A Bit of Inspiration: Handicapped Hardcore Gamer’s Extreme Controller Modifications

Your typical videogame controller modification is usually for looks, style or function. But rarely are they ever for necessity.

However, dedicated gamer KitsuneYume of the PlayStation boards had no choice but to modify his controllers. He has Duchennes Muscular Dystrophy (One of nine types of muscular dystrophy, a group of genetic, degenerative diseases primarily affecting voluntary muscles). His condition leaves him unable to use a regular hand-held game controller. Inspired by some of the hottest upcoming games, KitsuneYume made things work by working with an engineer to devise an adaptive controller to help him get his game on.

From his posts on the PlayStation message boards:

One day I was looking at a trailer for Final Fantasy 13, Killzone 2 and Mirrors Edge. I was like... I have to definitely play FF13 because I love it with all my heart... the series I mean. Ever since I played 2/4 I have been hooked. I sat there thinking of ways I could play it and finally came up with this. Me and a guy from Minnesota built and design this controller together. 

KitsuneYume worked with broadenedhorizons.com and a gentleman named Mark Felling of GimpGear to create his custom controller.  His personalized controller uses movements of his tounge and sips or puffs of air in straws to control games.  Fingers and toes help round out many of the other controls.  Th set up may not have the aero-dynamic and sleek looks of everyday controllers, but the design is ingenious.

Kitsune's goal was to share the news with others that may be handicapped, letting them know that a solution is available. Good on him, and good on the the people that are helping him out, including an unnamed donor that paid for some special switches he needed.

In another post he says, "Since 1986 I have lived for gaming and will continue to do so for eternity."

It is an understatement to say that KitsuneYume is an inspiration to gamers everywhere -- living proof that you can't keep a good gamer down.

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