Interview: Chuck Bittner, The Quadriplegic Gamer For Custom Button Remapping

It has been a little over a year now since we first discovered Chuck Bittner and his petition for custom button remapping in video games. If you don’t know who Chuck Bittner is, let us give you a little background. He’s a quadriplegic comedian and gamer. He calls himself, “The Can’t Stand Up Comic” and for gaming goes by the name “iONLYUSEmeFACE.” He also runs the website AskACapper. While Chuck isn’t busy making people laugh, he loves to play games like Call of Duty. As you can see Chuck doesn’t let his disabilities stop him from enjoying himself and the world around him.

Because of his disability though, he is unable to hold a controller in his hands the way all of us do. He is forced to play video games using his face and it makes it quite difficult to play sometimes. That’s why he has spent the last year now petitioning for custom button remapping in video games. Back in December of 2009 when we found Chuck and his petition, he was just barely over 500 signatures and was just getting started. Since that time, Chuck has garnered the support of gamers from all across the world. He has had several articles written about him on different gaming news sites, received positive encouragement from Reddit’s r/gaming, and gained a small following on YouTube.

Chuck has made tremendous progress in the last year. His petition now has close to 15,000 signatures and he’s still rolling them in. While it’ll be a long road, Chuck plans to continue cruising down it in hopes to see his dream of custom button remapping become a reality. As one of the first sites to pick up on Chuck and his story, we’ve decided to check back in now. Chuck was kind enough to give us some of his time recently for an interview where he talks about the petition, his plans for the future, and the level of support he’s gotten for his cause.

HBG: You’ve been in several gaming publications in the last year. When you first started, did you think that this would receive the amount of support and publicity that it has?

Chuck Bittner: When I first started, I saw this was something that was needed. This is a global issue that would help so many people and I knew it would eventually peak news publication’s interests. The answer is Yes, to answer that in one word. The reason being is, again, I saw it as something that was going to help so many people. When I first started, I saw it as the need for me–as in handicapped people–but then I said, “man, this is going to help any gamer.” Back when I had hands I used to like to remap my controls and I’m sure everyone else feels the same way.

HBG: Aside from the internet what are the other ways that you’re promoting the petition?

Chuck Bittner: Last year I went to PAX East and I’m going to be going again this March. I’ve been handing out cards to some of my friends and nurses in my area. We hand them out in public, but for the most part we use the internet and word of mouth. Using the internet is my major means of getting the word out because I can reach so many more people in so many more areas.

HBG: What in your plans has changed from last year to this year as far as gaining exposure on the petition and what are your plans for this year?

Chuck Bittner: Well I’ve been using YouTube a lot which has been really good. I’m doing a lot of gameplay commentaries, talking about the petition, getting on a lot of different podcasts. That’s been something that’s changed recently. A lot of the big YouTube channels have started to show support and that’s been awesome. Some of them have put up the video where I talk about the petition and allow them to download it and put it on their channel. I was doing a lot of forums before and now I’m finding YouTube gameplay commentaries has helped me to gain a lot more exposure. People are able to check out my videos, subscribe, and then they tell their friends to check it out. It sort of a new avenue I’ve been taking.

PAX this year as well. Last year when I went, I focused more on handing out cards to individuals. This year, I’m going to get developers info, give them a copy of the petition, give them some of the comments from the petition, explain what it is, why it makes business sense, ethical sense, and start a real dialogue with developers. The way I think this is going to go down is that small developers will take the lead and be the ones to do it first. The PR boost they get when I’m able to say “hey, these guys are going to do this, they care about disabled gamers, and want gamers to be able to do this” will hopefully get the bigger developers to follow suit. This is year though, I plan on focusing a lot on the smaller development studios and talking to them. Getting their feedback and concerns and then going from there. What I learn from them can help propel me into the bigger studios.

HBG: Have you had the chance to speak to any developers about this directly, and if so, what were there reactions/thoughts about this?

Chuck Bittner: There has been some industry feedback as to why they might not want to do this, or why they are hesitant. I have a friend who works with developers and has told me that what he hears from these developers is that first off, they don’t want to wreck the user experience or they’re afraid that user themselves might wreck the experience. They might do a layout that might confuse them or ruin their experience. I see their concern, but they can set a default layout and that can be reset. There is also a fear of balance. There could potentially be “one layout to rule them all.” If that were the case though, they could just patch it to remove that layout.

HBG: Would you settle for a compromise of sorts? Say they didn’t do complete button remapping, but gave more accessible button layouts for people such as yourself?

