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MLB 11 The Show has one-button controls for the disabled

11:00 PM on 01.28.2011 // Samit Sarkar

Here's a story that will warm your heart.

Thanks to its ongoing relationship with a disabled gamer, Sony San Diego has added a special difficulty level to this year's iteration of its annual baseball series, MLB 11 The Show. Hans Smith, a 25-year-old St. Louis Cardinals fan with cerebral palsy, wrote a letter to the developer a few years ago, and the studio was so struck by his words that they put him in last year's game, reports ESPN.

Smith has since started an organization called the Association for Disabled Virtual Athletes, and the difficulty level has the same name. In this mode, the game takes care of movement; all a player has to do is press a single button to throw the ball or swing the bat. This gives many disabled gamers an opportunity to enjoy MLB 11, and playing videogame baseball is vital to these folks, since, as Smith put it,

To some people, these are just games. But that's because at any time, they can turn off the console and go out to a ballpark and play baseball in the physical world. I can't do that. [...] So in a sense, this game is my reality.

Kudos to Sony San Diego for this wonderful new feature. It might not make the bullet points on the back of the box like, say, "all-new analog-stick hitting, pitching, and fielding," but it's going to make a big difference in the lives of many, many people. If you're interested in reading more about Smith and his organization, check out the full feature over at ESPN.

Video game allows disabled athletes to play in the majors [ESPN]



Samit Sarkar,
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