Train2Game News British eSports hits schools and colleges

The British Esports Association has announced details of its first full competitive gaming Championships for schools, colleges and alternative provision schools.

The not-for-profit organisation has entered into a partnership with streaming programme Twitch Student to grow the British Esports Championships and help give students support and opportunities.

In addition, a new partnership has been formed with AoC Sport (part of the Association of Colleges) and the British Esports Association to provide management and oversight of the competition via the College Esportscommittee. This new committee will ensure that esports is properly managed in colleges and is positioned as part of a balanced lifestyle alongside education and physical activity.

The British Esports Championships is for students aged 12-19, with each school or college allowed to enter teams for three different games. The first confirmed game is 5v5 League of Legends.

The Championships will begin on October 10th and run for two seasons, the first consisting of eight weeks of fixtures with breaks for half term and the second running in the New Year. The first six weeks will feature a Swiss tournament format, with Playoffs taking place during the remaining weeks.
Matches will take place for 90 minutes onafternoonsafter school or college, avoiding conflict with Wednesday afternoon sport or classes.

Depending on the number of sign ups, schools and colleges will be split into their respective regions. The top two from each region will get promoted to a Super League for Season 2.

The live finals are set to take place at the Insomnia gaming festival in Easter 2019 at the Birmingham NEC.

Team sign-ups will open in the first week of September and will close on September 26th. Visit the dedicated Championships information coming soon on www.britishesports.org to sign up or read more information.
In terms of partnerships, the British Esports Association will adopt the Twitch Student Program, which helps schools and colleges learn how to stream so that friends, parents and others can watch their matches and other gaming activities live online. It has already been working with a number colleges in the US, universities in the UK and now it’s embracing the UK schools and colleges space.

Twitch Student gives users access to ‘swag’ and privileges as they level up, such as special streaming features, subscription buttons and the chance to earn revenues, Twitch homepage promotions and more. It also helps students pitch their gaming ideas or community projects to teachers and schools.

Mark “Garvey” Candella, Twitch Director of Strategic Partnerships, commented: “The British Esports Association and Twitch Student program share a belief in the ability of students to grasp the entrepreneurial spirit inherent in gaming and esports, while applying their education in new and innovative ways.

“The combination of passion and education can only lead to more opportunities for themselves and this exciting industry. We are proud to work with the British Esports Association on helping students realise their potential through the practical experience this program creates.”

In addition to the support of Twitch, the new College Esports committee will be working with the British Esports Association to promote the Championships to colleges throughout the UK.

AoC Sport says it’s been encouraged by the work of the British Esports Association in drawing parallels between physical sports and esports, engaging with education as well as developing skills in communication, problem solving, teamwork and more.

Marcus Kingwell, Managing Director of AoC Sport, said: “We see esports as a route to engaging inactive students in colleges and encouraging them to engage in physical activity. We’re delighted to be working with the British Esports Association as part of the College Esports committee, ensuring that esports is properly managed in colleges and is part of a balanced lifestyle alongside education and physical activity.”

British Esports chair Andy Payne OBE added: “It’s fantastic to be teaming up with Twitch Student and AoC Sport and to have the backing of organisations well engrained in both gaming and college sports. We look forward to growing the British Esports Championships together.”

The announcement follows a successful pilot which took place in schools and colleges from January to April and saw Solihull School and Sunderland College win the respective Championships. The pilot allowed the British Esports Association to create a safe online environment for students aged 12-19 to play age-appropriate esports. It fostered talent, championed positive role models, promoted leadership, communication, creativity and teamwork skills and its work is supported by multiple government departments.

The pilot brought pupils together, improved relations with teachers, developed employability skills, helped schools raise awareness of their activities and secure funding. It also drew national attention including coverage from the BBC, Sky, Daily Mail and more.

