The quest for a Wii U for an accessibility review.

This will be the shortest blog post that I have ever done, partly because this journey has taken place in the vast recess of cyberspace, swallowed up by ports and mapping and the inherent read and return receipts that pop into my email inbox more frequently than snow in Chicago.

The quest happened on a lone Friday night last week as I was wondering what the next generation Nintendo, or the current/next gen had to offer the disabled. Naturally, because I didn’t have anyone to cuddle up with at night and feed me skittles, this is what kept me up, wondering, and wondering.

The pad that would serve as a second screen could be an innovation that would help the visually impaired play. How many games had captions for the deaf? How many adaptive devices existed so that people with mobility impairments could control the cute plumber? The wonderment soon centered onto me. While I definitely didn’t represent the entire disability community, perhaps a detailed, hands on write up, of my experiences with the system would help someone, and so the keyboard quest began.

The email started off to one person on LinkedIn who didn’t even belong in the press department. Since I didn’t have any other leads, I thought I’d try some people on LinkedIn. The focus soon shifted from LinkedIn to my email inbox, where I sent a message into the void, hoping that someone would notice that I got a haircut in the last week, as my picture seems to automatically show up for some reason even though I don’t attach anything or link to any pictures.

With my resume and writing clips links in the signature, my text was off to the races. I chose not to send them my interview, because I felt that would be kind of an overwhelming sea of links all at once, then again, some people would call me a young journalist, and perhaps that was one of my many mistakes, not to send the interview.

At any rate, the email had been sent. Now that the email had been sent, it was time for me to do something productive like doubt myself, but after I sang American Idiot at full blast in the shower.

Days went by, and the doubts grew. No read receipt had been sent. Would they consider my request because I was with small websites? Did my email get lost? How could my email have gotten lost? Do they not like my hair? Is it too long? Should I have attached the resume instead? Are my credentials okay? Is it too little?

Many thoughts of that nature ran racing ramped through my cerebellum, and the wait grew.

While I was on a date with a dashing black dude who loved to watch butterflies, my email binged on my cell. I whipped it out like it was a pistol and listened to the reply. They had read my message. I squealed, causing people to glance over at me in wonderment. There was also a message that said that they would definitely pass it onto the right guy for me!

“Yay! I might be getting a Nintendo Wii U to review!” I announced to my gorgeous date and the confusion of a few nearby diners.

Over the next few days, I received read receipt after read receipt. About 30 in all, over the course of three days. I assumed they were passing around my email to their entire team, since I didn’t have a way to tell who forwarded my messages where. After a few days of read receipts, one woman, I forgot her name, replied back to me saying they didn’t have any more units to give to press, but I could have a unit on loan until I’m finished with it.

While that was a very kind gesture, I was going to review upcoming games as well so i’d want to keep it because I’d have to request one every new game, and getting it to the post office to ship back would be almost impossible for me, since I’m a little guy and can barely lift the PS4 box with everything in it. I said no thank you and asked to still keep me in the loop if any become available. She assured me she would.

I am also on the hunt to acquire a TV that can handle all of this new technology. Mine, an old tube model, just won’t stick it with the epic HDMI cord, as you can see in the picture below.

Image of a small TV with AV cables plugged in on the front

I wasn’t sure about how to go about asking for a TV, since I have never reviewed a TV before, and worried that would be my hindrance, my lack of experience. I wanted to kill two birds in one swoop. It would give me another device to write about, and it would work on these new gaming devices at the same time.

First, I tried Samsung, since they are making smart TV’s that are for the blind now. I’d need to talk with their technician because I’ve never reviewed a TV before. I wonder what that process is like. It will be interesting to see how that goes. I’m not sure who to try at Sony, and my PlayStation contact doesn’t know. I’ve tried a few others, but they have not gotten back to me yet.

I’m hesitant to bug Sony, because I don’t know who to ask, so I’d be blindly contacting people in the company, desperately trying to get somewhere.

I’ve also asked for some gaming headsets as well for the PS4. Logitech don’t have any available left, and the rest haven’t replied yet, so I will definitely wait in eagerness.

I wish there was a main site for journalists where I can get these PR contacts a bit easier, but hey, I can dream!

I’m also thinking about applying to AbleGamers, or even IGN, or GameSpot. It’s always worth a shot! I do not have anything to lose!

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Robert W Kingett

Robert Kingett is a gay blind journalist, and author, with many publications in magazines, anthologies, and blogs. He has judged many writing contests and has won many awards for his writings and advocacy.

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