Chuck Bittner: I can use the nomad layout which they finally added Call of Duty: Black Ops on PS3 because it has the Aim Down Sights lock. I can hit the L1 button and then hop back and aim down sights. It’s totally changed the game. I can finally aim down sights and no longer have to use “noob tubes.” It’s made the game a lot more enjoyable. It’s still not my perfect layout, but it’s changed the game. If they do more stuff like that it could be good, but little steps are good. Little steps are used to make a big journey. This journey is going to be taken in little steps and I do understand that.

HBG: Have you received any negativity towards your petition from the gaming community, or have they been supportive?

Chuck Bittner: Awesome super amazing. Crazy go nuts supportive — it’s amazing. I love some of the comments, people are like, “of all the petitions I’ve ever seen, this is the one that makes sense and I’m going to support it.” It’s been great, I’m amazed. Almost 100% support — and globally! I’m getting support from Brazil, I’ve gotten tons of signatures form a Brazilian website. People in Australia, France, just all over the world. Even some Arabic websites have posted some of my videos. I’ve got some people in the arabic countries posting support. Whats cool about it is, it’s something everyone appreciates. This is something globally that’s gonna help gamers no matter what country they’re in. They’re all saying that they want this. It’s cool, very few trolls. When the trolls do come out, everyone else puts the flamethrowers on them.

HBG: Before we wrap this up, is there anything else you’d like to add?

Chuck Bittner: Just thanks to you guys supporting me, and thanks to the Hot Blooded Gaming community. You guys at HBG and the other gaming sites have been really cool. Thanks to the people who were saying “yeah we want this, this is awesome!” It was so good to see few trolls and so few negative comments early on. It’s what really got me rolling and moving on. It got me saying “I can do this, this can happen” and to keep plugging away. Thanks to all the sites who supported early on. It’s totally awesome and it meant a lot to me.

I think remapping is going to happen, it’s going to come. Another thing I’ve been thinking about is, what if someone breaks their hand and wants to play games? Remapping also helps people who don’t have a permanent disability, but are temporarily disabled and want to play games. It’s something that is good to just about any gamer out there and is something I see is going to happen. I’m making 2011 the year of the remap.

Chuck will be continuing his petition this year and on until his dream of custom button remapping becomes a reality. Not just for himself either, but for all gamers out there — disabled or not. You can support Chuck by signing the petition, telling your friends, and letting anyone you think might want this know about his cause. He regularly posts videos like this one on his YouTube channel.

You can find more of his videos at YouTube.com/AskACapper. Look for Chuck at PAX East this year if you’re going to be attending the event this March. As he said to us, he’ll be easy to spot. He’s going to be the guy rolling around. Chuck will be playing in the game rooms available at the event to demonstrate to others how he plays and why custom button remapping is important to him.

If you’d like to learn more about Chuck’s Petition, you can do so by heading over to his website.

Editor’s Note: We’d like to thank Chuck for his time for the interview and wish him the best of luck with his petition. See you at PAX East Chuck!

Author: Kreyg View all posts by
I am Kreyg, the Founder and Editor-In-Chief of Hot Blooded Gaming. Check out my Staff Profile. If you have any questions, feel free to email me at Kreyg@HotBloodedGaming.com

39 Comments | Open Mic -- Say What You Feel

Rules: have fun, be funny, be a wise ass, don't troll, no threatening others, no racism, be respectful of others and their opinions, and no flame wars. Have fun and make friends as you talk about the topic at hand.


Leave a Comment

  1. By M4TH3W on 01-09-2011 22:40

    I <3 Chuck. I hope everything goes well at PAX this year. Glad he did this interview with you

    Reply

  2. By MPR11 on 01-09-2011 22:42

    Great intervew Kreyg! I watch capper on his YT and I think hes better then me at Blops lol. I hope that this petition goes all the way and I hope he does well at PAX and PAX east. WE <3 YOU CHUCK!!!

    Reply

  3. By JustAndrew1988 on 01-09-2011 22:43

    That's great. I wish him luck and hope this comes through.

    Reply

  4. By xDSJxPyro on 01-09-2011 22:43

    So nice to see that Chuck has kept this up, and is closing in on 20,000 signatures. I have said from day one, this will help everyone, not just disabled people. I have had plenty of games where I have wanted to change the layout of maybe just a few buttons, but couldn't.

    I get that developers are scared, but you know what, it only takes one to take a chance. We need people to stray from the norm more than ever now. I really hope that some smaller developers jump onto this, and prove to the bigger ones, that yes, people do actually want to change buttons.

    Good luck with your endeavor Chuck, keep on going, and know that you have a ton of people's support in your mission.

