Handicapped Fighting Game Enthusiast Needs Your Help Getting to...

Handicapped Fighting Game Enthusiast Needs Your Help Getting to EVO 2012

Afflicted by brain paralysis since infancy, Osamu Ichikawa refused to let his condition prevent him from enjoying gaming – specifically, the reaction intensive Street Fighter series.  While Osamu has no difficulty with communication, his body from the neck down has been rendered immobile, leaving him wheelchair-bound for life.  However, through years of practice and experimentation, Osamu manages to play the fighting games he loves so dearly through manipulation of his chin and cheek on a controller.

Despite his rigorous self-training, his physical disadvantage still prevented him from attending local arcades and competitions (Japan does not share the same level of handicap access places like the U.S. are privy to).  Now, though, Osamu has his heart set on participating on the world’s largest fighting game focused tournament, the Evolution Championship Series, in order to finally bask in the games he reveres along with other contestants.  In Osamu’s words:

“Growing up, I could not go to arcades despite my strong desire because there was no wheel chair access and no controller. Even today, the situation has not been improved much. I would love to come to EVO 2012 this summer. I think of EVO as the greatest tournament in the world and have always wanted to attend. I would love to play against people from all over the world, and be in the same room and in the same moment and share the passion and energy with my fellow players. There, my handicap doesn’t exist.”

If you would like the opportunity to help Osamu accomplish his dream, you’re able to contribute to his donation page found hereabouts.  He’s only achieved half of his $5,000 goal, but there is still 15 days left to donate.  From the street fighter himself, “I am so grateful for any support you can offer to try and make my dream come true. Thank you so much!"  If you can, help put a new challenger in the EVO arena today.

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