'Useless' foot pedal invention a game-changer for physically-challenged gamers
Moxuan TG, a League of Legends content creator, is known for his quirky and yet seemingly useless inventions of gaming accessories on China's Gen-Z dominated video-sharing platform Bilibili.com.
At the beginning of this year, Mo was struck by an idea of using pedals so as to free his hands of the excessive striking of keys while playing LOL. The pedals were designed to have only a single function such as performing "flash" in LOL.
Most of Mo's viewers or followers knew that it was just another one of his jokes, and laughed the invention off as "useless," with some saying "a poor student has nothing to show off but his stationery." However, what Mo didn't know was that the seemingly useless invention would change the lives of some of the gamers.
Just days after Mo posted the pedal video, one Bilibili user contacted him, seeking information on how to set up the pedal, because he had always played with one hand due to a car accident.
After confirming that the person was indeed physically-challenged, Mo came to know more about the man – in his 40s, he was from southwest China's Chongqing City and had lost his right arm in an accident.
That's when Mo realized that his "useless" invention could really be put to great use.
At first, Mo wanted to recommend that the man buy pedals available in the market, for the sake of convenience. But he found that such products are quite expensive, being aimed at a niche market.
Mo decided to make a few pedals and give them to the man for free. He bought a dozen of pedals to see which ones were the most comfortable.
When the set-up is connected, a gamer needs one hand and two feet to play LOL. After getting used to it, Mo believed the set-up was no different than normal players using a mouse and a keyboard.
Fearing that the man would have trouble installing the pedals by himself, Mo decided to fly to Chongqing from Shandong Province to help him in person.
There, Mo started to piece together the man's life. He found out that despite his physical condition, the man had volunteered to help the victims of the catastrophic Wenchuan Earthquake in Sichuan Province in 2008.
Using only one arm, the man could only manage to use heroes in the game for simple skills such as Amumu and Teemo. However, he still managed to play his rank all the way up to silver.
After connecting the pedals to his PC, the smile on the man's face made Mo believe that all his efforts had been worth it.
With the video going viral, many disabled gamers contacted Mo, hoping to have their own foot pedal.
At first, Moxuan was determined to do the charity work on his own, helping one person at a time. But as the number of people in need increased, he encountered some problems.
The most practical issue was the cost. When he was only doing it for one person, the money and time he spent were manageable. But when it came to mass production, the difficulties multiplied. He also needed time to make videos to earn money, and he couldn't even support himself if things continued this way.
So he came up with a solution: creating a tutorial for making foot pedals!
He researched, tested equipment, and after continuous comparisons, finally developed a set of low-cost and convenient DIY foot pedal tutorials. It only cost 10 yuan (US$1.37) to make two pedals.
By sharing the tutorial and recommending the equipment, he had already selflessly helped the majority of people. However, he still felt it wasn't good enough.
The tutorial only solved the problem for players with disabilities in one arm. But in real life, everyone faces different challenges. Some people can't use mouse side buttons, some have disabilities in their legs – these issues couldn't be solved by the tutorial alone.
So he decided to become a spokesperson of these disabled gamers and approached manufacturers to create foot pedals with more functionalities.
Fortunately, after visiting numerous factories and traveling over 10,000 kilometers across Shanghai and Guangzhou, he finally found a professional manufacturer.
After hearing Moxuan's story, the boss of the company was deeply moved. He personally showed Moxuan around the firm's research and development department and decided to sell the products to disabled gamers at a 50 percent discount.
Without hesitation, he embarked on a journey to Chongqing as well as Yunnan and Hubei provinces to film disabled gamers using foot pedals and other devices to operate computers. With this footage, he created two videos to provide more gameplay references for disabled players.
Only then did Moxuan finally breathe a sigh of relief. It had been nine months since he released his first foot pedal video, and during this time, he had traveled more than 20,000 kilometers. He fulfilled a commitment to himself and the disabled gamers.
So, on October 5, he released a video officially announcing the end of his "Foot Pedal" series.