Train2Game News SpecialEffect ask for #GiveWithXbox support

What does Gaming Together mean to you?

SpecialEffect are asking gamers to join Xbox’s #GiveWithXbox campaign by posting their answers, along with an image and the hashtag #GiveWithXbox, to raise vital funds for four gaming-related charities.

For every qualifying post on Twitter, FaceBook and Instagram, Xbox will donate $5, up to a maximum of $1M, to be split among SpecialEffect, Child’s Play, Gamers Outreach and Operation Supply Drop. Xbox will also donate $5 for every retweet of their campaign tweets about the charity partners.

The campaign will run to 9 December 2018.

Gail, the mother of Finlay, one of SpecialEffect’s beneficiaries, said “#GiveWithXbox is such an easy way for gamers to help bring the joy of gaming to everyone and I’d encourage anyone to donate a few seconds to take part.”

“We never thought Finlay was going to have the opportunity to play video games like FIFA with his brother but now, thanks to SpecialEffect, it’s amazing to see the boys gaming together. The fights are even more phenomenal, but that’s just brothers for you! Please do support SpecialEffect by sharing a photo of what gaming means to you.”

Alan Hartman, Studio Head of the Forza Franchise and SpecialEffect VP, said, “As a very proud SpecialEffect Vice President I’m delighted they are part of the #GiveWithXbox campaign and having hosted Dr Mick at Turn 10 and seen more of their latest work I know this campaign and any support for the charity will help them make a big difference to the disabled gamers they help across the globe.”

The #GiveWithXbox Campaign was launched as part of the Inside Xbox broadcast from X018 on 10 November.

Find out more at https://www.xbox.com/en-US/promotions/give-with-xbox

Train2Game News War Child UK Charity Drive

As the 100th anniversary of the day the guns fell silent approaches, War Child UK calls on people across the world to join them in helping children caught in conflict by supporting the launch of its own Armistice across games on all platforms.

Starting today a Steam sale of epic proportions will be taking place. The Steam Armistice Sale includes The Room, ABZÛ, Scanner Sombre, Democracy 3, RiME, Prison Architect, The Talos Principle, Broken Sword 5, Dick Wilde, Mini Metro and Machinarium. A percentage of developer proceeds from each of the sales will go straight to War Child UK’s work supporting young people and children in conflict zones around the world. For the full list of titles on sale, visit https://store.steampowered.com/sale/armistice-sale/

Watch the Armistice gameplay trailer here: https://youtu.be/RaKeHX0_ED4

Gamers can also get their hands-on brand new, limited content for their favourite games, including Prison Architects and a special Cupid’s Bow in Dick Wilde. World of Tanks (PC) will have Armistice-themed emblems and skins on offer and all players (old & new) can join a commemorative laying down of arms on Sunday 11th November between 11:11 AM CET and 11:30 AM CET and then enjoy access to a day of premium content using the code ‘’111111”.

11-11: Memories Retold, the highly anticipated title from BANDAI NAMCO Entertainment Europe, Aardman Animations and Digixart, will have a specially-created downloadable content available at launch on November 9th, costing £2.99 and with all profits going to support War Child UK’s activities. The world of mobile gaming is also rallying to support Armistice, with amazing fundraising activations available across games like Lords Mobile, War Wings, March of Empires and Shadowgun Legends.

“We’re thrilled with this year’s support from some of most talented people & studios in the sector.” said Wayne Emanuel, Gaming Partnerships Manager of War Child UK. “Each year we aim to go bigger and we’re hoping that this will be our biggest year yet with a truly diverse range of games supporting Armistice including; the separate story featuring Carey Mulligan in War Child DLC in 11-11: Memories Retold, Dick Wilde joining as our first ever Steam VR title with the addition of ‘Cupid’s Bow’ and The Respawnables bringing back their healer item’.

Carey Mulligan, War Child UK global ambassador, said “War Child’s Armistice is a unique and exciting initiative. Peace is denied to too many children around the world, but millions of gamers can help some of the world’s most vulnerable children affected by war by playing games as part of War Child’s Armistice. It’s such an innovative way to fundraise and very simple too – just buying and playing a game you love can help provide crucial support for innocent victims of war.”

