Video gaming is a predominantly visual medium, and it's very easy to take for granted that you need a pair of functioning eyeballs to really get the most out of interactive entertainment. For those who have sight issues, gaming is largely — and sadly — off-limits.
However, for a little girl called Jennifer — who can only see a few inches in front of her face — the Wii U GamePad has become something of a revelation. As her father explains on the Zenspath blog, Jennifer always wants to be involved in family gaming sessions but can't participate because she has to be so close to the TV that she blocks it from the view of the other players. With the Wii U GamePad, she's finally able to join in — she can be as close to the controller's screen as she likes without impeding anyone's viewpoint.
However, it's not just the GamePad which has unlocked Jennifer's love of gaming. With Nabbit — an invulnerable character added to New Super Luigi U — she can dash through levels with her more skilled family members without feeling like she's slowing them down or holding them back.
Her father explains:
When I got home last Sunday with my new boxed copy of New Super Luigi U in hand, I had an epiphany about the new character that Nintendo decided to replace its signature plumber Mario with...Nabbit.
Nabbit is different because this character is basically invulnerable. I'm talking you can run about the screen and you will just pass around enemies without being "bumped" or "tossed" anywhere so you are free to move about. This lead to a character Jennifer could play and run with, but without the frustrations that plagued her before. She still can fall into a hole, but then Nabbit is tossed into a bubble and she gets to "shake" the remote to let us pop it which she thought was hilarious. I was amazed at how quickly she picked up the mechanics and started jumping gaps and running about. I would smile as she got her face so close to the screen that a platform would pop up when her nose tapped it from time to time before she figured out it was a touch screen too.
Jennifer's father understandably has quite a high opinion about the Wii U now — the GamePad controller has allowed his daughter to be a gamer:
People complain and argue that the GamePad is an unnecessary accessory on a system that is failing to launch fast enough. They complained that the Wii Remote was too simple and could not allow for "proper" gaming. Yet here I sit able to say that the Nintendo Wii U...with it's GamePad and ability to use the Wii's Remotes has led to me playing a game with my daughter directly for the first time. Where at night when my wife goes to work at the hospital me and the boys could join into a 3 player game while my daughter would watch a movie finally have a 4th player. We are together and my daughter has broken another "she can't".
The Wii U may have just become my favorite system in history.