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Customer Review

on April 15, 2011
Ok I know right off most people will NOT agree with a thing I say here. I am autistic. I also have cerebral palsy and other disabilities. I have tried playing many video games with only slight success. My cerebral palsy is not severe but it is just bad enough to make playing most video games impossible. I tried lots of video games looking for the one that would let me honestly enjoy it. To let you know how much I love this game, you should know I brought 3 copies for myself alone. Once I find something I REALLY LOVE I NEVER WANT TO BE WITHOUT IT! Also the game includes all the add on content on a single disk now. I found the General Knoxx content the best and most challenging but I do have cerebral palsy so you normal folk will likely breeze right through it.

Being disabled I am sensitive to the needs of the mobility impaired. I am a mobility impaired autistic man. Playing any video game is extremely difficult for me. However most of my friends are hardcore gamers. I am already autistic which means making friends come very hard for me. Most of the people I know (Computer geeks like me suggested I get into gaming to fit in better.) I tried many video games and was a disaster at playing them. Borderlands was different. Borderlands was immediate hit with me. First I love the strange mix of horrid Wild West poverty and Star Trek like high technology that is Pandora. I love how all the buildings and structures have that ugly, seed bar room dive neglected look. I love how all the characters have a Film Noir meets Star Trek type dark side to their personalities. Don't get me wrong what I love about Borderlands far exceeds anything I do not like. I finally got past fighting General Knoxx he was a hard man to kill indeed.

What I do not like is that there is no provision for disabled people who might need longer to process and respond to what is happening on the screen than their non-disabled gamer friends. Think about it for a minute. As a mobility impaired person, man, lady or child we are by physical disability already excluded from most of the phyiscal aspects of childhood. Now with video games like Borderlands that make no allowances for disabled gamers mobility impaired and other disabled people are written out of the script in the video game world too. Some video games are not designed to accomodate the special needs of disabled people so Borderlands is not that different from others.

Borderlands has no easy or casual mode of game play that might be more disabled friendly so that is a big flaw in my eyes. What is even more sad is Borderlands does not even need a special mode to become disabled friendly. The mechanism to make Borderlands the most dissbled friendly game on the market already exists. The Borderlands shield techniology offers a built in way to give disabled gamers more time to process and approprriately what is happening to their in game character. Just offer the disabled gamer the opportunity to become a (BadA**) character since they have extra staying power in the faces of whitering fire.

I grew up physically disabled and I know first hand what it is like to be excluded from the fun things of childhood due to a mobility impairment disability you did not ask for. I give speeches to parents of autistic and mobility impaired kids and too many times I hear the heartbreaking horror stories of how disabled kids are shut out of the fun of video games played by able bodied siblings because, no allowence can be made to accomodate the fact that a disabled kid might need longer to process and or respond to the challenges faced by his character. I single Borderlands out not because; it is such a horrible game but because it is so much fun and its present form does not have to be changed much to make this the perfect game for someone with mobility and or cognitive challenges. I single borderlands out because this is an awesome game that would be a lot of fun.

After 52 years of life and lots of searching, I am so happy to finally find a video game I was able to play. Of course I could only play Borderlands in the early stages where its weapon's and shields offered more closely mapped to the players level of game skill attainment. If I had a longer lasting shield like those of the so called, Bad*** characters I would have been able to reach the higher levels. I am sad that Borderlands does not make any adjustments for the fact that not all gamers are quick in cognitive ability or able of body. I brought three copies of Borderlands because; I have three friends who are parents of disabled kids that need to learn better hand eye coordination skills. The parents tried every all kinds of "therapy" to get the kids interested in trying to better their hand eye coodination with no success. The kids saw me playing Borderlands and were immediately interested and willing to try it with my encouragement. After just a few minutes time the disabled kids were hooting and hollering with joy as they sat shooting Skaggs and bandits in Fyrestone. Finally they had a video game they were able to share with their older able bodied siblings. To see the transformation in a mobility impaired kid was nothing short of awesome. Borderlands made learning to do everything simple because almost everything is done by pointing your gun toward the thing you want to manipulate or access. The controls are very simple and straight forward making them easy to comprehend and remember.

Borderlands also does not berate you for making a mistake. The Borderlands characters are mostly foul mouthed old so-n-so's that berate everyone disabled and non-disabled player alike. All I can say is I wish there was a Borderlands around when I first attempted to play video games in the 1970's. Yes Borderlands is still not what I would call disabled friendly but, it is the most disabled friendly first person shooter RPG game I have seen. Borderlands forced me to buy three Sony Playstation 3 systems so disabled kids could enjoy the prospect of being disabled gamers. I enjoyed Borderlands so much I brought 3 more PS3 systems so I could enjoy playing video games against my adult disabled friends so I guess we are neophyte gamers too. I say thanks to the people who make Borderland's but ask them to please consider making adjustments so mobility impaired people can play as a "BadA** character so they have the extra time needed to understand and respond to the events their character faces. Borderlands is a great game disabled friends and I love it, but it could be made better.
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