You may not know Alain Poitras's name. But, if you've heard about the quadriplegic gamer who conquered Bronze and Silver challenges in Mass Effect 3, then you're familiar with two of his biggest accomplishments. Poitras answered some email questions about Mass Effect and what it takes for a person with physical disabilities like his to continue playing video games.
Kotaku: What strategies did you use to finish the Bronze and Silver Mass Effect 3 multiplayer runs? Poitras: I would say, patience and staying in cover. Enemies will find you. Running and moving at the same time for me is to hard to control. On multiplayer, it's different because someone is always there to help you in emergency situation and more comfortable for movement. The goal when you start a solo game or multiplayer is to extract, so take your time and don't run everywhere like a chicken with no head.
Kotaku: Were those runs your biggest gaming achievements? Is there anything else that you've done in games that you're are really proud of? Poitras: At this moment, yes, until Gold or Platinum. I'm really proud with what I've done with ME3.
Kotaku: After the accident that left you quadriplegic, did you think that you had to give up video games? Poitras: Definitely not. During my rehabilitation, when I started to have better coordination, I went to the computer room to practice (writing, learning software and play pc game). My first pc game was a submarine war game. The occupational therapist modified something (I don't know exactly what) and we were able to play with two big buttons to hit with our hand or wrist. Later, I learned to use my mouth stick and that I've found my touchpad mouse.
Kotaku: What was the hardest thing for you to re-learn as you started playing games again? Poitras: Speed, control and dexterity. At the beginning, I played games like Myst, hidden object, role games, Madden Football, Silent Hunter. Then FPS games, Call of Duty, Medal of Honor, Skyrim. Also Command & Conquer, Splinter Cell, Civilization and more.
Kotaku: Is there anything about Mass Effect in particular that draws you to it? Either the singleplayer or multiplayer? Poitras: Until March 2012, I'd never heard of the game. It wass the son and daughter of my friend who introduced me to it. They tell me that I should take a look at it, saying the game was amazing and that there was also a story linking between Mass Effect 1-2 and 3. So, I bought all three games. Wowwww, the story and the gameplay and the extraterrestrial races around the Galaxy really hit me. I finished all three games. ME2 was a nightmare for me because of those 5 dots that you have to link fast to open doors. But I kept playing it and, when I arrived to a door, I saved my games. And, when a friend or my brother came home I asked them to unlock it for me and then I continue until next door. I'd never played too many multiplayer games because of the speed and control required. But, with Mass Effect 3, something inside me told me to give it a try and since then I'm completely addicted to it.