Inspirational Gamer of the Week: Giddeon

Now most of you who have been following recently have heard me talk about the Able Gamers Foundation – how I love them and how I’m honored that I’ll be getting a chance to work with them in the very near future, well today is no different and, in fact, I’m humbled in the presence of this next Inspirational Gamer of the Week.

The Able Gamer’s Foundation met this kid named Giddeon at one of their Accessibility Arcades that they hold down in Atlantic City, and this story seriously made me cry.

This kid is amazing. So glad he’s getting to enjoy gaming!

Giddeon was born with a rare birth defect that caused the bones in his arms to have stunted growth. This resulted in only a few fingers forming on one arm. This caused Giddeon to be especially shy towards the idea of playing video games. He felt that holding controllers was a difficult experience, and so Mark Barlett sat him down with the Adroit Switchblade controller. Giddeon loved it and after a while Barlett wanted to show Giddeon other gaming alternatives for his condition. He demonstrated the Microsoft Kinect. I found this to be the most inspirational portion of the article:

Check out his Fruit Ninja skills!

A mother’s love is beautiful to watch.

Giddeon tried out the Kinect, but the scanner couldn’t recognize his arm. Barlett found a piece of foam craft board and had Giddeon hold it. This helped the Kinect track Giddeon’s movements and allowed him to play games like Fruit Ninja. Giddeon’s mother grew so emotional as she saw her child gaining access to a plethora of gaming enjoyment. It brought her to tears – and with that I just have to say these are the moments I hope that can be brought to gaming on a daily basis.

A smile is priceless and the greatest reward for developers!

I would love nothing more than to design games that allow for accessibility and enjoyment from all players. I’m so inspired by Giddeon, because he assumed that the gaming industry was out of his reach and that he couldn’t participate the the fun medium like other able-bodied gamers. Instead, after being shown that he – in fact – could participate his life was filled with joy and entertainment. These are the reactions that I want to live for and look forward too.

The moments when I can take a game and present it to the masses and get a response back from someone who is just appreciative for how a game design enriches their lives. I’ve seen many gamers devoted to certain games, but when you can make a game more accessible to a community that doesn’t believe that there is an accessibility inherit in your medium – and you see the appreciation that comes from their reactions. The reactions and appreciation alone are the reason why I want to get involved with game design and helping to provide this world with accessible games everyone can enjoy.

Here’s to you Giddeon! Enjoy your newly found world of gaming and I hope you continue to find great games that you can enjoy! Thanks to the Able Gamers Foundation for showing off this kid’s story and I’m just glad that I could share it with others who may not have seen this kid’s awesome discovery of the gaming universe!

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