One of the greatest joys for a football fan is to play EA Sports' world-renowned FIFA video game series with friends. But sometimes life takes that joy away from you, like it did in case of Will Clark.
A bike accident left the Manchester resident paralyzed from the neck down. In addition to losing the use of his limbs, Clark also was unlikely to play FIFA on his PlayStation ever again since the console joysticks are controlled with hands.
But Clark's love for the Beautiful Game was so strong that he wouldn't let a physical disability stop him from delving into the virtual world for a round or two of competitive football.
With the help of a few friends, he designed a PlayStation controller that allows him to not just play but beat his pals at FIFA, just like he did before his injury.
Console gaming controllers are naturally handheld devices, but Clark has transformed it into an entire rig which uses his limited set of body motions to relay gaming commands to the system.
Clark's gaming chair has special buttons which he operates through his shoulders while a customized stick allows him to control the movement of his players with his chin and lips.
"I used to be such an active person and had to go back to square one; it was very frustrating," said Clark, who is a huge Manchester United fan. "After the accident I had to let other people do things for me that I would have done without even thinking about it. I used to love cooking and had to let someone else do all my meals for me."
He may be dependent on others to perform the basic tasks of his life, he can still pretty much hold his own in FIFA.
"There were things I never thought I’d be able to do again – getting back to play on the PlayStation was one of them," he added. "At the moment I am really into FIFA. I have a special controller which I can operate – I use my chin to move one of the joysticks and can press the buttons with special pads I hit with my shoulders. My friends are very competitive with each other."
No one really knows the meaning of EA's famous "it's in the game" slogan. However, if it means remaining competitive and fighting for the ball no matter what, then Clark certainly is in the game. Kudos to him for pursuing his passions for FIFA gaming despite his condition.