Video games can be a huge part of some people’s life; whether it’s for fun, pursuing gaming professionally or a chance to socialise online with friends. I am sure anyone would agree to have your favourite hobby taken away from you would impact your life massively.
Meet Qasim, a 26-year-old who loves to game! Like most avid gamers he has been playing games since he was a small child, he told us it has always been his favourite hobby and his main interest from a very young age.
Qasim used to game for about 4 – 5 hours per day, and it was clear his commitment to gaming was paying off. He was one of the top 100 players in Europe on his favourite game Overwatch and also a massive Call of Duty fan where he reached top 2,400 in the world! As you can see gaming wasn’t just a hobby for Qasim – it was a skill!
Sadly, Qasim’s gaming took an abrupt halt when he was tragically involved in a car accident at the age of 23. The accident left him unable to use his right hand side, affected his mobility and also affected his speech and cognitive skills. This has sadly impacted Qasim’s life massively and his everyday life has faced a huge change.
We first met Qasim when he came to our Technology & Gaming centre for a gaming assessment with Andrew. He didn’t want his disability to hold him back from doing what he once loved, he was adamant to get back gaming! Qasim’s favourite type of video games are first person shooter games. These games require use of nearly all the buttons on a PlayStation or Xbox gaming controller, something that would prove difficult with the use of only one hand. But after a couple of hours at the centre he was gaming using only one hand and his foot. Andrew got him gaming with the Xbox Adaptive Controller, some switch buttons and a controller we made on the 3D printer.
It was then time to get hold of the kit he required and get it set up in the comfort of his own home. A lot had progressed in the world of accessibility since we last saw Qasim, Logitech had introduced their adaptive gaming kit – a range of switches that pairs wonderfully with the Xbox adaptive controller!
As soon as Qasim’s equipment arrived he had everything he needed to get back to gaming. He had the Xbox Adaptive controller, the Logitech adaptive gaming kit, the Xbox Elite controller and of course the Xbox itself! Once everything was set up it was time to try a few of his favourite games and ensure they could be played one handed by trying out different layouts with the controller and switch buttons and pairing the correct buttons to the correct actions. It was a case of trial and error, seeing what worked best for Qasim and what he felt most comfortable with.
By the end of our visit he was playing Overwatch once again. Qasim told us having the equipment was important to him so he could get back gaming and be as good as he used to be prior to his accident. With his determination and positive attitude, we think he’ll be back in the swing of it in no time!
Qasim’s brother added “it is hoped that gaming will help him improve his cognitive skills and it will be a great way to get back in touch with friends that he used to play online with together, helping his social and communication skills.”
Going forward, we’ll only be a phone call away if Qasim needs any help with adaptations, we’ll keep in touch and keep him up to date with any gaming equipment that may be of use to him. Andrew is also working on designing a one handed controller, something we’d love to work with Qasim on in the future.
We wish Qasim all the best with his gaming and we’re so happy he’s reunited with his favourite games!back