Train2Game News: SpecialEffect goes International and also changes the life of a gamer closer to home

Dr Mick in VeniceDr Mick Donegon, CEO of games charity SpecialEffect, has taken the charity global and started helping people on an international scale.

The video game charities founder has been visiting San Camillo Hospital, Venice, to train staff and collaborate on assessments with their patients who have a range of complex neurological conditions. He got the pleasure of working with Albert Einstein World Award of Science Winner Niels Bierbaumer who is a Professor of Medical Psychology and Behavioural Neurobiology.

This was a great chance for Dr Mick and Professor Bierbaummer to learn from each other and in addition Dr Mick got to spread the word of SpecialEffect to Italy.

SpecialEffect at home

Thanks to all the work that Dr Mick and his team do they are able to help people like Ray who has spinal muscular atrophy which makes it very difficult for him to move.

Ray was introduced to the SpecialEffect team when they were visiting a young man named Jacob who they helped to play FIFA again.

When the team returned to help Ray his face lit up and he said: “All my Christmases have come at once!”

Call of Duty and FIFA 13 are top of the playing wish list for many people at the moment, and Ray was desperate to play them as well. So after an intense session working with his abilities and trying a handful of different access strategies, the SpecialEffect team settled on a set-up that included two switches on his PlayStation joypad, two in his palms and two head-switches on his wheelchair headrest.

It was a hit. Ray’s occupational therapist asked: “On a scale of one to ten, how happy are you?” Ray replied with a hugely ecstatic “Eleven!!”

For Ray this means much more than simply having fun. His disability means that he’s incredibly limited in doing any sort of activity, let alone one that gives such a sense of achievement. The benefits aren’t just personal – while he was playing, an off-duty member of staff jumped at the opportunity to pit his gaming skills against Ray. I’m sure he’s just the first of many new friends, offline and online, that the gift of gaming will give to Ray.

Train2Game News: Virgin gaming coming to Xbox Live

virgin gamingGamers already competing against players worldwide with Virgin Gaming, the premier online destination for competitive console gaming, now have a new way to challenge competitors as Virgin Gaming and Microsoft Corp. team up to launch Xbox Tournaments on Xbox LIVE.

This exclusive entertainment application, powered by Virgin Gaming, launches today and allows Xbox LIVE Gold members to seamlessly browse, enter, play in and track tournaments for their favorite games directly from the Xbox LIVE online entertainment network. Gamers can register an account at http://virgingaming.com/xbox and download the app from the Xbox LIVE Marketplace.

“Competitive online gaming is increasingly becoming an important component of the video games industry, and the Xbox Tournaments app allows us to bring engaging tournaments to a large and lively community,” said Billy Levy, president and co-founder of Virgin Gaming.

“The new app on Xbox LIVE delivers unparalleled accessibility for gamers to compete in their favorite games like never before.”

The Xbox Tournaments app makes its debut in the United States, Canada and United Kingdom with launch titles that include EA SPORTS Madden NFL 13, FIFA 13, NHL 13 and NBA2K13.

Virgin Gaming offers numerous proprietary features; including in-game reporting of match results, a skill ranking system, secure payment facilities, and strong customer support, making it the platform of choice for competitive gamers.

Additional territories, titles and features will be added in the coming months, but at launch, players will be able to compete in three-round, free-entry tournaments designed for gamers of all skill levels. They will also have the opportunity to participate in free head-to-head challenges to hone their skills for upcoming cash-play.

To celebrate the launch of the app, Virgin Gaming is hosting a $100,000 tournament and leaderboard challenge between April 9 and May 6, 2013. During that time, all players that participate in and win all three tournament rounds or that climb the ranks of the leaderboard will win a portion of the cash prize pool. Details can be found at www.virgingaming.com/xbox.

“Virgin Gaming is a proven leader when it comes to online video game competitions, and we believe Xbox Tournaments will deliver a wide variety of competitive and casual tournament options that will add an exciting new dimension to game play,” said Matthew Bencke, general manager Xbox LIVE, Microsoft.

“From the beginning, we’ve wanted to create amazing and accessible gaming experiences for our members and Xbox Tournaments give our customers a new way to play.”

