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SpecialEffect News

SpecialEffect News

20 Jul 2013

"All sorts of possibilities now exist, where none existed before"

"As a busy family person before my strokes I'd sometimes daydream about having unlimited free time to game. Now I was now sat in a wheelchair all day with unlimited spare time - but unable to game."

Gav got a wonderful email from our friend David this week. David's a 64 year-old who we've been able to help to game again following a series of stokes that left him unable to use his hands properly to control the games he loved. There's a video at the bottom of this page telling his story.

Here's the message he sent pretty much in full, and I'll post it as a heartfelt thank you to everyone who's been involved in raising money for us recently. You're a vital part of helping everyone, young and old, to have the chance to get back in the game.

"I've been a home computer hobbyist from the early days of the Sinclair ZX81. My interest in military history found the perfect outlet when games like Medal of Honour and Call of Duty arrived. I became an avid online gamer and probably spent more time than I should have storming the beaches and dogfighting in the skies over occupied Europe.

I was brought down to Earth with a crash at the age of 59 when I suffered a series of strokes. I was left with no use of my right hand and a weak left hand. This made two-handed games impossible for me in any remotely satisfyingly way.

Even a standard mouse was difficult and tiring to use. I spent hours searching the internet looking for a solution, but only found a couple of possibilities, both of which cost hundreds of pounds and had no guarantee of success.

One day I saw a YouTube video of somebody playing a first person shooter with a one-handed joystick in a fast and fluid manner. It was a video made by SpecialEffect who, I wrongly assumed, only helped young people. I was very pleasantly surprised when I received a prompt and friendly reply from Gavin who assured me that they help people of all ages.

He explained how SpecialEffect could help by assessing my needs and lending me equipment to try out, and when he and his colleague visited, they were super friendly and helpful. The joystick setup was exactly as I had seen on YouTube and worked very well. I could see that for most single-handed people it would be brilliant, but because of my particular problems it was tiring for me to use for more than a few minutes. Undaunted, the team returned and set up a custom system that was more comfortable to use for long periods.

Coming into contact with SpecialEffect has stimulated me to do some research of my own and I'm now in the process of designing a system based on elements from both of the setups that Gavin built for me.

All sorts of possibilities now exist, where none existed before. My life has changed for the better, and it's entirely thanks to everyone at SpecialEffect."

Take a moment to watch the video below about we helped David to play again


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