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Gaming with a Disability


By Daniel Maugeri


In this blog story, Support Your Way staff member Daniel writes about his experiences with gaming as a person with disability. Learn about how he's overcome certain difficulties, his favourite games to play, and how he enjoys gaming today.

Photo of a gamer looking at a computer screen, gaming.
Gaming with a disability - what is it like?

All my life, I have loved playing video games. My passion for video games stems from having many fond memories of playing games with my brother growing up. To this day (and I'm sure lots of people are in the same boat!), I am always on the lookout for the next game, and get excited when new games are released. But the biggest struggle I've always had with gaming is having a disability. Because of this, playing certain games can be difficult due to my physical limitations.


One of the worst things about it is when everyone is raving about a new awesome game, but I'm unable play it. Sometimes there are too many controls and button combinations. Perhaps the buttons out of reach, or I'm unable to grip properly. Other times, I'm unable to use certain abilities and functions in the game just because I can't reach the button. This can get frustrating really quickly. So, naturally, I have to stick to easy (and sometimes more boring) games that don't have as many buttons that need to be pressed.

Daniel shows us his gaming setup.
Daniel shows us his gaming setup.

After countless hours of searching for different controllers, I found out that controllers can be modified or altered to suit gamers like myself. However, modifying controllers can be very expensive. Furthermore, you can end up spending a lot of money, but, in the end, the modified controller still might not even be the right fit for you. This seems to happen a lot. After learning this, I was almost at the point of not playing games anymore.


You can imagine my excitement when I found out that the Xbox was releasing a controller that would make gaming so much more accessible for all! Personally, I was always a a bigger fan of the Sony PlayStation and always owned Playstation consoles.


In contrast, I never owned an Xbox. But as of right now, I haven't been able to find any way to make it easier to play the Playstation besides remapping the buttons - although this can get very annoying having to switch buttons around whenever you need to reach them.

Daniel shows us his gaming set up.
Daniel's gaming set up.

Recently, Xbox released the Adaptive Controller which allows the player to use any kind of switch button or joystick for any button on the standard controller that might be difficult to reach or press. You can even use a 'Co-pilot' function, which allows you to use the standard controller and the adaptive controller, and it acts as one controller.

Xbox Adaptive Controller
Xbox Adaptive Controller

Gaming with a disability with an adaptive controller.
Gaming with a disability with an adaptive controller.

After hearing about this from a friend, I immediately made the switch to Xbox, and ordered the adaptive controller, as well as all of the switch buttons that I required. Surprisingly, I was able to buy everything without spending too much money - and the best part about it is that I could claim it all with NDIS as a device to help me with my disability!


Xbox adaptive controller.
The Xbox Adaptive Controller proved extremely helpful for Daniel.

Getting the Xbox was the best gaming decision I have ever made, as I'm now able to play every game I want to play, regardless of the difficulty level or the number of buttons that I need to press. This includes previously difficult-to-play games such as Call of Duty or Halo, which requires lots of buttons and quick reflexes.


Currently, I am playing Lego Star Wars: The Skywalker Saga. In my opinion, this game is the best Lego game ever. I love playing it as I'm able to play through all the Star Wars movies, fly across the galaxy and explore all the different planets. Playing as a Jedi is so awesome! I highly recommend this game to anyone who loves Star Wars, and I hope you all love playing it as much as I have.

Xbox Adaptive Controller.
With Xbox's Adaptive Controller, Daniel is able to play games he wasn't able to play before.

I owe all of this to my best friend Josh, who had the same disability as I have and unfortunately passed away a few years ago. Josh was the one who told me about the Adaptive Controller for the Xbox, as he loved gaming as much as I do, so I feel like he left me something meaningful to let his memory live on. His contribution to my life can't be understated, as his advice has finally allowed me to enjoy gaming the way I have wanted to for so long. For that, I'm forever grateful to Josh, and deeply miss our friendship.


To sum up, I think that Microsoft are geniuses for coming up with the idea of this adaptive controller and allowing their games to be accessible for everyone. They are helping out so many people like me all over the world, and I would really recommend anybody who's having difficulty gaming to look into the controller.


Gaming is a big source of enjoyment for many, so I hope that more corporations can look to release technologies such as the Xbox Adaptive Controller so that gamers with a disability globally will have even more options in the future.


Love gaming, like Daniel? Support Your Way runs a fortnightly Gaming Group in Victoria. Our members love getting together and bonding over their shared passion of games, so please get in touch if you're interested in joining us!





About Daniel Maugeri





Daniel Maugeri is an Administrative Assistant and blog writer from Support Your Way. If you have any questions about his blog story or just wanted to reach out, you can contact him at daniel@supportyourway.com.au!


Interested in writing a blog post for us and sharing your story? Please contact Fred at fred@supportyourway.com.au.





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