Quadriplegic Gamer Calls For Custom Button Remapping In Console Games

Quadriplegic Gamer Calls For Custom Button Remapping In Console Games

To many of us, custom button remapping in video games is a luxury, but for quadriplegic gamer Chuck Bittner, forced to control games with his mouth, it’s a necessity.

Bittner, seen here hating on the Rust map in Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2, broke his neck in a car accident, resulting in total paralysis of his legs and partial paralysis of both arms. This makes performing normal actions, like playing video games, for instance, much more difficult than they normally are.

While Bittner’s comedy act may have benefited from the accident, his game playing has not, and while he does the best he can with what he has, he and many other handicapped could really use some custom button remapping right about now.

To that end, Bittner’s started a petition online, calling for either game developers to spend the time to build remapping into their games, or for the console manufacturers to build the functionality into their hardware.

It seems like a valid request to me. This functionality is already enjoyed by PC gamers around the world, so why shouldn’t consoles have that same functionality? After all, we don’t all have the resources to deign our own custom controllers.

I’m not a big fan of online petitions as a way to get goals accomplished, but they’re an excellent way to get word out. Consider the word outed.

Video Game Custom Button Remapping [Petition Online]


  • I completely agree. All games should have the ability to have complete button remapping. I understand there would be some functional limitations, such as remapping analogue triggers for instance, but otherwise, you should be able to remap for gods sake. I mean, it *really* wouldnt be THAT HARD TO DO would it developers???

  • Myself being in a wheelchair (not quad, I’m lucky) I agree whole heartedly with this guy. Game developers surely can add some remap functions, or subtitles etc into games, without it having a major affect on the game. For me, I’m worried that the Moves and Natals will eventually make some games unplayable for me, I would hope this day and age some alternative input choices be mandatory.

    I cant use those lousy thumb sticks, and the ps3 has mouse support, but nothing uses it! (ut3 excepted). I understand this may give some an advantage, but just make it a matchmaking option to even things up! Grrr.

    And another thing, whatever happened to Steady Eddy?? 🙁 He was hilarious and I’m with him in trying to find a girl with a good limp.

  • Us PC gamers DO enjoy custom button mapping, unless we are playing one of the many horrible console ports that don’t allow simple, PC-centric tweaks. This is annoying as hell for me and many other PC gamers. I can’t even imagine how frustrating it must be for this guy and other people with disabilities. It’s a pretty reasonable request.

  • how old is this? he has been petitioning for quite a while. it started on the US playstation forums. he has a sticky thread there.
    not to sound like a prick here but, ALL companies cater to the majority. its just business. smart business. adding this to a game would cost extra money. this is where we run into problems. every business want the bottom line as fat as possible and their shareholders want shares that pay fat dividends too.

  • game developers rarely care about minorities. although on a much much smaller scale being a southpaw player i have had to put up with the lack of thumbstick and button mapping for years.

    these game companies need to wake up and implement what are effectively minor tweaks to the game.

  • Complete customization of button layout should be included by default in any video game release. To avoid implementing it for any reason only gives an advantage to those who are better suited to the chosen layouts for whatever reason and those who will circumvent the process by using an adapter or other method to forcibly remap their controller, whatever it may be.

    That out of the way, there is a partial solution for both the Xbox and PS3. The XIM (Xbox Input Machine) is a device that takes data from a connected PC’s (this is not required for the as-of-now unreleased XIM3) inputs, such as a mouse, keyboard, joystick, steering wheel, or any other compatible device, and translates it to that of a PS2 controller. The XIM2 does the same, only uses a modified Xbox 360 controller instead of a PS2 Dualshock as the final input. There really isn’t much more to it than that, and because the PS2 or Xbox 360 controller can be used with a PS3 (or Xbox 360, in the case of the XIM1) through various adapters, one can use any PC input they own with both the PS3 and Xbox 360.

    Through my XIM2 I have personally used a control scheme that would be capable to support the lack of being able to use one’s limbs to manipulate the controller. By using a TrackIR set to emulate a mouse, I am able to change the viewpoint of a game normally mapped to the right thumbstick by turning my head in whatever direction I wish to look, and re-centering it to stop the motion. Turn speed scales with the distance my head has deviated from the deadzone set by the Track IR and XIM software. If TrackIR mapping software continues to develop, I can expect tilting one’s head could even be used for strafing in the future.

    Using voice recognition and command software, I can program certain functions or key presses to trigger upon my verbal instruction. This easily moves unnessential functions off of the few inputs that may be options when you have limited use of your arms, so that firing a weapon or sprinting could still be controlled directly without any lag from the translation software. Though macros are considered a violation of LIVE’s Terms of Service, this method could still be used to create automated button scripts that assisted the player in whatever game they are playing. I don’t have trouble seeing how a lack of limbs or digits could keep anyone from being a superb flag carrier in a game such as Halo.

    There are options, Chuck. Of course I also feel the developer should meet all possible requirements at least partially, but you are not without a choice in the matter as is.

  • Bah. I must correct myself on that second to last sentence.

    What I meant to write was:

    I don’t have trouble seeing how a lack of limbs or digits could not keep anyone from being a superb flag carrier in a game such as Halo.

    …in reference to the assistance offered by the voice command software. The player not using his arms could still have a reliable and extremely precise method for completing this and similar tasks.

  • I can only assume there is a significant financial or technical hurdle to implementing full button customizations on console games; surely developers are not that narrow-sighted to not appreciate their inclusion.

    Sadly, the first thing I do is look at button layouts for any FPS I consider. If the layout is not in line with my preferred layout, I absolutely will not consider buying the game.

  • I’ve had this wish for a long time, but was only thinking how I could buy/play more games if they offered comfortable control setups. I’m a lefty, and am often ignored by game developers, but I never thought about how this affects disabled people; I guess they are even more ignored than my group. 🙁

    @t00n, I completely agree with you – I’ve returned rental games and avoided buying many games because the game doesn’t have a comfortable control scheme and doesn’t allow me to create one.

    There is a feature request for PS3 to offer control customization in the XMB, meaning developers would no longer have to spend the time/money to add any type of customization.

    Please up-vote this idea. (I would assume XBox360 has a similar feature request, but I don’t have the link.)
    (I have no idea why there are so many down votes, because it wouldn’t affect people who don’t care to re-map their controls.)

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