Are video games accessible to all audiences? This question has become one of the main missions of the industry. In recent years, there has been an increased awareness of bringing video games to audiences with special needs. Microsoft has long been committed to accessibility and titles like Ratchet & Clank: A Dimension Apart have been involved in offering various features. Today Ford Adapta and the ONCE Foundation have presented today at the Digital Talent hub in Madrid the Team Fordzilla Ford Adapta Simulatorthe first simulator simracing created and adapted to the needs of real and virtual drivers with disabilities and reduced mobility.
In the last Gamergy we attended the presentation of P1, the virtual competition car for video game competition. Today we break down how Ford carries the sim-racing people with disabilities and we talked to the tennis player Cisco Garcia, Ambassador of this initiative.
The sim-racinga hyper-realistic experience
Cisco García is one of the best professional wheelchair tennis players, individual runner-up in Spain and world team runner-up, awarded by the New York Summit Awards for his aspirational resilience. This athlete suffered a spinal cord injury during a car accident. snowboard, but has always pursued exciting new adventures and fought for accessibility in the sport. It is not surprising that Ford Adapta and Eleven Foundation selected him as an ambassador for an initiative that aspires to bring the sim-racing to all audiences.
Cisco Garcia is driving simulator fan. “She saw it and said: ‘how cool, let’s see if they do something with people in chairs!’ It’s just that before everything was in the feet, but what they have done in Ford Adapta is to put everything on the steering wheel: you change gears from there, you accelerate and brake. It has a vest that makes you vibrate as if you were inside the car and they put some helmets on you where the sound is brutal. You feel like you’re actually inside a racing car.” Cisco praises the current state of the racing simulation, calling it “perfect.”
What is Ford Adapta like?
The Team Fordzilla Ford Adapta simulator has been developed by the specialized company Hi-Speed Simulators, together with the advice of Ford Adapta, Team Fordzilla and Fundación ONCE. The result is a hardware that allows people with reduced mobility to enjoy an experience simracing exactly the same as that of a pedal box, which allows its users to play and compete. This simulator is compatible with all consoles, computers and video games, it has software adapted with reduced mobility mode and is available with a virtual reality system with up to 3 4k gaming monitors. Among its main characteristics, in addition to those commented by Cisco García, we find the following:
- MBH steering wheel with adaptive rim paddles to control throttle and brake.
- Servobases with Direct Drive technology.
- Wireless, with systems for an easy change of rings.
- Adaptive cams with configurable functions.
- Haptic vibration systems for the body torso.
- High fidelity motion systems.
- Sequential gear change.
The simulator can be purchased through www.teamfordzilla.com y www.fordadapta.com and through the Ford Dealer Network and will be available for shipment throughout Europe. Likewise, it offers a test session for the public to assess how the vehicle can be adapted to their needs.
Accessibility, a commitment beyond the corporate image
Cisco Garcia appreciates how Ford Adapta honestly commits to accessibility. “There are sites that point to accessibility, but you immediately notice that they do it to look good, but without a real intention.” The example given by Cisco is the number of buildings that have a ramp at the entrance, but end up having a very steep slope for anyone in a wheelchair, or that still do not have an elevator inside. At Ford Adapta, they have had his advice and thanks to Fundación ONCE they have managed to create a driving experience for people with different needs. “It’s crazy how they have taken care of everything”, highlights the tennis player. “Even how the car seat rotates and comes out so you can sit down to the experience itself.” Cisco García also humorously comments on how he found driving difficult on the other hand, despite presenting a stimulating video game challenge. “There are kids without a license that I have seen and they handle the virtual vehicle very well, but I went out in the curves!”.
Cisco Garcia expresses how his passion for video games has grown in recent years, and fondly remembers his FIFA matches. Currently, due to his professional life, he barely has time to dedicate to it, although he is very fascinated by how the racing simulation genre is. “I didn’t know this could be so far along.” The tennis player wants to return to video games to see the advances in accessibility in this field. After all, the fact that the medium has become even more popular in recent decades means that new ways of adapting it to all players are contemplated.