Computer Games and disability


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My name is Tom, and I had a stroke at 28. I wasn’t eating burgers exclusively and smoking 20 a day – I was diagnosed with something called Takayasu’s arteritis. This was a bit shit and I was hospitalised over Christmas. When I was released discharged the following May, I was in a wheelchair that I needed someone else to push – both my left leg and arm were entirely non-functional. Over the last four years I have regained some use of my affected leg, but none in my arm. this is a sad sad story but not the main focus of this post.

I want to talk to you about Computer Games.

Losing my left arm put a real crimp in my gaming. I used to play a wide selection, from a variety of MMOs, through my favourite MOBA in HoN, various FPS and RPG titles – the lot really. as I’m sure you’re aware, gaming needs two hands to be done properly. Whether holding a controller or using the Master Race combo of mouse and keyboard, the left hand plays a vital part. I’ve had to relearn how to play my favourite PC games using only a mouse. it’s not super difficult but it is tricky.

Fret not, I am fast approaching my point.

I am trying to set up an online resource for disabled gamers ( I know one already exists, but I want to try a slightly different approach), but I’m aware my insight is completely focussed on my own disabilities. So I want to talk to other disabled gamers and get their views on struggles faced, overcome and so on. I think if we share how each of us beat a particular problem we can assemble a veritable trove of information for other players round the world who might be facing similar issues – playing Computer Games is a Human Right and we need to enable anyone who wants to be able to.

To that end, I want to talk to you.

If you’re a gamer who has some kind of disability or injury, I want to send you a very short questionnaire to help me establish some sort of baseline. There’s also a chance that later down the line I’ll be looking for what we can optimistically term ‘staff’ to help run this resource.

If you’d like to help Tom and help out with his questionnaire his email address is contact@ouchmyface.org .

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