Armistice is a wide-ranging fundraising initiative created by War Child UK and its US partner Children in Conflict that aims to encourage peaceful gameplay in the month of November, to coincide with Armistice Day on 11th November.

For the first time, gamers who use live streaming platforms such as Twitch will be able to run their own charity streaming events in support of War Child. Through JustGiving, it’s never been easier for gamers and their audience to safely and securely give to charity online. Using JustGiving LiveStreaming, gamers can now integrate their Twitch stream with their JustGiving fundraising page to enable donation alerts and create progress bar overlays. To register your own charity stream for Armistice, visit the campaign website – https://armistice-uk.blackbaud-sites.com/

The list of games that have added in-game content in support War Child’s Armistice project:

  • 11-11: Memories Retold (Bandai-Namco Entertainment Europe)
  • Dick Wilde (PlayStack)
  • Guns of Boom (Game Insight)
  • Imperia Online (Imperia Online)
  • Lords Mobile (IGG)
  • March of Empires (Gameloft)
  • Prison Architect (Introversion Software)
  • Respawnables (Digital Legends)
  • Shadowgun Legends (Madfinger Games)
  • Snipers vs. Thieves (PlayStack)
  • War Planet Online (Gameloft)
  • War Wings (Tencent/ MiniClip)
  • World of Tanks (Wargaming.net)

Games available in the Armistice Steam sale:

Link: https://store.steampowered.com/sale/armistice-sale/

  • ABZU (505 Games)
  • Broken Sword 5 (Revolution Games)
  • Democracy 3 (Positech)
  • Dick Wilde (PlayStack)
  • Machinarium (Amanita Design)
  • Mini Metro (Dinosaur Polo Club)
  • Prison Architect (Introversion Software)
  • RiME (6 Foot Europe)
  • Scanner Sombre (Introversion Software)
  • The Room (Fireproof Games)
  • The Talos Principle (Devolver Digital)

For more information about War Child’s Armistice and the gaming studios that are participating, visit www.warchildarmistice.org or follow @WarChild_Gaming on Twitter.

Train2Game News Bandai Namco raise $20k for charity

Leading anime video game developer and publisher BANDAI NAMCO Entertainment America Inc. announced today it has raised and is donating over $20,000 to Gamers Outreach in support of the foundation’s mission to provide recreation and entertainment to children recovering from the treatment of long term illnesses in hospitals through the power of video games.

The donated funds will go directly to the creation of additional “GO Karts” or Gamers Outreach Karts – portable, medical-grade gaming kiosks which healthcare staff can use to transport gaming consoles and games to children who are not able to leave their rooms during their recovery. GO Karts have already been stationed at nearly 50 hospitals around the United States and support over 450,000 children annually during their recoveries.

“As a video game company, BANDAI NAMCO Entertainment America is excited to see the power of video games brighten the day of a child recovering from illness. Video games can transport children to distant lands for grand adventures, empower them with super powers, and most importantly, deliver a simple smile and some comfort.” said Denny Chiu, Director, Communications and Corporate Social Responsibility at BANDAI NAMCO Entertainment America Inc.

“By lifting their spirits, we hope to help these brave young patients through their healing process and provide a semblance of fun and normalcy to their day. We also want to thank our generous fans who donated funds during our livestream, our combined donations will surely add a boost to help Gamers Outreach in its mission of bringing joy, creating smiles, and making the day special for countless kids.”

“We’re incredibly grateful to the team from BANDAI NAMCO Entertainment America for this generous gift of more than $20,000 in support of providing entertainment devices to hospitalized children,” said Zach Wigal, Founder of Gamers Outreach.

“As an organization, our focus is to help normalize the hospital experience by ensuring games and recreation are available to patients, and easy for healthcare professionals to manage. GO Karts are a tool hospital staff rely on as a way to deliver content to patients who have limited accessibility during treatment. The GO Karts built by BANDAI NAMCO Entertainment America will be making a difference in the lives of children and their families for years to come!”