The news also comes after British Esports appointed Natacha Jones as Student Esports Coordinator to develop the British Esports Championships.
Since January, Natacha has held the role of Twitch Student Program Manager at the National University Esports League, tracking the success of a pilot scheme for UK universities.

She will be working closely with schools and colleges as part of the British Esports Championships and helping them integrate with the Twitch Student Program.

If you want to find out more visit www.britishesports.org

Train2Game News Funding for your game

Global Top Round’s 2018 accelerator program is now accepting applications from independent video game studios around the world, with successful parties potentially receiving up to $300,000 USD of funding.

Now in its fourth consecutive year, GTR is an interactive accelerator program dedicated to supporting small studios, comprised of around one to ten staff members, from all over the world with the development, publishing, and fundraising expertise they need to take their games global and make their businesses sustainable.

The application period for the 2018 program is open from July 1 until August 19, with submissions to be made via the Global Top Round website. All submitting studios must have a playable game/demo build developed, with intentions to launch by mid-2019, and relevant assets prepared. Games that are already fully launched are not eligible.

A total of 20 games, from 20 studios, will be selected from the applicants and invited to attend the GTR 2018 Conference in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, on October 27-28 (for which travel and accommodation expenses of up to $2,000 USD will be covered). The event offers attendees two days of networking and showcasing, and it is held in conjunction with the Level Up KL Game Conference, the largest gaming conference in Southeast Asia.

At the GTR 2018 Conference, the 20 studios/games will be assessed by GTR’s core team and participants, with input from attending professionals including the event’s speakers, and a final 10 will move forward into the accelerator program. These 10 studios will be eligible to receive $40,000 USD in direct investments, guidance and exposure after a series of due diligence processes.

A few selected projects, deemed to be of considerable promise, will further benefit by receiving additional direct investments of up to $300,000 USD total from GTR. There is no set limit to the number of studios that could receive this investment, as GTR seeks projects of substantial potential, and talented teams and individuals to believe in. Initial investment and support of projects is provided in exchange for a percentage of studio equity not surpassing 5% and a small portion of the project revenue.

Games to have previously benefited from GTR’s program and its support since 2015 include Relic Hunters Legend by Brazilian studio Rogue Snail, Earth Atlantis by Thailand’s Pixel Perfex, UK team Dream Harvest’s Neuroslicers, and Woodpunk by Spain’s Meteorbyte Studios. These games, and many more to have been through GTR’s accelerator program, have enjoyed several award wins and nominations, and generous media attention.

“We put our greatest efforts into identifying talent and building trust with the studios,” says Global Top Round CEO, Danny Woo. “We’re prepared to go the extra mile once we’ve found the right team.”

“We have an impressive mix of both Western and Eastern publishers keen to review our games,” says Rick Nahm, GTR’s COO. “They take us seriously because we’ve proven of what we can offer, and we try to work very closely with them.”

For further information about Global Top Round, please visit the program’s official website.

Train2Game News A new market for you to sell your games

Two entrepreneurs who are creating a new marketplace for online gamers have secured a £200,000 investment from the MEIF Proof of Concept & Early Stage Fund, which is managed by Mercia Fund Managers and part of the Midlands Engine Investment Fund.

The funding will allow Alex Booth and Nick Gillett to bring their idea to market. Player Lands, which will be based in Nottingham, will allow gamers with no previous experience of e-commerce to open online stores and sell the content they create or find while playing.

The system will tap into the growing global market for in-game downloads and aims to become the leading e-commerce platform of its type.

Alex, a serial entrepreneur who also has a yacht and private jet hire business, came up with the idea after working as a consultant in the gaming industry. He joined forces with Nick, an angel investor and founder of London-based digital agency C360 which he sold in 2006. They set up Transaction Technologies in 2016 to pursue the idea.

Player Lands will offer customers a secure and straightforward way to buy content for their favourite games. It will give shopkeepers their own customisable store, together with tools to manage inventory, market their products and run promotions, while also providing detailed reporting to help them increase sales. The platform will be secure, easy-to-use and provide a safe environment for children as well as more seasoned players. It will use blockchain technology to create a completely transparent public ledger for each item traded.

