Take a look at the short video below. It's about Ben, who never thought he'd be able to play video games because of his spinal muscular atrophy. He’d found out about us online and told his parents, but they hadn’t said much. Turned out they’d subsequently arranged a visit to us without telling him, so one morning in April they took him for ‘a bit of a drive’ and an hour or so later, to his absolute surprise, he found himself in our games room.
“I’ve never played a proper computer game,” he said. “I’ve always watched my friends play. Games are important to me because I can’t go out and play football like other kids so I do it on a computer screen.”
We bluetoothed Ben's wheelchair joystick to a laptop so it could act as the left gaming stick for games like FIFA and Grand Turismo. We also rigged up a selection of light-touch switches for his fingers and connected them to the PlayStation via a couple of interfaces.
The end result is that Ben’s able to play on the PS3 for the first time ever, and he’s barrelling into a range of games including Gran Turismo, FIFA, Dirt3 and Minecraft. We’ve lent him the equipment he needs, and now he’s one very happy gamer.
“It’s good because I get the same amount of fun as they do. I can do everything on it and it’s amazing!”