After tragically losing an arm during an unfortunate railway accident in London, avid gamer James Young may soon regain the ability to game on thanks to an incredibly touching gesture by none other than Konami Digital Entertainment. Because Metal Gear Solid is Young’s all-time favorite video game series, Konami recently decided to partner with leading robotic engineers to manufacture a prosthetic which harkens back to the iconic franchise. Heartwarming doesn’t even come close to describing this story.
Modeled off the prosthetic arm seen in 2015’s Metal Gear Solid V: The Phantom Pain, Konami partnered with distinguished prosthetics designer, Sophie De Oliviera Barata to develop The Phantom Limb Project. Along with a team of roboticists, engineers, and product designers, the project intends to manufacture what it calls “a highly stylized and multi-functional limb.” Citing Young’s continued progress at playing video games one-handed and learning to live without both limbs, Konami says he was the perfect candidate for Barata’s vision.
Though few technical details have yet been shared regarding the project, Konami intends to film and publish a three-part documentary of the project. Currently, the company runs a blog chronicling the process of The Phantom Limb Project aimed at introducing those following the story to key collaborators and themes relative to the project. Once the design and manufacture process completes, the team plans to officially unveil the three-part documentary in January.
According to the project’s website, “The Phantom Limb Project was born out of a desire to create something innovative, on the cusp of future technology, which would explore the themes present within the series and more specifically, the themes and ideas referenced in the latest incarnation: Metal Gear Solid V: The Phantom Pain.”
Though manufacturing a prosthetic limb capable of handling everyday tasks with ease is no small undertaking, Barata’s extensive work in the field was a boon for the project’s success. As director of the Alternative Limb Project, her experience with unorthodox and unique prosthetic projects is extensive to say the least. Having worked on everything from steampunk and gadget-inspired limbs to wildly lifelike prosthetics, The Phantom Limb Project looks like another day at the office for Barata.
Konami and The Phantom Limb Project’s vision of getting a passionate gamer back to doing what he loves represents a beautiful example of putting technology to good use. As the project so perfectly phrases it, it truly is “an uplifting human story of what it means to be an amputee, to feel phantom pain, to overcome loss and how technology can change our perceptions of ‘disability.'”
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