Alex Booth, CEO of Transaction Technologies, said:
“This is an incredibly exciting time to be involved with the games industry, which despite its enormous size is still growing fast. We want to give gamers the opportunity to capitalise on their hard work in-game, letting them trade the items they’ve found or won for real cash. The investment from Mercia is going to help us bring the idea to market quickly and with the technical excellence this market demands.”

Dr Sandy Reid, Investment Manager with Mercia Fund Managers, said:
“The worldwide market for downloadable in-game content is growing rapidly and already dwarfs the income from pay-to-play games. However, it is served by mostly low-level e-commerce providers and content creators are struggling to find platforms that offer the professionalism and service that they need. The funding will enable Alex and Nick to put their idea into practice and fill this gap in the market. We feel there is a real opportunity for Player Lands to become the leading platform of its type in the coming years.”

Lewis Stringer, MEIF Senior Relationship Manager at the British Business Bank, commented:
“The innovative nature of Transaction Technologies is testament to the thriving creative and digital content sector across the Midlands. It’s great to see finance from the Midlands Engine Investment Fund being deployed in such exciting, early-stage technologies, and we look forward to Alex and Nick making a success of this forward-thinking concept.”

Lindsay Wetton, Senior Programme Manager for Business Engagement at the D2N2 Local Enterprise Partnership, said:
“Creative and digital businesses, such as Transaction Technologies, form an integral part of the Derbyshire and Nottinghamshire economy. With help from the Midlands Engine Investment Fund, the D2N2 Local Enterprise Partnership and its Growth Hub is working to ensure that businesses across its area are given the support that they need to grow, succeed and flourish.”

The Midlands Engine Investment Fund project is supported financially by the European Union using funding from the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF) as part of the European Structural and Investment Funds Growth Programme 2014-2020 and the European Investment Bank.

Train2Game News Live Action Text Game in London

GamesAid today releases exclusive early bird tickets to the games industry for the live action text-based adventure interactive show The Dark Room.

Organised as a London Games Festival fringe event and hosted by GamesAid, the UK games industry charity, in partnership with the BFI Certification Unit, this one-off show will be on 10 April at BFI Southbank.

The cult hit touring the world since 2012, The Dark Room’s award-winning stand-up comedy is wedded to retro video games and fused into a deranged rock n’ roll game show where the audience play as contestants. It has been a huge success at Insomnia Gaming Expo, Runefest, EB Games Expo Australia, SFW, UK Games Expo, Soho Theatre, Gameblast, the Edinburgh Fringe, Underbelly Festival and MCM Comic Con.

Matt Spall, Chair of GamesAid said, “Expect no loot boxes, no DLC, The Dark Room is just good, old-fashioned 1980s-style torment and after its killer session for GamesAid at The Comedy Store two years ago, GamesAid is delighted to be partnering the BFI’s Certification Unit in hosting this day.”

Hosted by John Robertson, a comedian for 15 years and host of the Videogame Nation on Challenge, 2014-2016, this is how The Dark Room day works – the rules are simple:

1 – Options appear on the screen.

2 – Audience calls out the option they want.

3 – You’re either right, or dead.

4 – In the end, everybody plays!

The Dark Room reviews:

★★★★★ Sun

★★★★★ British Comedy Guide

★★★★ Den Of Geek

“NOT TO BE MISSED” – The Guardian

“Don’t miss it.” – The Daily Telegraph

“Hi, I’m Ian, I invented the thing you’re parodying.” – Ian Livingstone

Tuesday 10 April 2018
BFI Southbank – Blue Room
Doors Open at 7:30pm
Starts at 8:00pm
Ticket Price: £12.00
Tickets available here: https://www.ticketsource.co.uk/date/473194/

Train2Game Grads in Game Awards

After a record year for participation in their Search for a Star and Sumo Digital Rising Star Challenges, Aardvark Swift have announced the Grads in Game Awards.

