Guest appearance by pinball engineer John Popaduik provides exclusive insight into pinball design
CHICAGO – Aug. 8, 2011 – In the latest episode of the “The Ben Heck Show,” sponsored by element14, the first collaborative community and electronics store for design engineers and electronics enthusiasts, modding guru Benjamin J. Heckendorn, a.k.a. Ben Heck, deconstructs and reconfigures standard Xbox 360TM gaming controllers into split controllers to increase accessibility and mobility for individuals with physical disabilities
“I get a lot of requests from viewers who have a limited range of motion asking me to split standard controllers in half or downsize a controller so it fits in one hand,” said Heck. “As an avid gamer, I am honored to be able to showcase how implementing the modder mindset can level the playing field, so to speak, and transform a difficult gaming experience into an accessible good time. Game on!”
In his quest to make gaming accessible to all, Ben walks viewers through the design process for two types of Xbox controller mods—a split controller and a single-hand controller. For the first mod, Ben increases mobility during game play by using ribbon cable and a replicated version of the original circuit board to sync a full-size, left hand controller with a half-size, right hand controller. On the second mod, Ben reconfigures the original controller by moving all play buttons to one side and the analog stick to the back, allowing gamers to use one hand and leg to manipulate the controller.
“The gaming community is known for being innovative and collaborative,” said Kevin Yapp, chief marketing officer, Premier Farnell. “Through this project, Ben has shown his support for fellow gamers in need of more accessible game play and has connected the gaming community. This collaboration reflects element14’s goal to unite like-minded individuals, such as gamers, design engineers and electronic enthusiasts, to collaborate on projects of all sizes and achieve great results online.”
The entertaining episode also features a guest appearance from pinball designer John Popaduik who, through his work at electronic gaming manufacturer Williams Bally Midway, played an integral role in the design process for pinball machines such as Circus Voltaire and Theater of Magic. During his visit, John also discusses his passion for design with Ben and reveals important tips for pinball builds.
Show fans are invited to join the element14 community to send Ben a challenge for a future build, engage with community members, and enter for a chance to win one of Ben’s builds featured on the show, including his Xbox 360 CD disc changer.