TracerNet #2 – Being a PC Gamer (Part 2 Of Being A Disabled Gamer)

Hi everyone, I received lots of feedback on last week’s article which was very helpful.  There was something that I had not discussed in the article, that was PC gaming.  So this week I will finish up this (now 2 part) story of being a disabled on PC.

Let’s go back a few years to when I was 14.  When I was about to start my freshman year of high school, my parents wanted me to have a laptop for projects in the future.  I had never heard of Steam until one of my friends had showed it to me.  As you all remember, gaming is a huge part of my life and so finding out about a platform on PC made it much better.

Over 5 years, my laptop could play most low end games because my video card was terrible.  When I had first started on Steam, I never sat up playing as it was hard on me at the time.  The one game I had put many hours in was Team Fortress 2 because I could bind all the important keys to my mouse.  Now, I wasn’t great at it but I was decent.  Then I started playing in my chair with both hands but noticed a problem.  My arms can’t fully stretch due to tendon issues so I had issues with the normal bindings and thus had to rebind them.  W was now H, S was now N, A was now B, and D was now M.  The other keys like LSHIFT, were rebound to the comma key or something that was easy to reach with my left hand.

I was also using a controller because I wanted to try something new and interesting.  I’m familiar playing with a controller on a console but trying a controller on a computer was new for me.  I will say this, multiplayer games are extremely hard on PC using a controller because you have to react fast.  Racing games were easier for me as I didn’t have issues with reaction times.

When I had lost the feeling in my left hand an was not sure what to do for gaming, I tried playing on a controller as much as possible as it would strengthen my muscles.  Luckily, therapy and gaming had helped me become a gamer again.  Then when I was 18, I was in the hospital (as I had mentioned last week), my laptop was overheating more and more because it couldn’t handle games.  It was hard for me to think about gaming as I was essentially fighting for my life in the hospital.

A year later, my laptop had died and needed a new computer.  I had talked my parents into a gaming desktop because the parts are interchangeable and will be able to last a long time.  So I got my computer a couple months later and still have it to this day.  The only parts that were changed, were the power supply unit and the graphics card.

Now the last little thing I will discuss is what I use on my computer to game with.  I still have my fancy Xbox controller and keyboard that came with my computer.

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