Erin Hawley grew up immersed in video games, progressing from Pong on the Atari 2600 to Sonic the Hedgehog on the Sega Genesis to Tomb Raider on the Sony PlayStation.
But as the hand-held controllers became more complex and her muscular dystrophy became more debilitating, she was eventually forced to stop playing console games.
To support gamers with physical disabilities, an industrious community has for years modified existing controllers or devised new ones altogether. And now those efforts, by organizations like Warfighter Engaged, the AbleGamers Charity and SpecialEffect, have been amplified by Microsoft, which in September released an adaptive controller for the Xbox One.
“We tried to figure out a way to accelerate their practices so that they could help more people,” said Bryce Johnson, Microsoft’s inclusive lead for product research and accessibility. “The idea of cracking open a controller for someone who just needs a couple of extra buttons is an arduous task.”
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