    Reply

  5. By M4TH3W on 01-09-2011 22:44

    Originally Posted by MPR11:
    Quote Great intervew Kreyg! I watch capper on his YT and I think hes better then me at Blops lol. I hope that this petition goes all the way and I hope he does well at PAX and PAX east. WE <3 YOU CHUCK!!!

    lol that reminded me of the time Ashkon (I think) said that Chuck's K/D was probably horrible then Chuck posted that is was 1.39, which turned out to be better then Ashkon's

    Reply

  6. By Tovan on 01-09-2011 22:48

    It's great to see that the petition is still going strong, Chuck is an awesome dude.

    Hopefully this change is just around the corner. I can understand why a few developers would be hesitant about this addition, but I would hope that they could see past the unlikely negative repercussions.

    Reply

  7. By MSgtGunny on 01-09-2011 22:57

    i've seen some games with full remapping, GT5, SOCOM Confrontation, hopefully socom 4

    Reply

  8. By iammattstarkey on 01-09-2011 23:28

    I went CRAZY on Twitter sending this to all the big names in gaming. It makes me feel good helping Chuck, even if it's spreading the word.

    Reply

  9. By ArinaBlack on 01-09-2011 23:34

    we need custom button remapping on COD :D I support Chuck :P

    Reply

  10. By A_Joe_Ke on 01-10-2011 00:08

    Whoa whoa whoa, I just checked out the petition and who signed it, and the 2nd or 3rd one down was someone who signed as Mike Hawk and put HBG as his reference. I mean, good that he signed it, but why use Mike Hawk?!!

    Reply

  11. By acewild on 01-10-2011 00:42

    I like that there's someone out their willing to use there time on Custom button remapping. Some might think its a waste of time but with video games disabled people now have something to talk with people other than their disabilities.

    Reply

  12. By DeadStretch on 01-10-2011 00:59

    Woah dude. Great interview. Just from watching his videos, which I have subscribed to him on Youtube and watch every video he posts, and reading what he has to say he is such an awesome dude. I am kind of in awe after reading that and don't really know what to say but "awesome!"

    I think the fact that he wants to talk to the "little guys" aka the smaller dev. studios first is a GREAT plan. In this day in gaming we tend to support the little guys more then anything.

    I hope this all works out one day.

    Btw, I laughed pretty hard at his online handle.

    Reply

  13. By Cynicalbrit on 01-10-2011 02:09

    I remember when we first saw Chuck on HBG last year. Massive credit to Kreyg for discovering his videos and helping along the process of sharing about this worthwhile cause.
    From everything we see of Chuck we are shown this delightfully affable guy who has not let his disability stop him from enjoying games. You watch some people who are perfectly capable of using the controller as it was designed to be used, who throw hissy fits every time they get killed in Call of Duty, blaming controllers, lag, the company that makes the game, other players cheating, and anything else they can think of at the time. You watch Chuck play and he just enjoys himself as much as he can.
    And then he goes on from that experience and starts this petition that will help not just him, but gamers everywhere. He sticks with this petition through its slow start and the finally gets some exposure. And after achieving a certain amount of popularity, and getting over 15,000 signatures on his petition and it hasn't turned him in any way into an asshole. He's still this same humble guy who just wants to get this thing to happen for him and all other gamers worldwide. I hope he gets the reward he deserves.

    Reply

  14. By danglar3 on 01-10-2011 07:51

    Chuck is a very cool dude. I hope they give him his request.

    Reply

  15. By Fumbles Mcgee on 01-10-2011 11:26

    Great interview, it's amazing to see how far along the petition has come since last year. Hopefully at PAX East Chuck can get some developers really thinking about remapping.

    Reply

  16. By AskACapperDOTcom on 01-10-2011 13:08

    Hey Guys & girls I reallllly appreciate all your early support it was what got me going. so awesome! My kd in blops is 1.3 but I'm 3rd prestige and the first 20 levels of new prestige are hard on my kill death. I'm going to post some wii tennis gameplay today I think so I'll be ONLYUSEmeWii (that sounds wrong!

    http://www.reddit.com/r/gaming/comme..._gaming_on_the

    upboat the reddit if you can!

    Reply

  17. By Fumbles Mcgee on 01-10-2011 13:21

    Originally Posted by AskACapperDOTcom:
    Quote Hey Guys & girls I reallllly appreciate all your early support it was what got me going. so awesome! My kd in blops is 1.3 but I'm 3rd prestige and the first 20 levels of new prestige are hard on my kill death. I'm going to post some wii tennis gameplay today I think so I'll be ONLYUSEmeWii (that sounds wrong!

    http://www.reddit.com/r/gaming/comme..._gaming_on_the

    upboat the reddit if you can!

    Upvoted, keep up the great work Chuck.

    Reply

  18. By KR3W619 on 01-10-2011 14:17

    Nice, I hope he manages to get developers to follow and he has gone a long way since last year.

