Arts & Culture
Master of Arts (MA)
This capstone profiles Aziz "Hax" Al-Yami, a professional Super Smash Bros. Melee player. Melee is a video game and Al-Yami is an esports competitor, i.e. a professional gamer. In this world, gamers compete as athletes, pushing their skills to their absolute limit to become the best in the world. Al-Yami, at 21, suffered from a wrist injury. This injury put him out of the game for over a year. His injury was so bad that doctor's told him that he could never compete again. But through his own research, Al-Yami surmised that if he were to get his FCU tendon removed, then he could compete again. But doctors were unwilling to perform such a procedure. Eventually Al-Yami found a doctor willing to remove his FCU tendon. But that was only half the battle. His new doctor still said with the FCU tendon removal, he would be unable to play. That's when Al-Yami set out to create his own controller, one that would lessen stress on his fingers and wrist. Al-Yami did so, and is slowly making his way back to the top.
For this piece I do extensive interviews with Al-Yami, his childhood friends, and Dr. Ratliff, the doctor who performed his surgery. I also go into the controversies surrounding his new controller and the challenges he faces outside of his injury. In many ways this is a Rocky style sports story, but instead of boxing, it's gaming.
Khan, Imad, "Control Freak: How an injured esports athlete got back into the game" (2017). CUNY Academic Works.