Insomniac digitizes paralyzed boy into Ratchet and Clank Future

Man, you gotta love a studio like Insomniac. Not only are they one of the best companies in America to work for and, I’m told, shower their employees with money and naked attractive people on a daily basis, but they’ve also got hearts the size of Buicks. The word on IGN is that Insomniac, in partnership with popular tear-jerking television show Extreme Makeover: Home Edition, will unveil a digital version of 9-year-old James Westbrook for use in their upcoming Ratchet and Clank Future on the PS3. 

James was paralyzed in a car accident in July of 2006 and his father, SFC Gene Westbrook, was also paralyzed in Iraq two years prior. His family’s house, as you might suspect, wasn’t really equipped to handle two wheelchairs roaming about, so Extreme Makeover stepped in to do something about it. Seeing as how young James is a huge gamer, Insomniac stepped in too. In the span of a single week, the company’s 160 employees all focused on the sole task of creating a playable James, complete with flying saucer, for use in Ratchet and Clank Future.

“We were immediately moved to do something special for the Westbrook family when we learned about their tragic situation and James’ passion for videogames design,” said Ted Price, Insomniac Games’ founder and CEO. “For all of us at Insomniac, this opportunity to help such an amazing family with our game-making experience was a real honor. We’ve never inserted a member of the public into our videogames, and we think it’s incredibly appropriate that James will be the first gamer to enjoy that unique experience.” 

The big surprise was foisted upon the Westbrook family as they were introduced to their new home. If you want to be reduced to a snivelling, blubbering sentimental mess along with your favorite Linde, you can catch the episode of Extreme Makeover on April 22nd on ABC.

And to Insomniac: thanks for giving us some really, really great news. 

[Via IGN

Aaron Linde