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Hardware Hacking Input Devices PlayStation (Games) Build Games

Physically-Challenged Gamer Hacks Together Custom PS3 Controller 50

Posted by Soulskill
from the quick-get-a-patent dept.
Destructoid has a neat post about a gamer whose condition prevents him from using a standard video game controller. With the help of a company called GimpGear, which markets devices for people with limited mobility, he designed and built a custom input device that makes use of fingers, toes, and even sips or puffs of air to control his favorite games. Pictures and a video of the setup are both available in the post.
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Physically-Challenged Gamer Hacks Together Custom PS3 Controller

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  • "GimpGear" FTW (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Valacosa (863657) on Wednesday November 12, 2008 @05:03AM (#25731477)
    The best way to fight a derogatory term is to take it back. A group trying to run away from a word with negative connotations is simply running on a treadmill, each new euphemism becoming an insult in a few years. (e.g. Retarded -> Mentally Disabled -> Differently Abled etc.)
    • Re:"GimpGear" FTW (Score:5, Informative)

      by dosius (230542) <bridget@buric.co> on Wednesday November 12, 2008 @05:15AM (#25731511) Journal

      I actually prefer to refer to myself as "handicapped" rather than "disabled" - since handicap suggests a slight limitation, disabled suggests a total incapacitation.

      I'm not the first person to say this either.

      -uso.

      • Re:"GimpGear" FTW (Score:5, Interesting)

        by Roland Piquepaille (780675) on Wednesday November 12, 2008 @05:39AM (#25731605)

        I know a person born with no arms who says she isn't handicapped or disabled, since she never had arms in the first place so didn't "lose" physical abilities, does everything (and I mean everything) with her feet, and knows no other way of doing things.

        • Re:"GimpGear" FTW (Score:5, Insightful)

          by Heian-794 (834234) on Wednesday November 12, 2008 @08:17AM (#25732325) Homepage

          That's absolutely the right way to go about it.

          I myself was born partially blind and am often asked by "normal" people if it's difficult to get through life. I have the irresistible urge to quote Hall-of-Fame Chicago Cubs pitcher Mordecai "Three-Finger" Brown, who, when asked the same question regarding the disfiguring hand injury he sustained in a mining accident as a child, would reapond, "I wouldn't know. I've never tried it the other way."

          • by KindMind (897865)

            That's absolutely the right way to go about it.

            I totally agree. I was born with severe hearing loss in both ears. I'm not deaf, and so consider myself fortunate. But it's still a struggle, and I think attitude matters a lot.

            ... "I wouldn't know. I've never tried it the other way."

            That's a great quote. I'm going to remember that one for when I get that kind of question. Thanks - you made my day.

          • by 4D6963 (933028)

            I absolutely agree. See when I was born the mid-wife pulled too hard on my head and it came off. Fortunately part of my brain remained attached to the rest of my body so I was able to survive.

            Over the years people kept asking me how difficult it is to live without a head and just enough of a brain to breath and swallow food. To which I would reply, "I don't know, I've never gave it much of a thought."

      • Re: (Score:1, Informative)

        by Anonymous Coward

        Agreed. I'm blind in one eye and deaf in one ear. But you don't notice it unless you've had a chance to talk to me. So I usually use the word "impaired" for hearing and "partially blind" to describe the other.

        And it's such a gray area, too. Do I need assistance? How do I know?

    • Re:"GimpGear" FTW (Score:5, Interesting)

      by wild_quinine (998562) on Wednesday November 12, 2008 @05:25AM (#25731557) Homepage

      The best way to fight a derogatory term is to take it back. A group trying to run away from a word with negative connotations is simply running on a treadmill, each new euphemism becoming an insult in a few years. (e.g. Retarded -> Mentally Disabled -> Differently Abled etc.)

      My brother is severely physically disabled (oh no! that's the not the politcally correct way of saying it any more!) and playing online video games has given him a freedom and confidence I've never seen in him. When he gets on teamspeak, he's just one more of the guys. He's not the greatest gameplayer in the world, but he doesn't let the side down in a five man instance, for example.

      He doesn't play on Xbox Live! though. In his words 'Those guys are retards'.

      • by Daimanta (1140543) on Wednesday November 12, 2008 @08:25AM (#25732399) Journal

        "In his words 'Those guys are retards'."

        No, they are differently abled.

    • Zed: Bring out the Gimp.

      Maynard: Gimp's playing in his PS3.

      Zed: Well, I guess you're gonna have to call him now, won't you?

    • The best way to fight a derogatory term is to take it back. A group trying to run away from a word with negative connotations is simply running on a treadmill, each new euphemism becoming an insult in a few years. (e.g. Retarded -> Mentally Disabled -> Differently Abled etc.)

      On the other hand, for each derogatory term that a group reclaims, a new pejorative will be coined to take its place. If you're proud to be a Gimp, they'll start calling you a Feeb.

    • by JoshJ (1009085)
      I've got a friend who follows the disabled-awareness movement (for lack of a better term) and there's a surprising amount of them who use the term gimp.
  • How? (Score:2, Interesting)

    by skirmish666 (1287122)
    I'm impressed and confused that someone who can't hold a PS3 controller managed to build a custom input device.
    • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

      from TFA:

      KitsuneYume made things work, working with an engineer to devise an adaptive controller to help him get his game on.

    • by neumayr (819083)
      Well yes, there are those that argue that games have become too complicated nowadays.
      Seems they might be on to something there..
  • "Since 1986 I have lived for gaming and will continue to do so for eternity."

    What can I say? This brings tears to my eyes.

  • Ben Heck (Score:3, Informative)

    by adamofgreyskull (640712) on Wednesday November 12, 2008 @08:22AM (#25732359)
    Ben Heckendorn, has also done something similar for the XBox 360 controller, with left-hand [benheck.com] and right-hand [benheck.com] versions.
  • I am disabled too. (Score:3, Informative)

    by antdude (79039) on Wednesday November 12, 2008 @11:36AM (#25734713) Homepage Journal

    For me, I play computer games since I like big clicky keyboards and mice. I used to own an Atari 2600 and their joysticks were simple. I can't use the newer game consoles' controllers very well, including the normal ones from NES'. I have no thumbs and only four fingers. I have to have support to hold my controllers in order to play.

  • Obviously it doesn't have the cool-factor of a lone hacker putting something together like this, but Nintendo offered a similar device for the NES in the late 80s called the Nintendo Hands Free Controller (HFC) [nesplayer.com].

    I seem to remember reading about it at the time (though I can't verify) that Nintendo also worked with the Starlight Foundation to distribute the devices to hospitals as well.

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