The awards are designed to recognise the individuals and institutions that have made a real impact in improving the links between the games industry and education; the studios that have made an effort in not just hiring graduates but developing their skills and nurturing their talent; and they will also recognise the students and projects that are already firmly on this path, producing exemplary work and helping those around them to achieve more.

“We’ve been running a variety of Grads in Games initiatives for almost 10 years now. After so much support from institutions, lectures and studios; we thought it was only right to highlight the academics, universities, colleges, courses and developers that are going the extra mile, actively helping students make the leap from student to professional games developer!” Sharan Bassi, Senior Graduate Recruiter at Grads in Games.

The award categories for 2018 are:

  • Academic Award: Lecturers & academics who have demonstrated a real, positive impact with their students.
  • Educational Institution Award: Universities and academic institutions that have demonstrated a real, positive impact with their students.
  • Student Award: Current students who have demonstrated a real, positive impact within their work & with their fellow students.
  • Student Game Award: Student games projects published within the past 12 months, that demonstrate a strong talent and aptitude from its developer(s).
  • Graduate Employer Award: Games companies that have demonstrated a positive and pro-active approach in hiring and supporting graduates & interns.
  • Graduate Impact Award: Recent graduates and junior staff that have exceeded expectations in a studio role.

Nominations have been opened on the Grads in Games Website and the winners will be announced at the Search for a Star Final’s Day in Sheffield on the 6th of April.

Train2Game News British Esports partners with Enemy of Boredom Academy


The British Esports Association has entered into a partnership with the Enemy of Boredom Esports (EOB) Academy, a series of workshops for young people backed by the Prince’s Trust.

The EOB Esports Academy offers education programmes for 14-30 year olds, which are designed to help young people and unemployed people learn new skills, access new opportunities and find work.

The courses aim to build confidence and provide a qualification. They promote teamwork and communication skills through League of Legends, and also include game design, journalism, 3D printing, virtual reality and social media skills.

Each workshop or course is hosted by WUWO Media, an agency which has been designing educational programmes for the creative industries since 2012.

EOB Esports Academy Watford has been in operation since May 2017, while the London Academy opened in September 2017. Another academy will launch in Birmingham in 2018.

Enemy of Boredom is also planning on hosting after-school clubs for younger pupils as well as holiday clubs. In addition, it’s running a one-week game design course in Peterborough in October, including Rocket League training.

WUWO Media is also working on the EOB League, a grassroots esports schools league for secondary schools and 6th forms, which will start with four schools in South London taking part.

The initiative aligns well with the British Esports Association – the not-for-profit national body set up to support grassroots esports – which held a series of esports clubs for children in the summer at Maida Vale Library, promoting communication, teamwork and cognitive skills.

The British Esports Association will be working with WUWO Media/EOB to help shape and promote the academies and to give talks at events. In particular, the association’s projects executive Rob Allen – who has extensive League of Legends coaching experience – will be working closely with the workshops.

Steven Godwin, creator of the Enemy of Boredom Esports Academy, commented: “It’s a great feeling to be teaming up with others to create a positive and strengthened future. WUWO Media’s EOB Esports Academy is delighted to be partnering with the British Esports Association.

“We share a common goal, and that’s to promote esports, educate young people and provide grassroots participation. Having the knowledge and skills available from British Esports helps the young people at the EOB Esports Academy build confidence, gain qualifications and gain careers.”

Andy Payne OBE, chair of the British Esports Association, added: “The work of Enemy of Boredom is important and aligns well with our goals at the British Esports Association – to promote, improve and inspire.

“Getting people interested and involved in esports from a young age can not only help bolster the industry in the long-term, but it also gives something positive back to the community, promoting teamwork, communication and development.”

