Hardware remains to be a key point in the fight for accessibility in the video game industry. This past week, AbleGamers and ATmakers revealed a victory for making video games truly for everyone: The Freedom Wing. The Freedom Wing is an adapter that allows you to plug a wheelchair joystick into the Xbox Adaptive Controller (meaning it’s also usable with a PlayStation 4 and PC, with a little finagling), making a plethora of video games more accessible to wheelchair users.
The Freedom Wing was born as a collaboration between AbleGamers and ATMakers’ Bill Binko, whom COO Steve Spohn met in Pittsburgh. Impressed by a prototype controller Binko was demonstrating at the time, Spohn and AbleGamers pursued the opportunity to team up with Binko and iterate on the concept to produce something more streamlined and, more importantly, making it affordable as possible.
Beyond requesting a Freedom Wing from AbleGamers through a grant , the organization will also be releasing the blueprint to the internet for free so that those with the know-how and materials at hand can have them mode for as cheap as 37 dollars. “I was excited we were able to work with ATMakers to bring a new way of gaming to the disability community and beyond. It’s been something I’ve been working on for 15 years, and it feels really good to see it come to life.”
The first Freedom Wing unit going out to the public will do so as a collaboration between AbleGamers and the Make-A-Wish foundation.
For a look at how The Freedom Wing works, check out the video below
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Javy Gwaltney is a publicist working with Private Division and other fantastic clients. He was once a Game Informer editor and spends most of his time writing words or thinking about replaying Mass Effect. You can find him on his twitter or his website.