May 22, 1979 |
Cedar Rapids, Iowa, United States
Pro Video Game Player, Founder & CEO of Nomadic Games Studio
|Known for||First Disabled Professional Video Game Player|
Randy "N0M4D" Fitzgerald (born May 22, 1979), is a disabled professional video game player, and game designer who currently resides in Rochester, MN. Randy was born with Arthrogryposis, an extremely rare non-genetic birth defect that causes underdeveloped muscles and frozen joints in the arms and legs. Therefore, Randy accomplishes the task of gaming by operating the modded controller created by Evil Controllers, using only his lips and chin.
Randy began gaming at just 3 years old. His father frequented the local bowling alley with his friends, and brought Randy along often. Inside this bowling alley was an arcade room with some of the most popular games to date, such as: Space Invaders, Donkey Kong Jr., and Dig Dug. None caught the attention to Randy more than the Pac-Man game cabinet. With Randy's disorder, this quickly arose a problem of how he would be able to play the game. Then came a solution, Randy's dad would pull a pinball machine in front of the Pac-Man game cabinet, take Randy out of his wheelchair, and put him on his stomach on the pinball machine and put a quarter into the game and Randy would move the joystick with his chin. It wasn't long after this Randy was setting high scores on the machine, and at an impressive rate also. Soon after this, the bowling alley held a local Pac-Man tournament and among all the competition, Randy came out with a 2nd place finish.
Soon after, Randy took on his playing skills through console games, everything, starting from Atari to now playing Xbox 360. With the pleasure of home gaming also came the frustration of how to handle each generation's new game controllers and their many newly added buttons. Many of these problems, Randy has solved simply by turning the controller's clockwise 45°, to completely upside down, and now having them personally customized.
Randy was discovered in 2006, at the Electronic Entertainment Expo(E3), during the Microsoft after-party by all female pro-gaming team, the PMS Clan. They recruited Randy to join their male counterpart clan, H2O.
Randy's first big gaming appearance came in 2007, at the highly recognized Major League Gaming event tournament in Charlotte, North Carolina. Randy & his teammates participated in the Xbox 360 division of Rainbow Six: Vegas. Quickly dominating through their first day of competition, they made it to the 2nd day & semi-finals. This accomplishment gave them their recognized status as "Pro". Along with this highly publicized event, and an eventual cover story on Randy by Fox News, N0M4D, started becoming a recognized player among a large portion of the video game community.
In 2013, Randy competed in a Dead or Alive 5 gaming competition at the year's E3 event in Los Angeles, CA. In this event he defeated Pro-Player Sebastian Burton, aka, o CHOSEN1 o. This event caught the eye of the game's creators and fans alike, resulting in Randy being officially ranked as a "Pro Fighter" by Tecmo.
Relations With Infinity Ward
The same year that Randy was recruited to H20, Microsoft also recruited Randy to write blogs and bring E3 live to the Xbox Community.
Making friends at the event, Robert Bowling, Creative Strategist at Infinity Ward, invited Randy to play the Call of Duty 4: Modern Warfare beta. Randy fell in love with the game right away; however, he was having a difficult time with the in-game controller options. Randy was hoping for an option that would allow him to toggle aim, bringing up the iron sight of his gun with only pressing the button, instead of having to hold it.
Randy wrote an inspiring letter on the Call of Duty message boards, asking if there was a way they could add that into the options. Over 25,000 fellow gamers responded. Infinity Ward quickly responded with a patch, adding a new button layout titled "N0M4D" in Randy's honor. This layout is identical to the "Tactical" layout, except it has toggle aim.
Treyarch, the other developer of the Call of Duty franchise, has since released World at War and also, Black Ops, already having the "N0M4D" button layout in the game. It is also included in the newest Call of Duty games, Modern Warfare 3, and Black Ops 2 where there are now, two N0M4D button layouts. This recurring involvement has officially made Randy, "N0M4D", a permanent name in the Call of Duty legacy.
Today, Randy enjoys his time working on several projects.
Some of these include:
-Working & developing games for his game studio, "Nomadic Games". Traveling the country to bring awareness to accessible gaming(controller remapping, etc.). Competing in online, and on-the-road events. Such as: MLG, GameBattles, E3 Special Events, etc.). Attending each year's E3 events to discuss & partake in the future of electronic gaming, and its business.
List of Articles Based on "N0M4D"
Eurogamer interviews disabled pro gamer N0M4D.
Randy "N0M4D" Fitzgerald's Facebook Fan Page.
Randy "N0M4D" Fitzgerald's Fox interview about '07 MLG.
Randy "N0M4D" Fitzgerald's controller and playing details.
Randy "N0M4D" Fitzgerald's official YouTube Channel.