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SpecialEffect News

28 Mar 2013

Luke gets a taste for Xbox as Easter beers loom

We're working up a thirst for our Friday (ok, Thursday) beers after an exciting couple of weeks. 

After a fantastic four days at the Multiplay's Insomnia event, our assessment team were bundled straight back in the van and sent hareing round the UK on visits to people who've requested help. 

Yesterday for example, Gavin, Gillian and Marta went to see Luke. He's paralysed from the neck down following a rugby injury at the age of 17. Now in his thirties, he can use a computer pretty well with a head-controlled mouse and a puff and blow switch. Although reliable, the system's showing its age and, crucially, only gives him a left mouse button click. Many of the PC games he loves, like World of Warcraft and Starcraft, rely on a right click, so his mum has to sit beside him and click on his behalf. 

It's one of those situations where adding to what already works is a good solution in the short term. We set up voice control to augment Luke's system and now he can play independently for the first time.

Luke's also had to watch his friends play Playstation and Xbox games, and he's been desperate to join in. We set up a mouth-controlled Integramouse and combined it with voice control so that he could play Call of Duty. It was a solution that showed great promise, and as soon as we've raised enough money to buy another Integramouse we'll loan it to him for a longer trial period. At over £1500 the Integramouse isn't cheap, and Luke will need to be sure that it's right before committing to buying it.

Below: Luke putting the Integramouse through its paces

Event-wise, Nick's been in his element organising the run-up to the unmissable Oxford United Legends v SpecialEffect AllStars football clash on Sunday 14 April. With Timmy Mallett, Big Ron Atkinson, Jim Rosenthal and a number of other big names on or near the pitch, it's going to be a fantastic day.

Nick's also in the final stages of training for the London Marathon, and he's aiming to raise £1000 for us. It's a story of intense personal struggle as he battles against rain, snow and the siren call of Guinness. You can sponsor this magnificent man-mountain of an athlete here. 

Below: Nick, a man in his peak physical prime

Finally, spare a thought (or a couple of pounds) for the gaming marathons that start over the weekend. I've thankfully left sleepless nights behind after dragging myself through the early months of having two young children, but these folks are doing it voluntarily, and for a great cause!


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