Funds donated by BANDAI NAMCO Entertainment America Inc. are comprised of charitable donations raised during an eight hour “Let’s Play Anime” charity livestream which raised $5,484 from viewers and fans. The livestream featured gameplay segments featuring BANDAI NAMCO Entertainment’s latest games. The livestream was hosted by BANDAI NAMCO team members and social media influencers. During the program, viewers made donations in support of the livestream to benefit Gamers Outreach. Additional funds were donated by BANDAI NAMCO Entertainment America Inc. by matching the $5,484 donated by livestream viewers and with an additional $10,000 for a grand donation total of $20,968.

For more information on BANDAI NAMCO Entertainment America Inc., please visit: https://www.bandainamcoent.com . For more information about Gamers Outreach Foundation, please visit: https://gamersoutreach.org.

Train2Game News Jagex Charitable Giving Initiative Success

As Mental Health Awareness Week begins (14th-20th May), Jagex today announced a highly successful first year for its Charitable Giving initiative, raising £225,000 for its three chosen mental health charities.

The company, together with the support of the generous RuneScape and Old School RuneScape player communities, smashed its 12-month £150,000 fundraising target to raise the £225,000 total, which has been donated to its three charities – CPSL Mind, The Prince’s Trust, and YMCA Right Here – to promote mental health on a local, national, and international level.

Earlier this month, Jagex hosted the launch of CPSL Mind’s STOP Suicide 2018 campaign, a community-based initiative that sets out to empower communities to prevent suicides across Cambridgeshire, Peterborough, and South Lincolnshire. The campaign, which is directly funded by Jagex’s donation, was launched at the company’s Cambridge headquarters, and played host to dignitaries, companies, and organisations, where they were invited to sign a pledge supporting the aims of the campaign.

Jagex has also been recognised in Mind’s prestigious Workplace Wellbeing Index for 2018 with a Silver Award, which building on the Bronze received in 20178, and is awarded in recognition of ‘Achieving Impact’ in promoting staff mental health and demonstrating progress and impact over time. In 2018, Jagex is one of only two games studios to be awarded with a place on the Index, underlining the Cambridge developer’s continued commitment to promoting staff mental health and wellbeing.

To coincide with Mental Health Awareness Week, Jagex’s award-winning game, RuneScape, is selling a brand-new, in-game item – a baby yeti – for players to purchase, with proceeds going towards the company’s three chosen charities.

Kelvin Plomer, Director of Customer Support and Jagex Charitable Giving, Jagex, said:
“We’ve had a remarkable first year for Jagex’s Charitable Giving initiative, and I am so proud of the work that we have supported as well as the funding we have raised for our mental health charities. Raising £225,000 over the past 12 months is a remarkable achievement and I want to thank everybody involved, from our players to everyone at Jagex – this money will make a difference and literally save lives. Jagex, through our charitable strategy, wants to make a real difference to people’s lives, and we are immensely proud to work with our chosen charity partners to help achieve that.

Commenting on the Workplace Wellbeing Index award, Alice Turner, HR Business Partner at Jagex, said:
“It’s a great privilege for Jagex to be recognised with a Silver Award on Mind’s Workplace Wellbeing Index 2018, which really shows the dedication our company has to support the mental health of our staff. We felt very humbled to be the first games studio to be recognised in the Index last year, so to see that progression and stand alongside some of the biggest organisations in the country as a Silver Award recipient is testament to the continued progress Jagex has made over the past year.”

Train2Game News GameBlast18 Total Raised

The official total raised for GameBlast18, the UK’s largest charity gaming weekend, has been confirmed at over £220,000 ($300,000).

It’s the largest total in the event’s five-year history.

Gamers across the UK and beyond took on gaming marathons and game-themed events over the weekend of 23-25 February to raise money for the charity, who help people with physical disabilities to experience the fun and inclusion of video games.

As well as the hundreds of individual gamers and communities, many major names in the games industry backed the event, including Jagex, GAME, Multiplay, Twitch, Insert Coin and Ukie, alongside a host of eSports teams, streamers and studios.

