him for a moment so we could remap the buttons to be able to utilize all the buttons available on the left side of the controller. We did this so he wouldn’t have to press any buttons with his right hand, keeping the controller steady instead. His mom was immediately fascinated by this set up. I also explained that there are customized left-handed controllers available online from select companies.
You could begin to see this family’s eyes light up. They both went from hesitant to happily excited! They had no idea any technology like this was out there. She pulled out a small notebook and was taking all sorts of notes as she walked by the other 2 demo stations. She was in awe of what kind of controllers there are out there now and could not wait to get more details on where and how to get accessible gaming equipment for her son, Michael.
There’s still so many people out there that don’t know where to go and how to find products that work for them, that could help in improving their quality of life and social experience. AbleGamers is here to make sure more people learn about gaming and accessibility combined. Volunteering with AbleGamers,seeing the impact that accessibility allies have pushed for ,the result it’s had with people being able to game again is priceless. #SoEveryoneCanGame
Prin is a Senior Volunteer with AbleGamers. When she’s not gaming or spending time with her adorable and sweet pup Jäeger, she’s a black belt in martial arts thanks to her father, a Martial Arts Master. Watch her play games and see Jäeger on her Twitch Channel, or see photos of her sushi on her Twitter.