Insomniac Games to help out a family on ABC’s Extreme Makeover: Home Edition
Posted by Aaron on Wednesday, April 18, 2007
This is awesome news! About time a good story about video games is in the news. Check it out:
On Extreme Makeover: Home Edition’s April 22 episode, the Burbank, California-based developer will unveil a digital version of 9-year-old James Westbrook for use in Ratchet and Clank Future: Tools of Destruction.
Westbrook, the victim of a car accident that left him paralyzed in July 2006, never lost his passion for playing videogames or the desire to design one of his own. James’ father, SFC Gene Westbrook, was paralyzed himself when he was hit by a mortar at an American mess hall in Baghdad, Iraq two years earlier.
Among the obvious personal struggles the family found themselves dealing with, moving two wheelchairs around a house that wasn’t built for them was yet another problem. Enter Extreme Makeover and Insomniac Games:
“We were immediately moved to do something special for the Westbrook family when we learned about their tragic situation and James’ passion for videogames design,” said Ted Price, Insomniac Games’ founder and CEO. “For all of us at Insomniac, this opportunity to help such an amazing family with our game-making experience was a real honor. We’ve never inserted a member of the public into our videogames, and we think it’s incredibly appropriate that James will be the first gamer to enjoy that unique experience.”
In one week’s time, Insomniac’s entire 160-person studio came together to produce the playable version of James, complete with his own flying saucer, in what typically takes an entire month.
“We’re still finalizing the details of James’ in-game character,” said Ryan Schneider, Marketing Director, Insomniac Games. “We have the basic gameplay mechanic down, but how we incorporate that into Ratchet and Clank Future is still being determined.”