Selfless Playstation Worker Customizes Controller For Gamer With Cerebral Palsy

"Disabled people are gamers, too."

04/04/2016 12:26 AM AEST | Updated 04/04/2016 1:21 AM AEST

A Sony PlayStation worker went above and beyond the call of duty to help out a New Jersey video gamer with cerebral palsy.

Peter Byrne says an employee spent more than 10 hours making him a modified PlayStation 4 controller after he complained that, due to the neurological condition, his left hand kept hitting the touchpad and pausing the game.

"I honestly got choked up," the 21-year-old from South Amboy wrote on Facebook on Tuesday. "I did not expect anything like this to happen."

Byrne said he'd emailed the company's support desk after becoming frustrated by the issue, which he had not encountered on previous models.

Employee Alex Nawabi replied saying he would look into the matter "personally," Byrne wrote on Facebook. The pair discussed the issue at length via email and exchange images showing how Byrne gripped the controller.

Nawabi then told Byrne he was ordering parts to try and solve the problem. But last week, Nawabi emailed to say his attempts had been unsuccessful and he would send a goodie bag instead. It turned out to be a little white lie, however, as Byrne's swag bag had the modified controller inside.

Nawabi apologized for the kindhearted deception in a letter (below), saying, "This surprise was too good to ruin." He asked for feedback so he could create Byrne a backup, explaining the controller was similar to regular ones but the touchpad was disabled and an additional button was added in its place.

"The email you sent definitely struck a chord within,” Nawabi wrote. "Although I can't help everyone who has this problem, at least I could help you. I wish I had more to give you."

Byrne hopes his experience will encourage gaming companies to think more about gamers with disabilities.

 "Someone listened, and cared enough to take my matter personally," he told BuzzFeed News. "I hope that other companies look at their fan base and realize that disabled people are gamers, too, and that we need to be accommodated." 

The Huffington Post has reached out to Sony PlayStation and Nawabi for comment.

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