In what is a long-standing tradition, every time a new Tomb Raider game comes out, two friends and gather around the sofa with pizza and watch me throw Lara Croft into dangerous situations. I am normally the one behind the controller because the one friend is a staunch PC gamer and the other has only got one and a half arms. Her disability hardly holds her back in her everyday life, and she often jokes about it, but gaming was never really an option for her, until now.
Last week, Xbox announced their new Adaptive Controller, a large rectangular device that allows players to program the different functions to suit their limited-mobility needs. Now they can jump, run and shoot with the best of us, thanks to the inclusion of two large, round buttons and row of jacks that allow the player to slot in external buttons, thumb-sticks or triggers.
The controller was designed in collaboration with the Cerebral Palsy Foundation, SpecialEffect and The AbleGamers Foundation to create the best possible device for people with a wide range of disabilities. The charities have said they were excited that the device would help gamers with disabilities to continue to enjoy something they love, as well as connect with other people and be more independent.
There are some ideas that are so obvious you wonder why no one thought of them before. Considering there are over a billion people around the world with disabilities, this is a step in the right direction, proving technology can bring comfort and entertainment, not just to those fortunate enough to be able-bodied, but to all.
The controller is expected to be available later this year in the international Microsoft Store at an estimated R1,270. Who knows, maybe by the time Shadow of the Tomb Raider drops on September 14, everyone can join in the fun.