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A petition to game developers on behalf of gamers with disabilities has reached the attention of Visceral Games developers, who today confirmed that it will be including control customization options in an upcoming patch for the PC version of Dead Space 2.
The petition was launched in 2009 by self-described “can't stand-up” comedian Chuck Bittner (AskACapper), and recently caught mainstream attention after a UK gamer with a disability named Gareth took the petition to Overclockers UK after learning that his PC version of Dead Space 2 did not allow him to map the game's controls to his head operated system. In little under a day, the story caught the attention of Visceral Games developers, who responded last night with news of an upcoming fix.
“I'm a developer from Visceral Games Australia, the studio responsible for the PC port of Dead Space 2. Sorry to hear about your issue - I've spoken with a few key people here and we'll do our best to include a fix for it in the next patch,” wrote a studio staffer by the name of Michael on Gareth's forum.
Above: Gareth demonstrates his personal set-up for Fallout: New Vegas on the PC
In a follow-up to Joystiq, Visceral's executive producer Steve Papoutsis clarified that, “The Dead Space 2 team is aware of the issue that disabled players are having with Dead Space 2 PC. In fact a number of folks on our team are so passionate about getting this fix done that they are currently working hard to allow players to re-map key bindings to the mouse which should help disabled players enjoy the game.”
This is no doubt great news for Bittner, who has been championing the ongoing petition through his live comedy and website for over a year. He told us this morning, “I feel eventually all developers will realize the extra time and cost associated with remapping is negligible when compared to increased sales and customer satisfaction this feature brings. As a disabled gamer, I don't buy games I can't remap, and on consoles, that means 95% of games.”
Bittner also noted that he will be bringing the petition to PAX East, adding, “I plan on talking to every developer on site about disabled gamers, and why we need this so badly.”
Samples of his comedy and unique game playing skills can be found at www.askacapper.com
As for Gareth's contribution to the cause, Bittner admits that he only heard of the UK PC player yesterday, but is nonetheless thankful for the attention that he and the Overclockers UK community have garnered the petition in the last 24 hours.
“[Overclockers] has done an amazing job at getting media attention on this. Bravo to them. Since I started this petition, the world wide support is pretty unanimous. I appreciate Gareth making known to me that even PC games are losing this basic feature and that is a step in the wrong direction. To Gareth I say nice job. Game on, gamer.”
No release date for the patch has been given, but considering Visceral's quick response and recent track record with fans, we expect it won't be put on the backburner.
Feb 8, 2011
[Source: AskACapper.com, Joystiq]
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