Jersey Dad's Gaming Creation Goes Global

A Jersey dad has been approached by tech giants Microsoft and Logitech after sharing a video of his home-made video game controller for people with impaired movement.

Rory Steel's daughter, Ava, has HSP - which limits her finger dexterity and often makes traditional games consoles unsuitable.

He set out to create something that would let Ava play her favourite games:

"We bought a Nintendo Switch for my daughter for Christmas, and she's got fine motor neurone issues - so it's great because she only needs to move the controller up and down - but when she started watching me play Zelda: Breath of the Wild, she wanted to have a go but the controls were too complicated."

Rory based his creation off Microsoft's Xbox Adaptive Controller, and made something which worked for Ava using parts bought from B&Q and eBay.

"Thankfully Microsoft has a device that enables children with dexterity issues to be able to use custom controllers with bug buttons and controls, so they can take part in what otherwise they wouldn't be able to."

Since the finished product was shared online, Rory's handiwork has taken the internet by storm, being seen by more than a million people - including the VP of Microsoft's gaming division, Phil Spencer, who called it 'incredible'.

Tech giants, Microsoft and Logitech, later approached Rory - who heads up Digital Jersey's Academy - saying they want to work with him to develop his creation further, so more people with mobility impairments can benefit.

He tells Channel 103 it's had an incredible response:

"I hacked this crude-looking low-tech device together, and the internet seems to really like it. We've now had offers from Logitech and Microsoft to create a more improved version 2.

"While I'm going to take them up on their offers to create some higher-class tech, the project was always supposed to be something that anyone across the world could use. What I still want to do is a low-tech version, so people at home can have a go - but there's pressure on me now with these companies behind me to try it make it look a bit better - and who knows where that will lead."

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