With a community of more than two million gamers and top partners, Virgin Gaming offers a strong network for sponsors, such as NOS Energy Drink, Ford, Kia and Dr Pepper, looking to reach the coveted gamer audience.

Train2Game News: UK Top 20 Games – 04.03.13

Crysis 3Crysis 3 holds the number 1 crown for a second week while FIFA 13 is up a place to number 2 rounding off a good week for EA. Metal Gear Rising: Revengeance slips a spot to number 3 ahead of non-mover Call of Duty: Black Ops II. Sega’s Aliens: Colonial Marines slips down again to number 7 following its number 1 debut 2 weeks ago. It’s a quiet week for new releases with no new entries into the Top 10 and 4 of its occupants being non movers.

All formats
Week ending 2 March 2013
POS.  TITLE  PUBLISHER  LAST
WEEK 
1 CRYSIS 3 EA GAMES 1
2 FIFA 13 EA SPORTS 3
3 METAL GEAR RISING: REVENGEANCE KONAMI 2
4 CALL OF DUTY: BLACK OPS II ACTIVISION 4
5 FAR CRY 3 UBISOFT 7
6 NEED FOR SPEED MOST WANTED EA GAMES 8
7 ALIENS: COLONIAL MARINES SEGA 5
8 DEAD SPACE 3 EA GAMES 6
9 ASSASSIN’S CREED III UBISOFT 9
10 HITMAN ABSOLUTION SQUARE ENIX 10
11 THE ELDER SCROLLS V: SKYRIM BETHESDA SOFTWORKS 12
12 SKYLANDERS GIANTS SKYLANDERS 14
13 HALO 4 MICROSOFT 16
14 SONIC & ALL STARS RACING TRANSFORMED SEGA 13
15 LEGO BATMAN 2: DC SUPER HEROES WARNER BROS. INTERACTIVE 15
16 JUST DANCE 4 UBISOFT 11
17 GRAND THEFT AUTO IV XBOX 360 CLASSICS 18
18 LEGO THE LORD OF THE RINGS WARNER BROS. INTERACTIVE 17
19 RED DEAD REDEMPTION: GOTY ROCKSTAR
20 FORZA MOTORSPORT 4 MICROSOFT 20

Leisure software charts compiled by Chart Track, (C)2013 UKIE Ltd

Train2Game News: UK Top 20 – 14.01.13

fifa13It has been a quiet week for the UK Top 20. The top 5 are all the same with FIFA 13 still in the number one slot. The only new addition this week is Anarchy Reigns from SEGA.
POS.  TITLE  PUBLISHER  LAST
WEEK 
1 FIFA 13 EA SPORTS 1
2 FAR CRY 3 UBISOFT 2
3 CALL OF DUTY: BLACK OPS II ACTIVISION 3
4 HITMAN ABSOLUTION SQUARE ENIX 4
5 NEED FOR SPEED MOST WANTED EA GAMES 5
6 JUST DANCE 4 UBISOFT 7
7 HALO 4 MICROSOFT 6
8 FOOTBALL MANAGER 2013 SEGA 13
9 THE ELDER SCROLLS V: SKYRIM BETHESDA SOFTWORKS 10
10 LEGO THE LORD OF THE RINGS WARNER BROS. INTERACTIVE 9
11 ASSASSIN’S CREED III UBISOFT 11
12 WWE ’13 THQ 14
13 SONIC & ALL STARS RACING TRANSFORMED SEGA 12
14 FORZA HORIZON MICROSOFT 8
15 DISHONORED BETHESDA SOFTWORKS 15
16 ANARCHY REIGNS SEGA
17 SKYLANDERS GIANTS SKYLANDERS 17
18 MEDAL OF HONOR: WARFIGHTER EA GAMES 16
19 FORZA MOTORSPORT 4 MICROSOFT 18
20 LEGO BATMAN 2: DC SUPER HEROES WARNER BROS. INTERACTIVE 20

Leisure software charts compiled by Chart Track, (C)2013 UKIE Ltd

Train2Game News: UK Top 20 – 7.1.13

fifa13Over the Christmas break Call of Duty: Black Ops 2 was knocked off of the top spot by Far Cry 3 with Fifa 13 taking number two but now it has shifted again. Fifa 13 is the number one game with Far Cry 3 at number 2.

