The very best parents go above and beyond for their children. Rory Steel did just that with his creation of an adaptability controller for his daughter Ava. Ava has hereditary spastic paraplegia, which makes it difficult for her to play certain video games. Ava received a Nintendo Switch for Christmas, and found the controls for The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild to be a bit too difficult. So Steel, the head of Digital Jersey's Academy, took an Xbox Adaptive Controller along with some parts purchased from eBay and created a custom controller for his daughter. Steel was quick to point out, however, that this is version 1.0, and he hopes to improve on the design in the future.
Rory first posted the video of Ava playing Breath of the Wild on Sunday, and since then, Microsoft and Logitech have both reached out to express an interest in helping Rory with version 2.0. In an interview with Jersey's Channel 103, Steel expressed some reservations about how to make the next version more accessible, but also make it look a bit fancier.
"While I'm going to take them up on their offers to create some higher-class tech, the project was always supposed to be something that anyone across the world could use. What I still want to do is a low-tech version, so people at home can have a go - but there's pressure on me now with these companies behind me to try it make it look a bit better - and who knows where that will lead."
Regardless of where things proceed from here, Steel's accomplishment is truly amazing. His daughter will now get to experience a game that seems special to her, and, if things with Microsoft and Logitech work out, so will many other children that might not have had that opportunity, otherwise.
The gaming industry has made attempts in the past to create similar controllers. For example, the Nintendo Hands-Free was a controller sold at cost in the 1980s that allowed players with limited dexterity to enjoy NES games. Unlike Steel's controller, however, the Hands-Free was controlled by the player's mouth. Since then, unfortunately, there have not been many similar offerings, and for gamers like Ava, that's a shame to see. Hopefully the efforts of her father, as well as Microsoft and Logitech, will help more players enjoy the industry's greatest offerings.
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