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Missouri man adapts video game controllers for disabled gamers

Video games are among the most popular forms of entertainment in Missouri. Children and adults may spend hours playing the latest games on their XBox, PlayStation or other device, either playing against the computer or other gamers online. Sadly, many people's physical disabilities limit their ability to play, which can make them feel left out of the fun.

Conditions such as muscular dystrophy make it difficult for some people to grip or use a video game controller. That was the case with a Missouri boy who loves video games. Muscular dystrophy is a progressive condition that can cause significant disability as a patient ages, so the boy, who already had trouble pushing the buttons very fast, could face future problems playing in the future.

Though video game companies may not make adapted controllers for disabled players, the boy's father, a self-described "tinkerer," became interested in his son's problem. He got to work making a customized controller that would give his son's hands full control. He says the new controller that was the result of his efforts can be customized for people with any sort of disability.

He is giving away controllers on his website for disabled gamers free of charge. The website also contains videos of his son demonstrating the device on his favorite games.

Disability can limit a person's life in more serious ways than video games, such as possible inability to work. But inventions like this controller can help people participate in everyday activities others may take for granted.

Source: WTVY-TV, "Missouri Man Helping the Disabled Enjoy Gaming," July 3, 2013

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