Jagex, who raised over £100,000, hosted the GameBlast Games – a livestream of gaming, chaos and gruelling challenges broadcast live from their Cambridge headquarters.

GAME and Multiplay Events staff also hosted a major 24-hour stream, while across the country GAME stores and BELONG arenas brought GameBlast to the high-street, with charity promotions, auctions and esports tournaments amongst the activities on offer to customers throughout the weekend. Collectively they raised over £41,000.

“It’s an incredibly humbling total,” said Tom Donegan, the charity’s Events Coordinator. “We’ve been overwhelmed by the enthusiasm of everyone involved, and to have the support of such a huge number of gamers is a massive boost to our team. As a result of their generosity, many hundreds more people will be able to enjoy the magic of video games for many years.”

The dates for GameBlast19 has been announced as 22-24 February.

Donations for GameBlast can still be made at through https://www.gameblast18.org.uk

Train2Game News GameBlast18

There’s just one week to go before gamers across the UK join forces to raise money for SpecialEffect in GameBlast18, the UK’s biggest charity gaming weekend.

Hundreds of gamers, including eSports teams, streamers, and community groups, will take to their PCs and consoles throughout the weekend of 23-25 February to host sponsored marathon livestreams, gaming tournaments and many other challenges in support of the charity, which enables anyone, whatever their physical disability, to enjoy video games and leisure technology.

Now in its fifth year, the event aims to raise £100,000 for SpecialEffect.

Many major names in the games industry are also backing the event, including Jagex, GAME, Multiplay, Twitch, Insert Coin, SEGA, Nomad, Lockwood Publishing and Ukie. So far, almost 300 Justgiving fundraising pages have been created, meaning this year’s GameBlast is set to have the highest number of participants in its five-year history.

Jagex will be hosting the GameBlast Games – a 24-hour marathon of gaming, chaos and gruelling challenges. Broadcast live from their Cambridge headquarters and beginning 12pm GMT on Friday 23 February, the event will be streamed via the official RuneScape twitch.tv channel. The stream will feature regular faces from Jagex, the RuneScape and Old School dev teams, along with Twitch content creators and friends from the industry – including Codemasters and Frontier Developments – who will all go head to head in the ultimate games battle.

As Jagex clock-off at 12pm GMT on Saturday 24, staff from GAME and Multiplay Events will take up the baton with their own marathon broadcast, promising another 24 hours of gaming challenges and stretch-goal forfeits. GAME stores and BELONG arenas across the country will be hosting their own GameBlast activities, with raffles, tournaments and eSports tournaments on offer to gamers throughout the weekend. Meanwhile, GAME’s charity trade-in offer will continue until the end of the month, with customers being given the opportunity to donate £1 or more from every trade-in to SpecialEffect.

In addition, both Jagex and GAME will be running eBay auctions of gaming swag, merchandise and experiences.

“We can’t wait for GameBlast18” said Tom Donegan, the charity’s Events Coordinator.

“I love seeing the variety of challenges on offer – the creativity and generosity of our supporters is just so inspiring! The funds raised will enable us to help more like Will (http://bit.ly/willspecialeffect), who suffered a spinal injury but who’s gaming again using shoulder and chin movements.”

“GameBlast18 is an opportunity to bring the gaming community together to do what they love and level the playing field for people with disabilities at the same time.”

More details about GameBlast18 can be found at https://www.gameblast18.org.uk or on Twitter @GameBlast18

Train2Game News SpecialEffect Represented in Fifa 18


Electronic Arts have chosen SpecialEffect to be the first ever games charity to have an exclusive in-game FIFA 18 kit.

The kit went live in game on Friday 10 November, as a reward for a weekly objective in EA Sports FIFA Ultimate Team. 

SpecialEffect are a UK-based charity that provide custom-designed control setups for people with physical disabilities who want to enjoy video games. FIFA is one of the most popular games requested by people they help.

One young man that the charity supported, Chad, has spinal muscular atrophy that severely limits his movement, but he’s now able to play FIFA again using a custom setup that includes a mouth-controlled joystick. “I thought my gaming days were over,” he said, “but thanks to SpecialEffect I can now play FIFA in a different but novel way.”

