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

Train2Game News Child’s Play Charity Holiday Event

Child’s Play, the videogame industry’s most giving charity, has officially begun its 2016 holiday fundraising drive.

Established in 2003, Child’s Play has distributed more than $40 million in donations from the staggering support of the video game community, bringing the universal joy of “play” to children staying at more than 200 hospitals and domestic violence shelters across the globe.

As part of this year’s drive, the 2016 Child’s Play Charity Auction will take place Thursday, Dec. 8 at the Meydenbauer Center in Bellevue, Washington. Participants will have the opportunity to bid on a life-sized Iron Battle Axe replica from Destiny and more than 100 other items. Tickets can be purchased for $145 a seat or $5000 for table of ten sponsorship. 

Amazon, Humble Bundle, Wizards of the Coast and the Bungie Foundation are devoting their time and money to assisting the charity as corporate sponsors. Desert Bus for Hope once again held their marathon gaming session, raising $694,810 from online viewers for Childs’s Play.

“The mission of Child’s Play is to create moments of happiness and connection for children and their families in tough circumstances, whether at one of our partner hospitals, or in the domestic violence shelters we support,” said Jerry Holkins, co-founder, Child’s Play. “It’s a mission gamers worldwide have supported year after year and, with their support, we’ll continue to meet that need.”

Those wishing to contribute to Child’s Play can:

    Host a fundraising event

    Buy or donate an item on the Child’s Play eBay for Charity page

    Give directly via PayPal, the account is: donate @childsplaycharity.org

    Become a corporate sponsor, email Travis Eriksen.

    Mail a check to Child’s Play, 9040 NE 161st Ave, PMB #418, Redmond, WA 98052

Train2Game News OneSpecialDay raises over 90k

Over 30 gaming industry companies raised over £90,000 for SpecialEffect in the charity’s inaugural One Special Day event on 15 July. The total may well rise further over the next few weeks.
The majority of the companies donated sales revenue from some or all of their games on 15 July. Others ran a dedicated activity or promotion. 

The initiative, now to be an annual event, aims to promote the gaming industry as unified and proud in helping to level the playing field for gamers with disabilities.

The charity were hoping the event would raise £25,000. Dr Mick Donegan, Founder and CEO of SpecialEffect, said “The generosity of the companies supporting this initiative has been overwhelming, and to utterly smash our £25k target in the first year is phenomenal. It’s a real boost when the games industry themselves, our natural partners, say ‘Yes, we see the difference you’re making – how can we help?’”

“What’s especially great is that companies of all sizes have been part of an event that’s promoted the industry as a real force for good. We look forward to welcoming them and others again for One Special Day 2017.”

A wide spectrum of companies were involved, including: First Touch Games, The Chinese Room, New Star Games, Ripstone, Nomad Games, Green Man Gaming, Curve Digital, nDreams, Devolver, Game Swing, Payload Studios, Magic Notion, Tammeka Games, Bossa Studios, Barog Game Labs, We Love Dragons, Deconstructeam, Vagabond Dog, Terri Vellmann, Acid Nerve, Free Lives, Roll 7, Tundra Games, Insert Coin, Escape Technology, Revolution Games, Red Kite Games, Edgecase Games, Chillingo, Media Molecule, Ukie and Plethora Project.

Phil Gaskell, Co-Founder and Creative Director at Ripstone, said “Ripstone are very happy to have been part of a historic day for the games industry that will make a life-changing difference to the gamers SpecialEffect help. We know our fundraising livestream on the day, the donation of 100% of our profits across platforms and the auction of our Ironcast jet pack(!) will all help SpecialEffect provide many more magic moments.”

Jessica Curry, Co-Founder of The Chinese Room added, “The Chinese Room were delighted to be part of the first ever One Special Day and it was great for our team to meet Dr Mick on the day itself. We saw the life-changing difference that One Special Day will make to bring the magic of games to people with disabilities, and we would urge more developers to get involved in 2017!”

Dr Jo Twist OBE, CEO of Ukie and VP of SpecialEffect said, “This is a fantastic result for SpecialEffect and their One Special Day initiative. It is a great example of the collective power of games companies and players and what can be achieved together for a cause that Ukie is really proud to support. The money raised will increase SpecialEffect’s important work making the entertainment, inclusion and joy of playing games accessible to everyone. This is a truly special result for a truly special day.”

Next year’s One Special Day will be on Friday 22 September 2017 during the week of the charity’s tenth anniversary.

Train2Game News Charity Gaming Bike Ride

Over a dozen heroic videogaming cyclists will be taking on the mammoth 352-mile, four-country, three-day challenge for the fifth consecutive year, between August 20th – 22nd, in an effort to raise funds for numerous UK-based youth and children’s charities.
Generating valuable funds for the worthwhile causes and hot on the wheels of gamescom, one of the toughest work weeks of the year, the troop will kick away their collective stabilisers with a 5am start from Cologne on Friday 20th August. The two-wheeling troop will set out across Germany, heading straight for the Dutch and Belgian borders, before finally venturing into France for the home straight.

