'It's a game-changer' - special controller changes lives of disabled online gamers

A disabled Kiwi online gaming enthusiast says a new controller with bigger buttons and options for increased accessibility has changed the lives of disabled people. 

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For people with disabilities online games can open up a whole new world. Source: Seven Sharp

Seven Sharp reports Humphrey Hanley isn't your standard, nimble-in-the-fingers gamer.  He doesn't have hands.  A rare disease means his skin has fused over his digits, like mittens. 

Humphrey says every morning he spends four hours getting the bandages on his arms changed before he starts his day.

"There's only a handful of people that actually survive my condition, at this level of severity," he said. 

Bullied at school, he found his fun in the online realm.

Using modified controllers, he broadcasts to others online, under the username 'No hands, no excuses". 

One of the latest pieces of equipment is from Xbox which has developed a new controller with bigger buttons and options for increased accessibility. 

It's giving gaming guru Humphrey his first ever Xbox experience. 

"Already, the fact that this controller exists, and has been put out there by a major company, has changed people's lives already," he said. 

"The fact that they suddenly feel like the gaming world listens, and actually cares about people with disabilities and accessibility issues, it's a game changer."

Humphrey is unfazed by the suggestion the special controller might be a marketing ploy by Xbox.

"I hope it is, because I think we, as disabled gamers, we want to be viewed as any other part of the consumer market," he said.

Disability gaming is a current issue on the global tech agenda, with conferences being held around the world. 

Humphrey has been invited to speak at one in the US.