The kit was launched at Wembley Stadium on 10 November.

Dr Mick Donegan, SpecialEffect Founder and CEO, said “We’re immensely grateful to EA for this wonderful gesture. For many years they’ve been major supporters of our work in levelling the playing field for people with physical disabilities, and the increase in global awareness of our work that the kit will bring is very much appreciated.”

“When I started the charity ten years ago, I never dreamed that we’d be honoured with our own kit in one of the most popular game series ever.”

Train2Game News One Special Day 2017 results


SpecialEffect announced today that the games industry partners involved in their One Special Day fundraising event have so far raised a total of over £300,000 for the charity.

Revenue from game sales and in-game purchases in the UK – and in some cases worldwide – has helped smash the charity’s £100k target for the event. Over £250k of the total was raised by the mobile games industry partners and their communities.

Many companies also contributed through game-themed events, gaming auction items and livestreams before or during the fundraiser on 29 September.

All the money raised will go towards SpecialEffect’s work in creating ways for people with physical disabilities to experience the fun and inclusion of video games.

“This total is way beyond all expectation. We cannot thank all our games industry partners enough for coming together to support people with disabilities,” said Dr Mick Donegan, founder and CEO of SpecialEffect. “It’s an astonishing, game-changing total for us. It funds not only our lifelong one-to-one work with people who need our help, but also our collaboration with developers in making games more accessible to severely disabled gamers worldwide.”

“We’ve had an amazing time working with our partners during this event. The games industry and their communities have our heartfelt thanks for the tremendous generosity they have shown.”

The industry partners involved in the event were Seriously, Unity, Supercell, SEGA, Double Fine, Codemasters, Rovio, Playdemic,  Yogscast, Space Ape, Nordeus, Twitch, Ripstone, Frontier Developments, First Touch Games, Bossa Studios, EA Mobile, 505 Games, New Star Games, Boombit Games, Bungie Foundation, The Chinese Room, Curve Digital, Playground Games, Ubisoft Reflections, Firefly Studios, GAME, Nomad Games, MAG Interactive, Zeptolab, eRepublik Labs, Everywear Games, Lightneer, Payload Studios, Sumo Digital, Fresh Planet, Cooperative Ventures, Future plc, Gamesindustry.biz, nDreams, London Studio (Sony), PlayRaven, Prettygreat, Dots, Futureplay, Glu, Halfbrick, Digital Legends, SOVR, Rare, Insert Coin, Remedy Entertainment,  NaturalMotion/Zynga, SEGA Hardlight, Plan of Attack, Yakuto, Tactile Entertainment, UKIE, Rebellion, Bandai Namco, Sports Interactive, Creative Assembly, Tundra, Humble Bundle, EA, Escape Technology, Razer, Dingit.tv, Fingersoft, Make Real, Jam City and Disruptor Beam.

More details about the event and a full list of partners can be found at http://www.onespecialday.org.uk

The charity plan to announce a final fundraising total at the end of October, and the date for One Special Day in 2018 has been set for Friday 28 September.

Train2Game GameSessions supporting charities

GameSessions, the company behind many game giveaways and trials, today announces a new programme to support charities. 

Over the next few months, they will be giving away games to raise awareness and donations for some selected charitable causes that have touched the lives of their staff.

The unique reach and engagement that the GameSessions Giveaways generates, with millions of minutes played, is a great opportunity to support the charities concerned. The team have picked Kidney Research, Cancer Research, Child’s Play and ME Research as these have each impacted their lives significantly.

GameSessions will offer Slack Games’ Mechanic Escape to download and play for free from today in support of the ME (Myalgic Encephalomyelitis also known as CFS) Association. The company is donating 100% of their share of any (optional) Steam key sales to the ME Association and users will also have the option to donate directly to the charity within the game.

Mechanic Escape combines its rhythm and fast pace into a fun but challenging platformer. In order to find his lost friends, the hero, Mech, doesn’t hesitate to risk life and circuits to pass throughout high-voltage areas or dodge the most deadly machines. A hardcore game with over 80 levels, Mechanic Escape can challenge even the most veteran player but is an accessible universe to all gamers.

