Alexander Kostov has spinal muscular atrophy, a disease that makes impossible for him to use most traditional game controllers. Rather than let that hold him back, he just got creative with the help of UK-based gaming charity Special Effect. The company outfitted him with a rig to play titles like Minecraft and FIFA using his eyebrows. Kostov started out in 2013 with a custom controller that used voice commands as well as hand and eye movements. After using it for a while, he found that the original controls were useful but too subtle for some games -- he needed a more precise solution. Kostov tried out a few different options, including a sip/puff switch that would give him control using breath, and finally settled on a head-mounted impulse switch that's trigged by muscle movement near his eyebrows. With the system he can play FIFA using his old voice and eye controls, and then use his eyebrows as an extra level of control to do things like pass the ball or shoot.
The controller is one of many Special Effect has created to help disabled gamers. Some of the group's previous projects include giving an Xbox joystick to a 6-year-old who couldn't handle the traditional controller, and helping a wounded soldier find a way to play his favorite games using just one hand. The company offers the solutions (which are often quite expensive) to gamers for free from the group's "loan library."
- Key specs
- Game format Optical disc, Downloadable
- Online features Multiplayer, Voice chat, Video chat, Store, Browser
- Drive capacity 500 GB
- Controller type Wired, Wireless
- Motion controls Camera / optical
- Video outputs HDMI
- Released 2013-11-22