Donations will be collected over the coming months and can be made at the team fundraising page here: https://www.justgiving.com/fundraising/gamescomtobrighton2016

Averaging close to 110 miles a day for 3 days solid, their mighty distances are on par with those endured by Le Tour De France’s most challenging routes. Hi-Rez will be supporting the cyclists with a sponsored van that will provide much needed aid every mile on the way.

Hi-Rez Studios has a long history of giving back through gaming and has raised over $830,000 for good causes over the past 4 years. You can check out some of the recent charity events of Hi-Rez Studios in this video.

Speaking about the partnership, Veronique Lallier, VP of European Publishing at Hi-Rez Studios Europe said, “We’re thrilled to be partnering with GamesAid on what has become such an iconic UK fundraising institution. In addition to the practical support we’ll be offering the cyclists, our community will be reaching out to them both virtually and, we hope, personally, boosting morale every pedal of the way. We wish them the very best of luck!”

Led by Warner Bros. Interactive Entertainment’s Cat Channon, and supported by industry veteran Keef Sloan, Director of Through The Line Consulting, it’s not too late for folks to show their support and join them and the gang or donate to the team’s fundraising efforts.

Those in need of inspiration need look no further than these videos for reasons to join the 2016 troop:

James Beavan, company director of Keymailer and cycle hero since the beginning, colourfully illustrates why you should join in his amusing video.

Keef Sloan, Director of Through The Line Consulting, is already on his training bike. He too has been with us since the beginning and has a few words to say about why you should join him this year.

Currently also pedalling in preparation for the epic cycle adventure are:

    Cat Channon, (Warner Bros. Interactive Entertainment)

    James Binns, (PCGamesN)

    Tracey McGarrigan, (CEO & Founder, Ansible PR & Communications LTD)

    Tony Solon, (Keymailer)

    Alex Cook, (Senior Manager, Business Development, GAME)

    Ian Pickstock, (Senior Designer, Arooga)

    Michael Pattison, (VP Third Party Relations, Sony)

    Richard Keith, (Chief Revenue Officer, The Yogscast)

    Nick Haywood, (UK PR Specialist, Razer)

With everyone’s combined efforts they are hoping to raise more than ever before for GamesAid, helping disadvantaged and disabled children and young people across the UK.

As always, all costs associated with the ride are covered personally by the cyclists, ensuring every penny goes to the good causes GamesAid supports.

To join these brave travellers and get more details on the adventure simply get in touch at contact@gamesaid.org

Train2Game News Twin Town SpecialEffect Challenge Success

SpecialEffectOne hundred cars costing less than £500, laps around Silverstone and Abbeville circuits, a street party in Le Touquet plus lots of fun and games over the May bank holiday weekend, helped the Twin Town Challenge 2016 to raise over £250,000 for SpecialEffect.

The cars left Blenheim Palace on Friday 27th May and headed for Silverstone before crossing to France and on to Le Touquet, Witney’s twin town. During the weekend they undertook a series of fun challenges like blind driving, car boxing and car booty as well as a treasure hunt. There were also bonus points for the best-dressed car and team, which provided some amazing decorations and outfits from pink suited men, Christmas trees, Mexican bandits, golfers and shell fish.

On the Sunday night, French and English gathered together for a street party in Le Touquet with a live 10-piece band called The Village Idiots who had travelled from Stonesfield in Oxfordshire to play for Twin Town 16.

The welcome home party on Monday 31st May was hosted at Abbott Diabetes who provided a British bake off style tea with cakes made by the staff. Over half the cars were donated for auction at West Oxfordshire Motor Auctions in aid of the charity.

Twin Town is the brainchild of SpecialEffect Vice President Brendon Cross and is organised by a team of volunteers, over 50 of whom acted as marshals, fundraisers, minibus drivers, mechanics, scorers and generally managed the 500 people taking part in the event, both in the UK and in France.

Fundraising also included an online auction of money can’t buy prizes, bucket shakes in Le Touquet and donations from the teams, many of whom also held their own TTC16 events. Brendon said, “When we were planning Twin Town 16, we thought a target of £250,000 was quite ambitious, but with the amazing support of the Twin Town community, the teams and everyone involved with the event, we have not only reached this figure, but are likely to completely smash it.”

The money will be used by Charlbury based SpecialEffect to help more young people with disabilities to play computer games. Dr Mick Donegan, founder and CEO of SpecialEffect, commented, “The success of the amazing Twin Town Challenge 2016 has left the SpecialEffect team both stunned and humbled, not only by the remarkable funds raised but also from the feel-good factor generated by volunteers, sponsors and participants during a weekend that none of us will ever forget. We cannot thank Brendon and every single person involved enough for what they have done to help those who benefit from our life-changing work.”