Ed French, CEO commented:

    “Last month, we launched our new free games service; GameSessions Giveaways with one of our first brand partners, AMD. It was an overwhelming success and succeeded in its goal of helping spread the word of one of our partners. GameSessions Giveaways offers us a platform to speak directly to gamers and we’ve decided to also use that exposure to highlight and support the work of charities that work on issues close to our hearts. Over the next few months we’re planning to give away a number of games to raise awareness and money for these charities.

    We’re going to provide games in support of: Kidney Research, Cancer Research, Children’s Hospitals and ME Research.

    The games will cost end users nothing, but we do ask that they watch a very short video (less than 2 minutes) about the charity before they play.

    We will donate our share of the revenue from any (optional) sales of Steam keys for each game to the charity concerned, and we will provide a link in game to donate directly if you can.

    The first giveaway we’re doing for charity is a game called Mechanic Escape, so it seems appropriate to use it to raise awareness of Myalgic Encephalomyelitis (so ME4ME!). We picked this cause as the daughter of one of our staff currently suffers from the condition, and so many people are unaware of how difficult life is for sufferers. Despite all the detailed research into the immune, nervous and digestive abnormalities, many people still label it “yuppy flu” and suggest patients with long-term painful and debilitating conditions are not really unwell.

    We know that most gamers will be willing to spend 90 seconds learning about the condition to get a free game to add to their collection. Every extra person who has some understanding of this condition is a benefit to the sufferers.”

Helen Hyland, Fundraising Manager for the ME Association, said:

    “We’re delighted to work with Gamesessions on something which breaks new ground for us as a charity.

    “Many of the gamers who download Mechanic Escape make a choice to stay in and play it. For those with ME, staying in isn’t a choice – it’s the reality of their daily lives.

    “For us, this is a fresh way of reaching people, often the under 25s. We hope they have fun – dodge the deadly machines and the devious bosses – and learn a little about this devastating illness at the same time.”

Sign up for Mechanic Escape now at http://r.gamesessions.com/MEGiveaway

Train2Game News Schafer supporting One Special Day


​Tim Schafer, critically acclaimed games designer and Founder of Double Fine Productions, has backed SpecialEffect’s tenth anniversary One Special Day fundraiser with a video call-to-action to the games industry.
Schafer, a Vice-President of the charity that helps some of the world’s most severely disabled people enjoy the fun and inclusion of video games, has urged other CEOs and decision makers in the video games industry to follow his lead and get behind the One Special Day initiative.

Leading names from the industry such as EA, SEGA, Twitch, Seriously and Humble Bundle are amongst the companies that have already backed SpecialEffect and One Special Day. Many more are expected to follow suit in the run up to the event on Friday 29th September.

SpecialEffect, widely known as the gamers’ charity, is supported by gamers and gaming communities all over the world. One Special Day is an opportunity for the industry to stand with those who play their games and build on the £100,000 raised in February by gamers in the SpecialEffect ‘GameBlast’ event.

Dr Mick Donegan, Founder and CEO of SpecialEffect said, “It is just brilliant to have the backing of Tim for One Special Day with this video message. We are hugely grateful for all the support he gives to SpecialEffect and very much hope other companies will join Tim and Double Fine in backing this crucial fundraising event.”

SpecialEffect is asking for games companies to give their revenue on specific games or in-game purchases on 29th September, provide rare/collectible items or experiences for a special eBay auction or stage a fundraising event of their own to support the charity.

Nick Streeter, SpecialEffect fundraiser leading the One Special Day initiative said, “This is an opportunity for the games industry to back their players in making games a force for good. We’ve made it easy for companies to get involved at whatever level they wish. We already have some huge companies commit to One Special Day and we warmly welcome those who follow suit and provide us with the means to reach more disabled gamers in the year to come.”

For more details on how your company can get involved in One Special Day, please contact Nick Streeter on +44 (0)1608 810055 or at nick@specialeffect.org.uk or look for the #OneSpecialDay hashtag across social media (www.onespecialday.org.uk )

https://youtu.be/TJi6FTLHACs