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SpecialEffect News

17 Mar 2014

Martin’s got the bottle for Battlefield

Martin’s a 27 year-old with a spinal injury. He’s an avid gamer, but he can’t move his fingers or thumbs. He contacted us a while back hoping that we could improve his gaming skills:

“I use an Xbox controller with a stategically-placed water bottle in my lap to hold it in place,” he said. “I can kind of hold my own in games, but not being able to move any of my fingers and thumbs really restricts me.”

Gavin and Gill went to see him at his house in Oxfordshire to see if we could help. Gav takes up the story:

“Martin plays a lot of Battlefield,” he said. "He has really good arm movement and he’s great with the analog sticks and the face buttons, but when he wanted to aim and shoot he had to brace the controller with one arm and use his other forearm to hit both the left and right triggers. This meant that he couldn't bring up his sights, move his aim and then shoot, and if he met someone from the other team face-to-face he would often get shot while he was moving his arms.”

Gav and Gill worked with Martin and soon realised that the water bottle he was using was doing exactly what it needed to.

“Technology doesn’t always provide the best solution,” said Gill, one of our occupational therapists.” We could have used some expensive mounting equipment to keep the controller in position, but the bottle was doing the job just fine and Martin was used to it.”

Gav and Gill positioned switches that act like the trigger buttons to the side of the controller where Martin could rock his hand onto them, meaning that he no longer has to reposition his arms to fire and can now make a scoped shot. They also put an extension on the right stick to give him even more accurate control over his aim.

Small changes, but it’s made a huge difference. He was delighted to take on the role of a sniper; something he couldn’t do before. 

“I think you really are providing a wonderful service,” said Martin “You’re bringing joy to a lot of disadvantaged people through the medium of games which is often overlooked as a resource.”

Below (left): Martin's bottle keeping things steady. (right) Martin shooting on sight

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