Do you like gaming but are finding it harder to play? Fancy a round of Overwatch 2 with your friends with a controller that is easier to use?
We’ve learned from people living with Motor Neurone Disease (MND) that enjoying time alone or with friends with activities such as gaming on smartphones, touchscreens, consoles and computers can be challenging.
Due to the fatigue, progressive weakness and loss of movement that comes with MND, it gets harder to press buttons, push joysticks, type and use other tools used for playing games.
However, with the advancement of technology, inclusive gaming controllers can remove some of the barriers to play for people who cannot use a traditional controller.
Inclusive gaming controllers have been specifically designed, or are co-opted to support people experiencing disability from health issues such as MND, to enable them to enjoy playing video games with ease.
Inclusive controllers are an important option for helping players with MND to not only enjoy their favourite games, but spend time with friends and family.
Specially designed controllers can also widen the choices of people living with MND to better enjoy recreation activities as part of everyday life.
These controllers come in various designs and features that cater to the needs of gamers with limited mobility. Some of the popular designs include the Xbox Adaptive Controller, Quadstick, and the Logitech G Adaptive Gaming Kit.
The Xbox Adaptive Controller is a popular controller designed to cater to individuals with disabilities. The controller is compatible with Windows 10 PCs and Xbox One consoles and is designed to be modular, allowing users to create a customised setup that meets their needs.
The controller features two large programmable buttons, nineteen jacks for external switches, and can be connected to external devices such as joysticks, switches, and buttons.
The Quadstick is another gaming controller designed to cater to individuals with disabilities. It is a mouth-operated joystick that enables users to control the game with their mouth. The controller is designed to be versatile, allowing users to customise the buttons to suit their needs. The Quadstick is compatible with PC and Xbox One consoles.
The Logitech G Adaptive Gaming Kit is a bundle of accessories that can be attached to existing Xbox Adaptive Controllers to enhance their functionality. The kit includes a set of small and large buttons, hook and loop ties, and game-driven light and sound alerts.
Controllers, kits and other gear for inclusive gaming can be bought through technology and game companies like Logitech, Quadstick and Microsoft.
It’s also worth checking out what’s available for loan and/or at a more affordable cost from:
Some forms of assistive technology that can be used to make it easier to play games may be accessed through the National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS).
It can help to ask other people in the MND community who play or are interested in playing games, including through Facebook groups or at education and information events held by MND Associations.
Speech pathologists, occupational therapists, the MND info line (1800 777 175) and MND Advisors are all valuable sources of information and advice about what might help when playing games with MND.
You might also be interested in learning from initiatives and communities of players around the world about their experiences with inclusive controllers and equipment:
Accessible gaming controllers are vital for individuals with disabilities such as MND to enjoy playing video games.
The controllers offer a range of features and designs that cater to the needs of gamers with limited mobility. As technology advances, we can expect more innovative gaming controllers that cater to the needs of gamers with disabilities.
It's essential to recognise the importance of inclusive gaming and the positive impact it has on the lives of individuals with disabilities.
A team of academics and researchers from Australia are working to find ways of making games easier to play with people living with MND. The team would love to hear from you if you’d like to know more: firstname.lastname@example.org