Too often, we gamers take for granted one of the most important functionalities of the human body: our ability to coordinate and utilize two hands to complete (often unrelated) tasks in unison. If you don’t understand what I mean, just stop what you’re doing and then start again, but this time using only one arm. Do this and you’ll have a faint idea what it’s like for my friend Tom. Diagnosed with Takayasu’s disease after suffering a stroke almost four years ago, Tom was left completely without the use of his left arm. As you can imagine, this presents a considerable number of hurdles when video games have essentially always been a two-handed affair.
After years of tackling these challenges himself, Tom has created a new website looking to reach out to the disabled gamer community so that others might have an easier time with their own challenges. Tom took a few minutes to chat with me in studio about his new project, as well as share some of the feelings and experiences that come with the territory; because, as Duke Senior so aptly states,
“Sweet are the uses of adversity,
Which, like the toad, ugly and venomous,
Wears yet a precious jewel in his head”
If you are a disabled gamer (any disability, any game), Tom wants to hear from you. Drop him a line at contact(at)ouchmyface.org and share your story through his brief questionnaire. Most importantly, thank you for taking the time to listen. Tell your friends, spread the message and help make a meaningful difference for a fellow gamer’s quality of life.