    Reply

  19. By outroxx on 01-10-2011 18:06

    I love this guy, it takes courage to do what he does, even when life wasnt so kind with him at times, he still keeps his head up and enjoys life, hats down

    Reply

  20. By DeadStretch on 01-10-2011 18:13

    Hey Chuck, what's wrong with only playing with your Wii? I mean it's loads of fun both solo and team style.

    Reply

  21. By AskACapperDOTcom on 01-10-2011 19:15

    Originally Posted by DeadStretch:
    Quote Hey Chuck, what's wrong with only playing with your Wii? I mean it's loads of fun both solo and team style.

    LoL I love my Wii... Girls come over and play with it a lot! Just funny watching video of me hitting my Wii hard. Yes sometimes guys play with my Wii too but I still enjoy it. Oh ummmm wait don't print this intermne....

    Reply

  22. By DeadStretch on 01-10-2011 19:32

    Lmao. Chuck you're awesome. I would like to play with your Wii sometime.

    Reply

  23. By AskACapperDOTcom on 01-10-2011 21:30

    Originally Posted by DeadStretch:
    Quote Lmao. Chuck you're awesome. I would like to play with your Wii sometime.

    That sound like you're a gaymer i'm not but to each his own... piece in your crease! Gotta go friends coming over to blow vac my wii it is dirty! wait waht?!

    Reply

  24. By varney89 on 01-10-2011 22:19

    Very good interview Chuck is a funny guy im now checking out his youtube as i want to see more!

    Reply

  25. By reconfear on 01-10-2011 22:55

    Hey Kreyg Great intervew

    Reply

  26. By reconfear on 01-10-2011 22:58

    Hey Great interview

    Reply

  27. By Vinny_Vincent on 01-11-2011 00:07

    This guy is amazing. NUFF SAID!

    Reply

  28. By Noxius on 01-11-2011 04:27

    Good stuff, I really hope at least 1 developer at PAX picks up on this. Then basic greed and vanity will take over... I mean, no developer would want to answer why they don't have remapping available when one (or more) of their competitors do.

    It's been said before but it's worth repeating... This will help ALL gamers. Regardless of nation, race, creed, religion, sex, or physical status, we all will benefit from remapping.

    Rock On Chuck!

    Reply

  29. By AskACapperDOTcom on 01-11-2011 09:03

    Upvote anyone? http://www.reddit.com/r/gaming/comments/f06p6 my youtube video. I'll get at least 1 developer to listen

    Reply

  30. By Omnislasher on 01-11-2011 11:52

    I've been supportive ever since HBG introduced us to Chuck.

    It's crazy how much exposure and signatures he's gained over a year. Keep on going strong Chuck!

    Reply

  31. By Noxius on 01-11-2011 13:01

    Originally Posted by AskACapperDOTcom:
    Quote Upvote anyone? http://www.reddit.com/r/gaming/comments/f06p6 my youtube video. I'll get at least 1 developer to listen

    Up'ed.

    Let's jump on this people. HBG Army, Unite!

    Reply

  32. By dumpdemon on 01-11-2011 22:22

    i hope we get costem botten layouts

    Reply

  33. By bxr122821 on 01-11-2011 22:36

    Chuck is amazing. I always check out his videos when they show up in my subbox on youtube. This need's to be a done deal, Where is the re-mapping already

    Reply

  34. By Techi on 01-12-2011 00:18

    I went to sign it today, and it turns out I signed it ages ago :D So I did my part! Hope it goes good for ya Chuck!

    Reply

  35. By craney123 on 01-12-2011 00:23

    Good luck Chuck.

    Reply

  36. By redboy881 on 01-13-2011 19:51

    dam he is really good for someone who uses there face like i ebt theres alot of people on xbox and there like WTF NOOB WHY DONT YOU AIM. and yet they dont know that he uses his face to play makeing it hard to aim or if even possible. but ya this is awsome(yes i did spell it wrong stfu idc).

    Reply

  37. By Gluv165 on 01-14-2011 21:22

    chuck is a good guy, i wanna go to pax just to meet him and talk to him. I really hope this petition works and button remapping exists within the next couple of years, thanks chuck for the interveiw :)

    Reply

  38. By larnigan8 on 01-21-2011 20:51

    the mass media really needs to look at something like this in which the gaming community can pull together for a good cause. It seems that gamers are always getting blamed by the mass media for violent acts whenever they occur.

    Reply

  39. By beebster on 02-07-2011 17:09

    Signed.

    also as a side, for xbox 360 users to be able to use a mouse/keyboard this device is just pure genius. i have many friends that will benefit from this device, that could not even play with a controller at all because of their disability.

    XIM3 at xim3.com

    Reply

  40. By Pjammies on 02-07-2011 17:20

    Signed!

    I wish you good luck and hope the developers listen!

    Reply