A dad from Jersey has preemptively won Dad Of The Year by making sure that his daughter could enjoy Breath of the Wild with a specially modified Xbox Adaptive Controller.
Rory Steel, head of Jersey Digital Academy, posted a video on Twitter of his daughter Ava trying out her new controller to make Link zoom around Hyrule. You can watch the video below, but be warned – I think someone was cutting onions in here.
Finished! Ava gives my homemade #accessibility controller V1.0 the thumbs up. She can play @Nintendo #BreathoftheWild on her #switch like her friends now. All thanks to @Microsoft ? #adaptiveController #XAC @brycej @ArranDyslexia @shanselman pic.twitter.com/dOhGnUFZa0
— Rory Steel (@JerseyITGuy) January 19, 2020
Speaking to Channel 103, Steel explained that Ava has HSP, which sometimes limits her finger dexterity and restricts how she can play. As such, he set out to create something that would allow Ava to enjoy Hyrule in all its glory and let her play her way.
“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,” Steel told 103.
— Rory Steel (@JerseyITGuy) January 18, 2020
“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.”
The finished product and Steel’s devotion to his daughter hasn’t gone unnoticed, with the video of Ava racking up over 1.5 million views, 19.9k Retweets, and 70.3k Likes on Twitter at the time of writing.
Even Head of Xbox, Phil Spencer, gave his seal of approval, Tweeting out “Incredible. And what a smile.”
Steel says that he’s had an incredible response to the project and has been approached by several big names in tech, including Logitech and Microsoft, to improve on his take on the Xbox Adaptive Controller.
“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.”
With any luck, soon every gaming giant will understand that accessibility is a key issue in gaming and that it’s a lot more fun when everyone can play.
Steel himself has also said that he plans to make a walkthrough guide for those who want to try modding an Xbox Adaptive Controller themselves at home.