A few weeks ago, Mary happened to come across a commercial for this new innovative technology from Xbox/Microsoft. The commercial begins with children from the neighborhood excitedly running down the street to a friend’s house yelling, “He’s going to do it!” The scene cuts to a young boy in a wheelchair playing Xbox with his new adaptive controller, eventually winning the game.
The genesis of the Xbox Adaptive Controller goes back to 2014, when a Microsoft engineer was scrolling through Twitter and noticed a photo of a custom gaming controller made by Warfighter Engaged, a nonprofit organization that provides gaming devices to wounded vets.
This is the first piece of hardware launched by Microsoft that was developed through an inclusive design approach that included extensive consultation with gamers who have disabilities. The 19 jacks across the back of the device mimics the number of inputs on a standard controller. It is spread out in a single line rather than being stacked, so they’re easily accessible for people with dexterity challenges. The controller’s rectangular shape is designed to sit comfortably on a users’ lap.
Why is all of this important? One word: Inclusion. The consideration of individuals with all types of abilities is extremely important as new technologies are introduced allowing equality, participation and opportunity regardless of who you are or your ability, making the enjoyment of video games fun for everyone.
Any other great technologies you’d like to share? You can contact Mary at firstname.lastname@example.org.