Accessibility in gaming has been an issue slowly gaining traction through the last two decades, with innovative creations cropping up across the globe to allow gamers of any needs the chance to enjoy the gaming experience. While there are a number of devices created to assist those of varying abilities, from companies such a Microsoft and Logitech, these devices do not often lend themselves to console versatility.
That was the dilemma one father found himself facing, though his frustrations lead him to adapt one such device to suit the needs of his daughter. The Microsoft Xbox Adaptive Controller, released in late 2018, became the base for Rory Steel to create a controller that would allow his daughter to play the Nintendo Switch.
The father spent an entire weekend building the accessibility device, using materials gathered both online and at local hardware stores. The final product includes a solid base upon which two joysticks and sixteen buttons are fitted. Each button has an individual purpose, with one joystick controlling the movement of the character and the other controlling the camera.
After hours of labour, Steel’s device entered the final stage of testing. The creation was met with jubilation from his daughter, who had been excited to be able to play games just as her friends do.
Finished! Ava gives my homemade #accessibility controller V1.0 the thumbs up. She can play @Nintendo #BreathoftheWild on her #switch like her friends now. All thanks to @Microsoft 🙌 #adaptiveController #XAC @brycej @ArranDyslexia @shanselman pic.twitter.com/dOhGnUFZa0
— Rory Steel (@JerseyITGuy) January 19, 2020
Steel shared his DIY journey on Twitter, which garnered the attention of both Microsoft and Logitech, both companies offering him the chance to create a high tech version of his device.
The opportunity will be an incredible one, for both the father and players like his daughter, should Steel decide to take it. While he has stated that he will be accepting the offers, he admits that he would still like for the low tech version to be accessible as well, to allow others the chance to craft it at home as he did.
The @microsoft team have been great and offered loads of great advice and @LogitechG are keen to help version 2.0! Have to make a walkthrough guide for all those that want to have a go themselves. https://t.co/1wYlIr5ZDX
— Rory Steel (@JerseyITGuy) January 20, 2020
Steel has plans to provide a step-by-step tutorial on the creation of the accessibility device, which will certainly be appreciated by other gamers with limited mobility. The project has proven to be a positive and heartwarming use of creativity, which will surely lead to further advancements in the realm of gaming accessibility in the future.