Mike "Broly" Begum is a dangerous man when it comes to Super Street Fighter 4 and he does not even use his hands. The 22-year-old has become a master of the game using his tongue, cheek, and chin to play the game. Begum has a rare condition medical called arthrogryposis, a disease that causes stiff and abnormal joints at birth. The condition left Begum without the full use of his legs or hands. The debilitating illness has not stopped Begum from becoming one of the best SF4 gamers in the state. Last week, he placed fifth at the NE1 gaming center tournament in McAllen, Texas.
The gaming community knows him as "Broly," a character in Dragon Ball Z. The name stuck after he used it in his very first tournament. His favorite character in the game is Chun-Li because of her speed and flexibility. Begum used the name Broly in his very first tournament, and since then, it's become his identity. Begum is very confident about his skills:
"I think I'm getting there, I just think I need a little more practice" Begum said. "Once I do that I think I can break the top five," said Begum. "(Broly in Dragon Ball Z) was strong, tough and fierce and his physical features were the direct opposite of me. But in my mind, that's how I envisioned myself as a competitor."
Arthrogryposis only affects one to three children in every 10,000, according to the Children's Hospital in Boston.
When Begum turned 2, his parents bought him a Nintendo Entertainment System, on which he mastered playing SMB3:
"I started with 'Super Mario Bros. 3,'" Begum said. "I used my finger on the control pad and used my face for the buttons. I was able to play the game and was surprised I was actually able to beat some games."
Finding success in playing the game, he went on to other games and systems. He began to adapt to different controllers on different gaming consoles.
"It wasn't like I was going to play basketball or football." Begum said. "It was a good thing I found video games because it really helped me grow up, learn in school, and it helped me use my mind and gave me something to do instead of sitting at home, looking outside and watching other people play."
While Begum has been able to adapt to different consoles and controllers, he wished that someone would design controllers that are customized to his unique condition:
"Right now, I'm looking for someone to make me a custom remote that will give me all the buttons I need to play the games," Begum said, "That could really help."
The gaming community has been supportive of Begum's gaming and he said that, while some are taken aback by his condition, most in the community are supportive. Begum said his dream is to open up his own gaming center where people like him can play.
"Gaming has allowed me to go farther than I ever thought I would go. Gaming has lifted me up and helped me take another look at life - it's a positive look," Begum said. "Maybe I'm not winning every tournament or being the best that there is, but as long as I'm having fun and as long as I'm able to help people see me and let them think 'Hey this guy can do it, why can't I be good just like him? I have no excuse if he's there.' then that's why I want to compete."
Source: Victoria Advocate