The lights are on
Randy Fitzgerald, known as N0M4D in the Major League Gaming circuit, is questioning the absence of his namesake control scheme in the recently released Modern Warfare 2. Fitzgerald, who is working to earn a degree in game development and owns a LAN center in Rochester, Minn., was born with a rare muscle and joint disorder called Arthrogryposis. The condition left him with no use of his arms or legs, but Fitzgerald has adapted through modified controllers to play only with only the use of his lips and chin. A fan of shooters, Fitzgerald participated in the Modern Warfare beta back in 2007. Providing feedback on the official forums, Fitzgerald mentioned that he struggled playing without the ability to toggle aim (which was previously an option in CoD 3) since he is unable hold down the precision fire button while performing other actions. The thread garnered massive attention – over 25,000 responses – and in his honor Infinity Ward released a patch to implement a new control layout, naming it after his gamertag. Instead of holding down the left trigger to sight the gun, he could now tap to sight then tap again to lower, eliminating the need to hold the trigger, run, aim and shoot all at once.Fellow Call of Duty developer Treyarch continued the tradition, adding the layout to Call of Duty: World at War in 2008, which was used by individuals with and without physical disabilities. In an official video blog highlighting combat training in Modern Warfare 2, IW community manager Robert Bowling was happy to say that they had once again implemented the scheme and that it would be available at launch. (Skip to 4:35 to see that portion.) When Fitzgerald brought his retail copy home, however, he found that the control scheme was missing and attempted to get in touch with IW about its absence.
“I have been trying to contact them for months and have not received a response back,” Fitzgerald explained to us. “In the Combat Training Experience video Robert said, ‘I just talked to N0M4D the other day and he said he was going to make a video on how he plays.’ The truth is he never contacted me. In fact, I didn't even know he got that email until he mentioned it live on the air.”Fitzgerald doesn’t appear demanding, rather, just confused as to where his namesake control setting has gone as he is supposed to be prepping for several large tournaments. He later stated that he would understand if the feature couldn’t be included at launch. “I would understand if they couldn't implement the feature this time around for whatever reason, but I think the respectful thing is to let me know so I can look for alternate methods to enjoy the game and let other people know what’s going on,” Fitzgerald continued. “I am getting tons of email asking ‘Where is the N0M4D setting?’ Telling people ‘I don't know’ is somewhat damaging to my reputation because they respond with ‘Aren't you the guy they named it after?' ”We contacted Infinity Ward representatives at Activision yesterday to try to sort through the confusion, but have not yet received an official statement. An explanation may be tough considering much of the IW crew is off on well-deserved vacations, but we’ll update as soon as we hear back.
It's worth mentioning, however, that in the aforementioned video blog Bowling also addresses an unrelated
question about the use of modified controllers and how measures have
been taken to prevent rapid-fire cheats. While Fitzgerald's controller doesn't fall into this category, perhaps the new security measures caused a conflict that still needs to be addressed.