Week ending 5 January 2013

POS.  TITLE 

PUBLISHER

 LAST
WEEK 

1

FIFA 13

EA SPORTS

2

2

FAR CRY 3

UBISOFT

1

3

– 

CALL OF DUTY: BLACK OPS II

ACTIVISION

3

4

– 

HITMAN ABSOLUTION

SQUARE ENIX

4

5

– 

NEED FOR SPEED MOST WANTED

EA GAMES

5

6

HALO 4

MICROSOFT

7

7

JUST DANCE 4

UBISOFT

6

8

FORZA HORIZON

MICROSOFT

10

9

– 

LEGO THE LORD OF THE RINGS

WARNER BROS. INTERACTIVE

9

10

  THE ELDER SCROLLS V: SKYRIM

BETHESDA SOFTWORKS

12

11

ASSASSIN’S CREED III

UBISOFT

8

12

 

SONIC & ALL STARS RACING TRANSFORMED

SEGA

16

13

FOOTBALL MANAGER 2013

SEGA

13

14

WWE ’13

THQ

11

15

DISHONORED

BETHESDA SOFTWORKS

14

16

MEDAL OF HONOR: WARFIGHTER

EA GAMES

15

17

– 

SKYLANDERS GIANTS

SKYLANDERS

17

18

FORZA MOTORSPORT 4

MICROSOFT

20

19

DISNEY EPIC MIKEY 2: THE POWER OF TWO

DISNEY INTERACTIVE STUDIOS

19

20

LEGO BATMAN 2: DC SUPER HEROES

WARNER BROS. INTERACTIVE

18

Leisure software charts compiled by Chart Track, (C)2013 UKIE Ltd

Train2Game News: Minecraft Builds its way to the top

More people are playing Minecraft on Xbox Live Arcade than Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3 or FIFA 13.

The latest Microsoft Live activity chart shows Minecraft: Xbox 360 Edition at the top for the first time, rsing ahead of acclaimed retail games Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3 and FIFA 13. The Call of Duty games have been at the top of the chart for much of the past four years.

It is another impressive milestone for Minecraft. Earlier this month, developer 4J Studios revealed it had sold over four million copies becoming the best-selling XBLA game ever, beating titles such as Trials, Trials Evolution and Castle Crashers.

Other games Minecraft is more popular than are Call of Duty: Black Ops, Borderlands 2, Halo: Reach, Battlefield 3 and Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2.

Interestingly GTA IV is still in the top twenty and it is nice to see the free-to-play title, Happy Wars, in at eleven.

Microsoft’s Live Activity chart is based on unique users – that is, game playing while connected to Xbox Live. You can see the top twenty below:

  • 1. Minecraft: Xbox 360 Edition
  • 2. Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3
  • 3. FIFA 13
  • 4. Call of Duty: Black Ops
  • 5. Borderlands 2
  • 6. Halo: Reach
  • 7. Battlefield 3
  • 8. Modern Warfare 2
  • 9. Madden NFL 13
  • 10. NBA 2K13
  • 11. Happy Wars
  • 12. Skyrim
  • 13. Gears of War 3
  • 14. RESIDENT EVIL 6
  • 15. GTA IV
  • 16. FIFA 12
  • 17. Forza Motorsport 4
  • 18. Dishonored
  • 19. EA SPORTS NHL13
  • 20. Halo 3

As you’d expect, Minecraft is also the top Arcade title, ahead of The Walking Dead, Sonic Adventure 2 and Trials Evolution.

Train2Game News: UK Top 20 – 22.10.12

In the charts this week Skylanders Giants has come in at number two, leaving FIFA 13 still sitting pretty at the top for week number four and Bethesda’s Doom 3: BFG Edition has come in at number five.

