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 Jagex GameBlast Success

SpecialEffect’s GameBlast saw RuneScape developers take part in a variety of ridiculous activities live on Twitch.

The inaugural GameBlast Games, held over a 24-hour period at Jagex’s Cambridge headquarters, has successfully raised over £100,000 ($125,000) for the charity, SpecialEffect.

Taking place from 12 noon on Friday 23rd February, the fundraiser was watched by more than 340,000 unique viewers on the RuneScape Twitch channel. The money raised by the event, held as part of the annual GameBlast18 fundraising weekend, will help SpecialEffect in their mission to make videogames accessible to people with physical disabilities.

Watch the highlights video here https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aEhETmfUibA .

The RuneScape and Old School RuneScape player communities helped raise funds by purchasing GameBlast-themed cosmetic items, while Twitch viewers could also directly donate to the studio’s JustGiving page, and bid on gaming swag and experiences in an online auction.

A mix of gaming, gruelling – and disgusting – challenges and utter chaos, the marathon GameBlast Games saw three teams of staff and influencers compete in 3-a-side office chair football, budget robot battles, and drinking smoothies with a mixture of vile ingredients. Joining in the fun with Jagex were fellow games studios Frontier Developments, Codemasters and Slingshot Cartel, as well as peripherals producer, Razer, and esports teamwear designers, Raven.

Neil McClarty, VP of Product Management, Jagex, said:

“It was fantastic to once again host a GameBlast fundraising live stream for SpecialEffect, the staff always get stuck into taking part and helping raise money for what is an amazing and extraordinary cause. Many thanks to Codemasters, Frontier Developments, Razer, and our other industry friends, who came along to help take part during the 24 hours. This year was our most ambitious yet with The GameBlast Games, and having raised over £100,000 in such a short amount of time we just want to thank our incredible RuneScape communities for their generosity.”

Tom Donegan, Events Coordinator at SpecialEffect, said:

“Once again we’ve been completely blown away by the generosity of the Jagex and the wonderful RuneScape communities. 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 in this incredible event.”

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 Jagex Charitable Giving

​Jagex, the creators of RuneScape, today announced a partnership with three key charities to support mental health awareness, with a focus on affecting change for young people, as part of a two-year fundraising programme.

Jagex will link up with CPSL Mind, The Prince’s Trust, and YMCA Right Here on a local, national, and international level and has a target of raising £150,000 in 2017 to support their programmes. The games developer and publisher has raised hundreds of thousands of pounds for good causes in recent years, including over £100,000 for SpecialEffect in 2016.
The Prince’s Trust Macquarie Youth Index report, released at the start of the year, revealed that young people’s happiness and confidence are at their lowest levels since the organisation launched its study eight years ago. Over a third – 37 percent – of young people aged 16-25 admitted to feeling stressed about coping with work and school, while NEET young people (those not in employment, education or training) are more likely to feel worried about their circumstances and their future. These burdens impact the mental health of young people and increase their chances of not fulfilling their potential.
Throughout 2017, Jagex will host a series of in-game and real-world events to support the charities and promote mental health awareness. During Mental Health Awareness Week (8th-14th May), RuneScape will run a two-week long charity-specific in-game event – Gielinorian Giving – in which any currency purchased by players will be donated to the causes; in return players will receive exclusive rewards, such as an amour set and in-game pet.
Jagex will also participate in several key initiatives driven by the charities, including The Prince’s Trust career introduction programme, Get Started in Games Design, which will see young people participate in game design workshops hosted by Jagex in addition to a company game jam during Mental Health Awareness Week.
Additionally, the company will become one of the first commercial companies to join the likes of the local police service, some local NHS services, and Cambridgeshire County Council to sign a pledge supporting CPSL Mind’s ‘STOP Suicide’ campaign in Jagex’s home city. Working with YMCA Right Here, Jagex will support the organisation’s ‘Find, Get, Give’ initiative.