The Prince’s Trust said in a statement: “We are delighted to partner with WUWO Media on their EOB Esports Academy to help young people gain the skills and experience they need to forge a career in the esports, digital and cyber industries. By attending events, hearing from guest speakers and learning from experts, this course will inspire the group and open their eyes to different employment opportunities within the digital world.”

Train2Game News Yorkshire Games Festival

yorkshire-games-festival-2017

The Yorkshire Games Festival returns for its second year, once again showcasing some of the greatest talent and titles from across the videogames spectrum, as well as providing gamers and budding game makers unrivalled access to the industry.

The festival, organised and run by the National Science and Media Museum, offers insights into all aspects of the games industry, from studios such as the award-winning TT Games, Frontier Developments, Criterion Games and Naughty Dog, as well as hosting live shows and events such as WiFi Wars and the Let’s Play! Weekend, which features a wealth of games and activities.

Yorkshire Games Festival 2107 is proud to welcome back Bradford College as its Headline Sponsor, and, for the first time, will dedicate a day to school groups as it increases its scope for inspiring people of all ages and backgrounds to engage with the many aspects of videogame design, development and coding.

Festival director, Kathryn Penny, said: “Last year was a fantastic success, which we’ll be building on this year as we once again welcome some of the top studios, games designers and developers from around the world, the UK and Yorkshire, to share their experience and advice, and of course, demo some games. I think we’ve included something for anyone interested in videogames, and we’ll hopefully inspire a few future stars.”

Schools Day: 8 Nov

This year’s Yorkshire Games Festival kicks off with a day dedicated to school groups. Pupils will get access to specially created talks, workshops and activities covering all the elements that make a great game, from coding to storytelling and design. This day is for education groups only – booking details can be found at https://www.scienceandmediamuseum.org.uk/learning .

Delegate Programme: 9 and 10 Nov

Highlights for the Delegate Programme start with an insight into the UK-based studio responsible for some of the most iconic games in recent memory, as Arthur Parsons, Head of Design at TT Games, discusses his lead role on various titles within the LEGO videogame franchise, including the LEGO Marvel series, LEGO Batman series, LEGO Harry Potter series and many other familiar titles. Arthur will also delve into the making of his current game, LEGO® Marvel Super Heroes 2, an all-new, original adventure scheduled to launch in the UK on November 17.

Tracy Spaight has worked in the industry since 2005 under many guises from project specialist to game developer. He now acts as Director of Special Projects at Wargaming.net, the developers and publishers of the World of Tanks online game, and will be talking about bringing history alive through gaming, AR and VR and the World of Tanks phenomenon.

Frontier Developments’ Louise McLennan and Sebastian Hickey will be revealing all about the development of BAFTA nominated Elite Dangerous – the latest (and some say, greatest) version of the legendary space combat and trading game from UK games luminary David Braben OBE. Louise started her career at Disney Interactive and is now the lead UI designer on Jurassic World Evolution. Sebastian, an alumni of the University of Bradford, is the lead UI designer on Elite Dangerous.

YGF 2017 is a homecoming for Iki Ikram, the award-winning VFX Artist, as he started his career more than 25 years ago while studying Graphic Design at Bradford College. Iki will be giving the festival’s keynote presentation on his work as an FX Artist at Naughty Dog and how visual effects were used to build an impactful narrative in games such as Uncharted 3, Uncharted 4 and The Last of Us, as well as other work on titles such as the PlayStation’s EyeToy, Singstar, The Getaway, and the Killzone series. This session is presented by Bradford College.

Legendary composer and musician David Wise has been producing game soundtracks since 1987, including many of UK developer Rare’s classics such as Battletoads, Donkey Kong Country and Diddy Kong Racing. More recently, Wise has composed music for Sheffield developer Sumo Digital’s Snake Pass and for Playtonic Games’ smash hit platformer Yooka-Laylee. He will be discussing some of his most famous works and giving advice to any musicians interested in making soundtracks for videogames.

