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.