Week ending 20 October 2012

POS.  TITLE  PUBLISHER  LAST
WEEK 
1 –  FIFA 13 EA SPORTS 1
2 SKYLANDERS GIANTS SKYLANDERS
3 DISHONORED BETHESDA SOFTWORKS 2
4 JUST DANCE 4 UBISOFT 6
5 DOOM 3: BFG EDITION BETHESDA SOFTWORKS
6 POKEMON BLACK VERSION 2 NINTENDO 3
7 RESIDENT EVIL 6 CAPCOM 4
8 –  BORDERLANDS 2 2K GAMES 8
9 POKEMON WHITE VERSION 2 NINTENDO 5
10 XCOM: ENEMY UNKNOWN 2K GAMES 7
11 F1 2012 CODEMASTERS 9
12 007 LEGENDS ACTIVISION
13 THE ELDER SCROLLS V: SKYRIM BETHESDA SOFTWORKS 10
14 –  ROCKSMITH UBISOFT 14
15 PRO EVOLUTION SOCCER 2013 KONAMI 12
16 NEW SUPER MARIO BROS. 2 NINTENDO 15
17 SLEEPING DOGS SQUARE ENIX 11
18 LEGO BATMAN 2: DC SUPER HEROES WARNER BROS. INTERACTIVE 19
19 FORZA MOTORSPORT 4 MICROSOFT 13
20 GRAN TURISMO 5 ACADEMY EDITION SONY COMPUTER ENT. 16

leisure software charts compiled by Chart Track, (C)2012 UKIE Ltd

Train2Game News: UK Top 20 – 15.10.12

On Monday mornings I will now be posting the top 20 UK games chart from UKIE to keep you all updated.

 
Dishonored has come in as the highest new IP this year at number 2 but nothing can knock FIFA off the top spot for the third week running. It is interesting to see that Skyrim and Call Of Duty: Modern Warfare 3 are still in the top 20.

Week ending 13 October 2012

POS.  TITLE  PUBLISHER  LAST
WEEK 
1 –  FIFA 13 EA SPORTS 1
2   DISHONORED BETHESDA SOFTWORKS
3   POKEMON BLACK VERSION 2 NINTENDO
4 RESIDENT EVIL 6 CAPCOM 2
5   POKEMON WHITE VERSION 2 NINTENDO
6 JUST DANCE 4 UBISOFT 4
7   XCOM: ENEMY UNKNOWN 2K GAMES
8 BORDERLANDS 2 2K GAMES 3
9 F1 2012 CODEMASTERS 5
10 THE ELDER SCROLLS V: SKYRIM BETHESDA SOFTWORKS 8
11 SLEEPING DOGS SQUARE ENIX 10
12 PRO EVOLUTION SOCCER 2013 KONAMI 9
13 FORZA MOTORSPORT 4 MICROSOFT 11
14 ROCKSMITH UBISOFT 7
15 NEW SUPER MARIO BROS. 2 NINTENDO 12
16 GRAN TURISMO 5 ACADEMY EDITION SONY COMPUTER ENT. 13
17   CALL OF DUTY: MODERN WARFARE 3 ACTIVISION
18 NBA 2K13 2K SPORTS 6
19 LEGO BATMAN 2: DC SUPER HEROES WARNER BROS. INTERACTIVE 14
20 DEAD ISLAND GOTY EDITION DEEP SILVER 16

 

Train2Game News: Nintendo’s Wii U UK launch date revealed

The Wii U will be released in the UK before it’s released in Japan. Nintendo’s next-gen console goes on sale November 30. Japan gets the Wii U a week later.

There will be two hardware bundles being released. The white Basic pack will include an 8GB Wii U console, one GamePad and a Stylus. The black Premium pack contains a 32GB Wii U, one GamePad, all the accessories featured in the Basic pack, plus extras such as a charging stand and a Premium subscription for discounted download games.

UK consumers that pick up the Premium pack will also get a copy of NintendoLand and a Wii Sensor Bar.

Buyers of the Basic pack can pick up a new accessory pack called the “Wii Remote Plus Additional Set”. It contains a Wii Remote Plus, Nunchuk and Sensor Bar.

The trade price for the Basic pack is £205, the Premium is £246 and the ZombiU version – which includes the Premium Pack and a copy of Ubisoft’s horror shooter ZombiU – has a cost price of £270.

A list of launch games have been announced on Nintendo’s official site. Some of the games that have been announced for the launch window are:

  • Rayman Legends
  • ZombiU
  • Mass Effect 3: Special Edition
  • FIFA 13
  • Call Of Duty: Black Ops 2
  • Nintendo Land
  • New Super Mario Bros. U