Microsoft’s Xbox Adaptive Controller made gaming more accessible, and now it could help veterans with their rehabilitation.
The Windows maker said Tuesday that it partnered with the US Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) to help veterans with mobility limitations. It’ll distribute its Xbox Adaptive Controller along with games and consoles to 22 VA rehabilitation centers across the US.
“Gaming gives you what we might call exposure therapy, meaning you get a little bit of socialization, but when you’re ready to turn it off, you can turn it off,” Jeff Holguin, former US Coast Guard member and doctoral intern clinical psychologist at the Northern Arizona VA Health Care System in Prescott, Arizona, said in a press release. “It gave me an outlet, a virtual efficacy within a world that I didn’t feel like I had a place in anymore. I made a lot of social connections and friends through that virtual space. It was a sense of belonging and a sense of safety.”
Microsoft first introduced the Xbox Adaptive Controller in September 2018. Priced at $100, the controller features a design that provides those with limited mobility an option to play games on an Xbox One or Windows PC.
“Our Xbox Adaptive Controller was designed to make gaming more accessible to millions of people worldwide,” Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella said in a press release. “We’re partnering with the US Department of Veterans Affairs to bring the device to veterans with limited mobility, connecting them to the games they love and the people they want to play with.”
In February, Microsoft ran an ad for the controller during the Super Bowl.