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SpecialEffect News

01 Jul 2014

Two small buttons make the difference for James

Heady smell of hot chemicals coming from the games room again today, which probably means Gav’s busy modifying a games controller for someone. Or left the soldering iron on the carpet again. One or the other.

It’s amazing what difference a small modification to a controller can make, though. Gav was telling me the other day about James, who’s 25 and has spinal muscular atrophy. James got in touch via our website: 

“Just wondering if you know of any ideas that might help with the L3 and R3 presses on Xbox controllers?’ he wrote. “It's the only part I generally struggle with.”

“On first person shooters I need to push the thumbsticks in for sniper breathing, melee or sprint. I know you can remap a few buttons to make one or two things easier but usually means I lose out on crouch or grenades etc.”

So Gav put a couple of extra buttons on the front of an Xbox controller in the positions that James had indicated. Popped in in the post, and the following week James got back to us.

“I’ve been pressing the new buttons with parts of my thumbs or palms, and because it’s so easy it always works!”

“I wish I’d had this five years sooner. It’s a game changer!”

Suppose we ought to forgive Gav the odd hole in the carpet then.

Below: James in action: spot the two new buttons on his controller.

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