Kieran Crimmins and James Svensson from Criterion Games will host a session on their development work as Art Director and Producer respectively for Electronic Arts’ Star Wars Battlefront VR Mission. They’ll be discussing how they recreated the Star Wars universe in virtual reality, along with a few of their trade secrets, including how to hide a Star Destroyer!

Other guests include Phil Duncan and Oli De-Vine, aka indie development team Ghost Town Games, whose debut game Overcooked was made from their lounge and recently took home the BAFTA for Best Family Game and Best British Game.

Let’s Play! 11 and 12 Nov

This year introduces the festival’s Let’s Play! weekend, with a host of activities designed for families and gamers of all ages.

The two-day event includes the Yorkshire Games Showcase, as the regional games industry descends on the National Science and Media Museum, bringing the best in new, upcoming and under-the-radar titles. As part of the showcase, Creative England’s GamesLab Leeds programme will be offering advice and demonstrating some of the projects they have funded across the Leeds City Region. Elsewhere Videogames, But… shows the diversity of the medium with small, experimental and unusual, yet beautifully formed games.

The Museum also welcomes back the Impact Gamers LiVE! show to the Museum’s Pictureville Cinema (Saturday only – tickets £2/£3), which takes audience participation to a new level, inspiring children to get involved in games and coding. The Impact Gamers team will also be bringing along their homemade arcade games – all created by young people from Bradford (free to play).

The Yorkshire Games Festival is produced by the National Science and Media Museum in partnership with the games business network Game Republic.
Ticketed events are now on sale via www.scienceandmediamuseum.org.uk/yorkshiregamesfestival

Train2Game News Esports not a sport

“Esports is not a sport, but a credible activity in its own right,” the British Esports Association has said.
Following last week’s reporting by the BBC – The State of Sport week – many listeners and readers have debated whether esports (electronic sports) is an actual sport or not.

Some have argued that esports should be classified as a sport partly because recognising it officially would grant it access to sports funding. However, esports is competitive video gaming: it is currently classified in the UK as a game (like chess and bridge) and not a sport.

The British Esports Association is also keen to emphasise that when done in moderation, esports can have positive cognitive, social and communicative benefits.

It can help to increase perceptual skills, decision making, reaction times and multitasking, and help stimulate brain growth. Playing and watching esports is very engaging to younger audiences, and esports is also a beneficial alternative to watching passive media like television.

Attempts have been made in the past to classify certain games, such as bridge, as a sport in the UK, and having learned from these experiences, the British Esports Association feels that the time is not right for such action for esports. Instead, we want to focus on educating the Government, media and general public on making sure esports gains the credibility it deserves and move away from the ‘esports isn’t a sport’ debate.

British Esports founder and CEO Chester King said: “I can see why there is a bit of confusion as millions of people play and watch esports; there are many professional teams, managers, coaches and tournaments. There is no international standard classification either as in some countries such as Poland, esports, chess and bridge are classified as sports.

“The ‘sport’ in esports may be misleading, but like traditional sports, competitive video gaming involves training, long-term dedication, determination, exceptional skills and reaction times, teamwork and coordination, and fun for all the spectators, casters, commentators and fans involved.”

In the UK, the British Esports Association positions esports as a modern mind game, celebrated at all levels of play which should not rival or replace traditional sports.

King added: “It’s time to get away from the ‘esports isn’t a sport’ debate and start realising esports’ true benefits and potential.

“Whether or not esports is or is not a sport does not change the fact that the esports industry has enormous creative potential. We must educate audiences to realise its benefits, such as gaining cyber skills and the many career paths it offers, like becoming a professional player, commentator, journalist, manager, or coach.”

