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Expert reaction: Xbox Adaptive Controller for disabled gamers

Posted on 17 May 2018

Dr Christopher Power and Dr Paul Cairns from the University of York’s Department of Computer Science react to the news that Microsoft are releasing the first ever console controller designed and made specifically for disabled gamers:


Microsoft says the Adaptive Controller will give people easier access to the games they love.

Dr Christopher Power said: “The Microsoft Xbox Adaptive Controller (XAC) represents the next evolution in providing accessible gaming for people with disabilities.  

"As a low-cost, easily configurable device, produced by and associated with a major gaming brand in Microsoft Xbox, the XAC supersedes current solutions such as the Adroit Switchblade, from The AbleGamers Charity, and Evil Controllers.

Gaining a voice

“Our research team is currently working with The AbleGamers Charity to further develop The AbleGamers Player Panels.  Player Panels is a service provided by AbleGamers that connects companies to players with disabilities.

"Through Player Panels, players gain a voice in the research and development of technology and games that will work for them.  Player Panels connected Xbox with 15 players with disabilities who tested the XAC and provided input and feedback on it.”

Representation

Dr Paul Cairns said: "This controller will hopefully get more people with disabilities into gaming, increasing representation and more inclusive gaming communities. 

"With improved access comes more opportunities for people to have meaningful play and social experiences in games.  Following on from the Player Panels, our PhD student, Jen Beeston, is pursuing research to understand these accessible player experiences." 

For more on this story: http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/av/newsbeat-44150653/xbox-adaptive-controller-a-first-for-disabled-gamers

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