The incredibly detailed worlds and superb character interactions in video games provides a wonderful distraction from the harsh reality of modern life. Furthermore, unfortunate individuals with long-term health conditions find video games cathartic and allows them to engage in an activity they thoroughly enjoy each day. This is absolute fantastic and it’s so inspiring to see disabled gamers play their favourite titles. Sadly, many physical conditions makes inputting commands a rather challenging exercise but there’s some great work being done by the charity Special Effect to help those affected.
Recently, Peter Byrne, a PlayStation 4 owner suffering from Cerebral Palsy contacted PlayStation Support to explain the problems he faced using the Dual Shock 4 controller. After sending the initial message, Mr Byrne was given the e-mail address of an employee named, Ajmal Alex Nawabi. After exchanging a number of e-mails, Nawabi told Byrne that he couldn’t help resolve his control issues but would send a PlayStation goodie bag as a gesture of their appreciation. To Byrne’s complete shock, the bag contained a custom-made controller:
“I figure I share this story with everyone because it is too good not to share! When I use the PlayStation 4 controller my game constantly pauses because my left hand hits the touchpad which is frustrating for me. Around two weeks ago, I decided to message PlayStation support and they gave this email address and said tell them my issue and wait for a response.
A man by the name of Alex Nawabi from PlayStation messaged me and told me he was taking my matter personally and not on behalf of PlayStation. I explained to him my problem with a controller as well as my condition of cerebral palsy. I even had to give him a visual of what my left hand looked like gripping the controller.
After a series of back and forth emails. Mr. Nawabi told me he was ordering some parts to come up with a solution for me. He emailed he last week saying that he tried to come up with a solution but it didn’t work. However, he would send me a PlayStation goodie box anyway. I received that box today and inside was the modified controller especially made for me and this letter. I honestly got choked up reading the letter as I did not expect anything like this to happen.
Mr. Nawabi really cared about my situation and did this on his own time to make my experience better. I honestly can’t thank him enough for everything he did for me. Thank you Mr. Nawabi it really means a lot too me!”
Here we can see the letter addressed to Mr Byrne describing the process when designing a new controller for his disability:
This is such a heart warming story and restores my faith in humanity somewhat. I have to give credit to Sony for going the extra mile and helping the most vulnerable individuals in society. Disabled people through no fault of their own often live a lonely existence. As a result, video games are so important to keep them entertained and enjoying life. Well done Sony, and I hope Mr Byrne enjoys upcoming games including Uncharted 4.