Microsoft’s Adaptive Controller Lets Everybody Play

Gaming is different from watching a movie or reading a book. For the most part, movies and books are accessible for all to experience in one way or another. We have closed captioning for movies that help the deaf or books written in brail for the blind. Those types of media can be experienced by almost all. This is untrue when it comes to video games however. While we do have subtitles for games for the deaf, for a long time there wasn’t an option for people with physical limitations.

Games are meant to be played. How can someone experience a game if they just cannot play? How can you do a hadouken with dexterity in only one hand or play Call of Duty without the use of your arms with a traditional controller? It can and has been done, but shouldn’t there be better way?

Until now there wasn’t.

Meant to be Played

Earlier this summer Microsoft revealed the Adaptive Controller for Xbox One. The Adaptive controller is very simple in it’s design. It acts as a blank slate for the user to customize in order to fit their needs. For so long many gamers all over the physical ability map, had to spend hundreds of dollars to create their own rigs to play games. Complicated tables with homemade buttons taped together was the norm for many gamers with limited mobility.

Microsoft’s Adaptive Controller retails for $100. This price is a fraction of the price that many have spent in the past to build their own rigs. This controller could usher in a new age of non uniform controllers, ones that can be tailored to anybody. For now, thanks to this innovative and yet simple piece of technology, gaming becomes a little more inviting and accessible.

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I am a writer, crossfitter, but most of all a gamer. I currently write for New Normative, a website about delivering pieces on Video Games within a Liberal LGBTQI+ lense. I am enthralled with videogames, but more than that, I think, I am obsessed about interactive narratives and how the act of choice gives ownership of the story to another the way nothing else does; the way choosing makes the “player” culpable for the events that take place. My favourite game is Journey and I love tea and cats (I am drinking it right now and have a cat on my lap.) I currently live in NYC but have spent most of my life in California.


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