Paul’s finally playing games again fifteen years after his spinal injury - after discovering our YouTube video on how to set up voice controls.
Paul can control his PC with a SmartNav infrared head-controlled mouse and two switches that utilise his shoulder and arm movement, but his gaming really took off after watching one of the videos on our GameAccess blog detailing how to use the GavPi voice control software to play World of Warcraft.
“I’d really enjoyed playing games but after my accident I gave up hope of playing - I never thought I'd be able to keep up,” said Paul. “I stumbled across your video about GavPi and it changed my life.”
GameAccess is our gaming accessibility website for physically disabled video gamers. It contains videos, tutorials, tech knowledge and lessons we’ve built up through many years of continuing experience of supporting disabled gamers.
Paul used our video to help him set up a voice script for Fortnite which, along with his headmouse for camera control, his hand switch mapped for shoot, and his shoulder switch mapped for aim down sights, gave him the controls he needed to play the game.
He then moved on to using Voice Attack which gives him access to some options that work particularly well for him. In total he set up over 40 voice commands for Fortnite.
“He’s was playing really well with this setup and was able to play regularly online with friends,” said Joe, one of our occupational therapists, “but he was having difficulties as his forward movement in the game was set to auto run.”
So Joe and his colleague Frankie communicated with him to build up as clear a picture as possible of his abilities and the issues he was having, then visited him at the beginning of 2020 with selected equipment from the huge variety in our loan library. They introduced him to a carefully-mounted sip and puff switch, which he mapped to toggle walking forwards.
“If he puffs once he starts walking, and if he puffs again he stops walking.” said Joe.
The sip and puff switch is also mapped to act as jump, and Paul’s currently trialling an additional loan unit to act as the controls to strafe left and right.
Below: Paul trying out the movement controls with sip/puff switch. His shoulder and hand switches aren't visible, but you can see the small reflective dot for the head control on his glasses.
It looks like Paul’s arm, shoulder, head, mouth and voice setup is going to make him a genuine gaming force to be reckoned with!
We’ll continue to keep in contact with Paul and support him through our lifelong assessment, loan and support service, which allows us to keep pace with the ever-changing needs and abilities of everyone we help, whether it be overcoming the challenges of accessing the any new games they’d like to play or making the most of the very latest technology.
A note about our current service provision during COVID-19:
Although face-to-face visits aren’t possible at the moment, our dedicated team is carrying on its life-transforming work through online assessments, remote support and equipment provision. We continue to welcome new referrals as well as supporting our existing service users, so please do get in touch via email or through the contact form on our website if you think we can help. Our virtual doors will remain open for business to those who need us. Find out how we’ve been supporting gamers like Drew in this way.