Event sponsors included Playground Games, King.com, Sumo Digital, SEGA, Ghost Games and Turn 10. Teams from the games industry taking part included GAME, Gamer Network, Sumo Digital, Atomhawk, Green Man Gaming, Insight Studios, Playground Games, Hutch Games and Red Kite Games.

Train2game News Yogscast join SpecialEffect Event

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The Yogscast have joined the growing number of games industry companies who’ve signed up for SpecialEffect’s One Special Day charity initiative.

One Special Day, which will be held on 15 July, is an opportunity for companies to donate 100% of revenue in one or all areas of their business; for example a day’s sales of one or more games, or 100% of advertising revenue, in-app purchases or DLC.

The Yogscast have pledged their support as a promotional partner. Mark Turpin, Yogscast CEO and SpecialEffect Vice President, said “Games allow us to escape our world to visit another, experiencing anything and everything and loving every second of it. SpecialEffect give the gift of gaming to people who thought it was lost from them. The tireless work and passion to help that Mick Donegan and the team display never ceases to amaze me.”

“We think One Special Day is a fantastic idea and are delighted to get behind the day as a promotional partner and I hope to get the chance to play some of the games on the day.”

Payload Studios, Revolution Games and Escape Technology have also joined the event this week as contributory partners. Russ Clarke, Founder of Payload Studios, added “As long-time supporters of SpecialEffect, we’re delighted to be joining the One Special Day line-up, helping to turn sales of TerraTech into magic moments for people with disabilities.”

One Special Day is open to all companies working in the games industry. To find out more, visit www.onespecialday.org.uk

Train2game News GAME Stores raise big money for SpecialEffect

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Marathon month at GAME smashes records in aid of GameBlast16

GAME today announces their partnership with SpecialEffect is going from strength to strength on the back of raising a record-breaking £37,000 for SpecialEffect’s GameBlast16. Thousands of UK gamers took to consoles throughout the month of February to support the charity, which enables anyone, whatever their physical disability, to enjoy video games and leisure technology.

With hundreds of GAME stores around the UK joining in the fun, a series of epic gaming challenges and competitions were on offer for gamers of all levels during February, including events like the Street Fighter V GAME OFF, GAME Loves and Drawlanders.

Culminating on 27th February, GAME HQ hosted a 24 hour livestream with over 70,000 tuning in to watch guests including Wheelchair Basketball European gold-medallist Mark Fosbrook, Microsoft’s Graeme Boyd, Lauran Carter from Lionhead and comedian John Robertson.

Gamers also had the chance to get their hands on exclusive gaming gear donated by GAME through SpecialEffect eBay auctions. Up for grabs were fifty life-size Vault Boys courtesy of Bethesda and signed gaming items. Microsoft also donated two exclusive custom-made Titanfall and Gears of War Xbox one consoles, in addition to a very rare Fable Legends Xbox One console donated by Lionhead Studio and previously unavailable to the public. The console fetched over £3,000 at auction.

GAME will continue to work closely with SpecialEffect going forward. Customers can get involved from today by donating in all 319 stores or even trading in old games and donating their value to SpecialEffect. Over the next 12 months, GAME will also be running various fundraising events in stores and is now working with SpecialEffect in ensuring they have all the latest gaming equipment and games.

Fred Prego, Marketing Director at GAME said:

“We are overwhelmed by the incredible response from our GAME community to GameBlast16. Their involvement has helped us support SpecialEffect in not only making GameBlast16 a fun and successful event, but also in helping us to raise five times more than we did last year which will contribute to the fantastic work that the charity does all year round.

“With most of our staff being dedicated gamers, we recognise the responsibility we have to help make gaming a hobby that is accessible to everyone. We are committed to continuing our support of SpecialEffect and there are exciting plans in place to work together over the year, so watch this space.

Train2game News GameBlast16

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Donations to GameBlast, the UK’s biggest charity gaming marathon weekend, have smashed the £120,000 raised during last year’s event.

More than £170,000 has so far been pledged in online and offline donations, with more still to come. The final total will be announced next week.

Last weekend saw over 400 individuals and teams from across the world undertake hundreds of events and gaming marathons to raise money for Oxfordshire-based charity SpecialEffect, who help people with physical disabilities to be included in the gaming community by creating personalised technological solutions.

Headline streaming events were hosted by GameBlast partners Jagex and GAME, attracting thousands of viewers and raising over £120,000 between them. A further £50,000 was raised by individual streamers and teams, comprised of friends and colleagues.

