Gaming

This new 8BitDo controller was designed by and for children with limited mobility

Oskar Karlsson and his father Andreas have already tried to create the perfect controller. Oskar, a little Swedish boy and the oldest of his siblings, wanted to play games with them and his father. But Oscar found it difficult to use the controller due to spinal muscular atrophy, a condition that causes extreme weakness and wasting of his muscles.

“I love playing games because you can do anything,” Oscar said. His father elaborated: “In the physical world, his body tells him what he can and cannot do, but in the game world there are no limits.”

With this in mind, Andreas Karlsson tried to make his own controllers to help his son play games, but the controllers never worked. “They weren’t very good,” he says. So he turned to 8BitDo, a manufacturer and developer of game controllers, for advice. But he didn’t wait for a response from co-founder and chief designer Weiling Lee himself.

“As a designer, I want to use my skills to enable more people to enter the gaming world,” Lee said. “If we didn’t help, there would be a lot of kids like him who wouldn’t have the opportunity to play games.”

8BitDo was able to contact the Karlssons to collaborate on a controller that will help kids like Oscar, which they hope to release to the world in 2022. This has already helped Oscar, who was given several prototypes before finishing the design that the eventual controller would be based on. “Before, I couldn’t press R or L, but now I can,” he says.

His dad is also happy: “Now there is no limit to what Oscar can do.”

8BitDo hopes to release their new controller at the end of the year.




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