Ben Heck conjures accessible controller for Pompe disease patientBen Heck is one modder who has extraordinary skills, and his past work is testimony enough. Well, the man seems to go on like a Duracell bunny when it comes to churning out new creations all the time, with the latest one seeing far more heart put inside than previous efforts. Ben, having received a request from a teacher in New Jersey, has quite a task at hand – to modify and create an accessible controller for the teacher’s student who is living with Pompe disease – a neuromuscular disorder that results in muscle weakness. This means a standard controller just will not do, so Ben Heck’s magical ability has resulted in 13-year-old Patrick Crowley being able to enjoy video games that require complex button sequences, especially beat ‘em ups like as X-Men Origins: Wolverine.

According to Ben, “When I first decided to take on this request from a show fan, I didn’t know the Crowley family’s story and the incredible journey they’ve led to help their children and others living with Pompe disease. This was an interesting project to work on from a technical perspective and I am extremely humbled by the chance to create a tool that helps Patrick enjoy one of his favorite pastimes.”

Ben managed this miniature miracle of sorts by working on a breakout box that has eight input switches, where these function as the interpretation layer between the Xbox 360 controller and simplified controls. Macros have also been programmed for each button sequence to make it easier for Patrick to enjoy his games.

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