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Accessible gaming: Can this controller make gaming inclusive?

Melanie Eilert would have loved to swing through urban canyons as Spider-Man in recent weeks. However, this was not previously possible on the Playstation 5 with the conventional controller. In order to throw the spider threads in Spider-Man 2 , players have to press the shoulder buttons on the controller. The d-pad is also important for Spidey to heal or become invisible. But Eilert finds it difficult to press these keys; she lacks the strength.

Melanie Eilert is a gamer, blogs about video games and has repeatedly had to abandon games in frustration over the past few years. She was diagnosed with spinal muscular atrophy as a child. The disease means that the muscles have little strength and become weaker over time. That’s why Eilert can’t move her left hand and also her right hand only to a limited extent. She couldn’t play many games on the Playstation because the conventional controller is designed for two hands. “If I have to use both sticks, it depletes my hand strength very quickly,” she says. Out of necessity, Eilert keeps making smaller aids.

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