Rather than give up his love of sports and sports video games, Smith decided to contact Sony's San Diego game studio to discuss his feelings towards baseball and the game studio's hit baseball series, MLB. The development team, inspired by Smith's story, made him a playable character in MLB 10: The Show, and their mutual friendship has prompted the creation of a new mode for MLB 11 that makes it easier for gamers with disabilities to play.
The new mode being introduced is named after Smith's organization, the Association for Disabled Virtual Athletes. Sony's development team, along with Smith's help created a new mode which offers single-press functionality making it easier for gamers with cerebral palsy or similar disabilities to play. Instead of pressing multiple buttons to control players, the game's AI will be able to take care of functions which might require multiple buttons such as running towards the ball or running to home base.
"I'm never going to throw a baseball. I'm never going to run around the bases," Smith replied in an interview with ESPN. "So all of the adrenaline you feel by stepping out on the field and coming up to bat with two outs in the ninth inning, that's what I feel when I play the video game. So in a sense, this game is my reality."
Baseball games, along with other sports games such as basketball and football, have fairly complicated control schemes which require users to deal with several buttons at a time to perform certain actions. Sony's additional mode will allow many new players who were previously unable to manage these difficult controls, to truly enjoy the game.
This admirable move by Sony's development team is proof that some game makers take into account their fans before releasing their games. We hope that Sony will be able to inspire other companies to do the same.