The madness began at 12.00 on Friday 26th February, with Jagex staff undertaking a series of extreme challenges during a 24 hour livestream at their Cambridge HQ, including plenty of gunge action from ‘Get Your Own Back’ presenter Dave Benson Philips! Real-world auction items, such as signed merchandise and a tour of the Jagex offices, combined with contributions of in-game wealth via the RuneScape Well of Goodwill mechanic, encouraged their generous community to pledge over £100,000 in donations, more than triple what they raised in 2015.

The baton was then passed to GAME, who hosted their own 24 hour livestream at their Basingstoke offices from 10.00 Saturday 27th February. Guests included Wheelchair Basketball European gold-medalist Mark Fosbrook, Microsoft’s Graeme Boyd (aka. Acey Bongos) and comedian John Robertson. GAME stores across the country also joined in with their own events and collections, including auctioning off fifty ‘life size’ Vault Boys for bids upwards of £250 each (the highest price paid being £1,500)! In total, GAME have so far raised over £20,000 and counting, more than double what they achieved last year.

In one of the most heart-warming stories to come out of the event, the William Merritt Disability Living Centre in Leeds staged their own 24 hour GameBlast event, with many of the young people who took part using accessible controllers created by SpecialEffect. Other partners who contributed to the unprecedented success of GameBlast16 include ukie, Multiplay, Insert Coin, Face-It and Twitch, alongside many more companies and industry figures from as far afield as India, Norway and LA.

Summing up their experience of Game Blast, one team commented: “This is the first time we’ve ever been involved in the event. It was fun for all of our community and the staff were brought closer together by taking part too!”

Mick Donegan, CEO of SpecialEffect, said: “Once more, I’ve been completely amazed by the awe-inspiring generosity of the gaming community and the games industry. The money raised will enable us to make an immense and immediate impact on the lives of many more disabled people by enabling them to play mainstream video games. A huge and heartfelt thank you to everyone involved – I can’t help feeling both proud and humbled at the same time.”

The dates for GameBlast17 have just been announced as 24-26 February 2017.

Train2Game News GameBlast16 almost here

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Gamers’ charity SpecialEffect have set the countdown clock running for GameBlast16, the UK’s biggest charity gaming weekend.

The event, held over the weekend of 26-28 February, is aiming to raise £150,000 to support the work of SpecialEffect, who help people with disabilities to access and benefit from video games.

Over 200 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, Jagex, Twitch, Multiplay, FACEIT and ukie.

Both GAME and Jagex are planning 24-hour livestream events from their headquarters, with their streams featuring gaming personalities and giveaways. GAME will also be running a number of GameBlast16 fundraising initiatives in their 320 UK stores throughout February.

“GameBlast16 is going to be the biggest yet!” said Dr Mick Donegan, the charity’s CEO. “AND it’s the best excuse to game ever! The funds raised will enable us to help more people like Ben (http://bit.ly/14Chyt3), who never thought he’d be able to play video games again because his weakening condition stopped him using a standard controller.”

“GameBlast16 is an opportunity to bring together people to do what they love and level the playing field for people with disabilities at the same time.”

“There’s still time to get fully involved, and we’re inviting everyone from the global gaming community and industry to join us.”

More details about GameBlast16, including registration pages, can be found at http://www.specialeffect.org.uk/gameblast

Train2Game News Square Enix Humble Bundle for GamesAid

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UK Games Industry Charity Stars In Line Up For ‘Choose Your Own Charity’ Feature In Videogaming Pack

Running from 11am PT (7pm GMT) today until January 5th 2016, the third Square Enix Humble Bundle offers gamers the opportunity to get their mitts on a wealth of amazing gaming content and do a good deed or two at the same time – helping ensure it’s a very merry Christmas for one and all.

Running over two weeks there are two fantastic bundles of gaming goodness for players to enjoy and great charities to benefit from.

Humble Inc operate a pay-what-you-want system where the consumer decides how much they want to pay for the games and where their hard earned cash will go. It’s an awesome set up that provides vital funding for charities such as the small children and youth based causes GamesAid supports to continue vital work throughout the year.

GamesAid would like to thank Square Enix, Humble and the individuals that have helped pull together an amazing gaming package the contents of which can be found below:

Here is the lineup of the bundle:

1st Week
Last Remnant
Life Is Strange Episode 1
Tomb Raider I, II + III
Murdered: Soul Suspect
Final Fantasy XIV: A Realm Reborn
Just Cause Collection
Front Mission Evolved
Gyromancer
Yosumin
20% off Just Cause 3 (Coupon)
33% off Life is Strange Season Pass (Coupon)
Lara Croft & the Temple of Osiris
Tomb Raider: GOTY Edition
Hitman Absolution: Elite Edition

2nd Week Addition
Tomb Raider: Anniversary
Tomb Raider: Legend
Tomb Raider: Underworld

Link to the bundle:

www.humblebundle.com