Train2Game News Women in Games Ambassador programme 

Women in Games, the not for profit, games industry diversity organisation, today announced the launch of its Ambassador programme, sponsored by Women Techmakers, with 43 individual Ambassadors from across the UK and Europe supporting women and girls in understanding the games industry and the opportunities there are within it.
The Ambassador programme from Women in Games exists to grow the membership of the organisation, to help it increase the reach and scale of its programmes and help it achieve the strategic goal of doubling the number of women in games over 10 years.

Ambassadors are expected to reach out to young women at school, college and university locally in their region to encourage them to consider the games industry as a career. They will also reach out to the local public, regional industry and educational leaders and local government to form partnerships and long term strategic relationships.

Google’s Women Techmakers initiative provides visibility, community, and resources for women in technology, implementing global scalable initiatives to support and empower women in the industry.

The first Ambassadors for Women in Games are announced today as Alex Jones, Jade Leamcharaskul, Amelia James, Rhoda Daly, Steph McStea, Leoni Smith, Rory Jackson, Terri Mardel, Alex Grahame, Catherine Wooley, Jessica Curry, Adrienne Law, Amanda Blatch, Amrita Bharij, Amy Parish, Amy Yu, Ashley Riza, Becky Jowsey, Bex Edmondson, Carleigh Morgan, Chella Ramanan, Gareth Johns, Hazel Turnbull, Jess Magnus, Jodie Azhar, Karen Cham, Karen Hedger, Kate Killick, Laurence Bouvard, Liz Mercuri, Lorraine Ansell, Maria Fernandes-Hermida, Martine Spaans, Michael Corinus, Michelle Tilley, Monique Boddington, Nida Ahmad, Nika Droravic, Rachael Gregg-Smyth, Sandra Chau, Sharon Toliani-Sage, Tabitha Huchon and Timea Tabori.

Marie-Claire Isaaman, CEO of Women in Games commented: “We are delighted to have the support of Google’s Women Techmakers for the launch of our Women in Games Ambassador programme. During our 2016 European Women in Games Conference I ran a workshop to initiate this scheme and the enthusiasm and drive of the individuals who attended was extraordinary. We are extremely excited to see what our Ambassadors will achieve and confident that this initiative will have substantial impact in supporting us with our strategic goals.”

Rupert Whitehead, Developer Relations Programs Lead, UK, Ireland and Netherlands at Google said: “Women Techmakers and Google are proud to support the Women in Games Ambassador programme. This will grow awareness of the amazing variety of opportunities that are available for women in technology in what is a thriving and creative games industry. Seeing women already in these roles sharing their story is a powerful way of achieving this.”

Train2Game News GameBlast17 

Gamers’ charity SpecialEffect have set the countdown clock running for GameBlast17, the UK’s biggest charity gaming weekend.
The event, held over the weekend of 24-26 February, aims to raise £100,000 to support the work of the charity in helping people with disabilities to access and benefit from video games.

Over 100 individuals and teams of gamers from around the world have already signed up to fundraise through their own gaming marathons and gaming events during the three days.

Many major names in the video games industry are backing the event, including GAME, Multiplay, Twitch, FACEIT, Insert Coin and ukie, alongside a host of eSports teams, streamers and studios.

GAME are planning a 24-hour livestream event from their headquarters and will also be running a number of fundraising initiatives via their UK stores. Other planned activities include charity streams from Ripstone Games, Wired Productions and even a 72 hour Zeldathon.

“We can’t wait for GameBlast17” said Tom Donegan, the charity’s Events Coordinator.

“It’s incredible to see how the event has grown over the past four years. The funds raised will enable us to help more like John (http://bit.ly/2gDZxF4), who never thought he’d be able to play video games again because his condition stopped him using a standard controller.”

“GameBlast17 is an opportunity to bring people together to do what they love and level the playing field for people with disabilities at the same time.”

“This is the ideal time to sign-up and start planning your event, and we’re inviting everyone from the global gaming community and industry to join us.”

More details about GameBlast17 can be found at https://www.gameblast17.com or on Twitter @gameblast2017