Hezi Gangina - Israeli PES Champion Interviewed

1: Would you please tell me a little more about yourself and of your first experiences playing video games?

"My name is Hezi Gangina and I'm 23 years old from Tel-Aviv, Israel. I was born with a disability in my right arm because my birth weight was pretty high (4.3 Kilo's) and the doctors had to do a "Caesarean section", but decided to do a regular birth that caused problems during birth and eventually forcing the doctors to pull me from my arm, which lead to paralysis in my right arm. After a lot of surgeries and about 12 years of physiotherapy I managed to get a bit of ability in my arm.

Ever since I remember myself, I'm very competitive person. Always doing a lot of sports such as soccer, swimming, horse riding, basketball, volleyball, Ping-Pong, bowling and more… but most I enjoyed virtual gaming.
I started playing video games since I was 4 years old on my 286 old computer, on the Megason and in the Arcade."

2: Are there any games that you have found difficult due to playing one-handed? If so, do you think game developers could do anything to make play more comfortable for you?

"Yes, usually FPS (first Person Shooter) are not easy for me to play (because of the use of keyboard and mouse parallelly) but I can still manage to play them.The only game I really cannot play (and really wish I could) is "Guitar Hero". I think that game developers should pay more attention for the disabled gamers needs because of the economic importance (the disabled gamers is a big market with a lot of business potential) and of course the moral importance (gaming for disabled people can motivate them to compete with "regular" people and to give them a fair chance)."

3. Would you please tell me a little more about your achievements playing Pro Evolution Soccer? What does it mean to you?

"To me, winning the Israeli P.E.S championship and to finish "top 16" in the European P.E.S championship was much more than just a "video game achievements", it was about changing the perception of the society about disabled people and I hope that after my story got a lot of the Israeli and the European media attention, it would make some change."

4. Are you aware of other disabled gamers achieving the heights that you have?

"Unfortunately, I did not hear about similar disabled gamers achievements but I'm sure they exist and I can't wait to hear about them."

5. What are your future hopes for video gaming - for yourself - and for other disabled gamers around the world?

"My future hopes for video gaming are that there will be more international video games competitions with accessible games for everyone so disabled gamers could play with non disabled gamers and then to win :)

As for myself, I'm desperately trying to find a sponsor for the basic needs of my future competitions. In conclusion, I wish everyone fun and accessible gaming!"

Many thanks to Hezi Gangina and best wishes finding sponsorship.

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