One dad who built a customized arcade-style Nintendo Controller for his disabled daughter is being hailed a hero, after the video he shared of his daughter’s reaction to his invention, went viral on social media.
9-year-old Ava Steel has hereditary spastic paraplegia which makes it difficult to play video games like her friends as she has trouble with controlled motor function and speech, but that will change now all thanks to her dad, Rory Steel.
Steel, says he has always been a “tinkerer”, and designed a custom arcade-style Nintendo controller which can be hooked up to an adaptive Microsoft Xbox controller. He assembled it with dual joysticks and multiple, easily-accessible buttons, which he purchased from eBay for about $144 (£110).
Steel later posted a video on Twitter of his delighted daughter playing “The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild” with ease and it has since been viewed more than one million times. It even caught the attention of Bryce Johnson, founder of Microsoft’s Inclusive Tech Lab and an inventor of the adaptive Xbox controller used in Steel’s device.
Finished! Ava gives my homemade #accessibility controller V1.0 the thumbs up. She can play @Nintendo #BreathoftheWild on her #switch like her friends now. All thanks to @Microsoft 🙌 #adaptiveController #XAC @brycej @ArranDyslexia @shanselman pic.twitter.com/dOhGnUFZa0
— Rory Steel (@JerseyITGuy) January 19, 2020
Steel says the controller’s final design is an ongoing effort, and will soon be sharing DIY instructions for its assembly on the internet which can benefit other parents of disabled children.