The programme will help young people aged 13-25 years old to find and receive support, and then give feedback around the mental health services they’ve accessed. Jagex will be assisting YMCA Right Here in the development of a mental health support networking app.
Phil Mansell, COO and Acting CEO of Jagex, said, “Our passionate and generous RuneScape community has helped raise hundreds of thousands of pounds for some incredible causes over the last few years. By focusing on supporting the mental health and wellbeing of young people through partnering with these three charities, we hope they will once again come together and help people receive the backing they need to cope with the turbulence of the world today.”
Ben Marson, Director of Corporate Partnerships at The Prince’s Trust, said: “Here at The Prince’s Trust, we’ve recently seen an increase in the need for mental health support amongst the young people coming to us for help, so the focus of this partnership with Jagex couldn’t be more timely. By hosting Get Started in Games Design with Jagex, we can develop young people’s confidence and skills to improve their wellbeing and help them get a job.”

Cat Dyson, YMCA Right Here Project Manager, said, “We are thrilled to be working in partnership with Jagex as part of their charitable strategy. YMCA DownsLink Group is focused on supporting young people to belong, contribute and thrive. The YMCA Right Here Project champions this approach by working closely with young people; empowering them to influence mental health work, educate others around health and wellbeing and campaign for change.   We are incredibly excited about the opportunities that this partnership presents, both for the YMCA and young people across the country.”

Aly Anderson, Interim CEO of CPSL Mind said: “We are delighted that Jagex has chosen CPSL Mind – and the STOP Suicide Campaign in particular – as one of their three charities to support this year.  Suicide is the biggest killer of men under 50 and the female suicide rate in England is at its highest since 2005.  However, most suicides are preventable and we are very much looking forward to working with Jagex to train more local people in suicide prevention, to raise awareness of potential suicide warning signs and to encourage everyone to talk more openly about this important subject.”

Further information on the three charities and the Jagex Charitable Giving initiative can be found at https://www.jagex.com/charitable-giving .

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 Jagex QA Role

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Jagex are looking for a QA tester. However, being a QA tester in the Old School team is so much more than you think.

You’ll be bringing your ideas to design meetings to help the company decide how the studio can best implement the players’ ideas. In time you’ll be creating content while under the mentorship of the content developers.

You’ll be answering the questions from the community in the live streams and on video. You’ll be using your understanding of the community to make every update as community focused as possible, but most importantly, you’ll be helping to turn the community’s wishes into reality.

You’ll need to be incredibly community focused and passionate about making Old School the best game it can be. You’ll need to be able to listen to the community and not be afraid to change your opinions based on what they say and you’ll need to know what happens when you use a herring on a tree.

You must live and breathe Old School, you must be a walking Old School wiki page and you must be able to work well with the Old School team.

You will be an integral part of the Old School team and Jagex strive to give their community the best!

If you haven’t applied yet, then have a look at the extra details on the site below and apply!

http://www.jagex.com/careers/jobs/1112

Train2Game News Jagex GameBlast funds raised

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Jagex Games Studio, custodians of the long-running fantasy MMORPG, RuneScape, is pleased to announce that £50,000 was raised during the recently held 24-hour GameBlast15 marathon for SpecialEffect.

The figure compares favourably against the £48,000 raised by RuneScape and Ace of Spades during last year’s inaugural GameBlast event.

On 20th February, around 90 people – both staff and players – embarked on the challenge to play RuneScape, Block N Load and many other games in Jagex’s permanent LAN arena and the attending Fragers GamersBus. The marathon, which included a series of outrageous challenges, was livestreamed on the official GameBlast15 channel on Twitch.tv and watched by tens of thousands of people online.

In addition to making direct donations, the community also utilised RuneScape’s ‘Well of Goodwill’ to bequeath in-game gold, items and Bonds to SpecialEffect. These were then converted into a real world contribution on behalf of the charity.

“We were thrilled to host SpecialEffect and kick off GameBlast15 with our telethon-style livestream. It not only showed off the dedication of our players and staff, but also highlighted the crazy antics people are prepared to do in the name of charity,” said Jane Ryan, director of community and events at Jagex. “I think that after a second successful year of fundraising to help people with physical disabilities play videogames, both Jagex and the wider community are looking forward to offering our support for GameBlast16!”

“The support and enthusiasm of Jagex and their communities in supporting GameBlast has been truly staggering. Being personally present during their livestream was an amazing and humbling experience, and on behalf of all the staff of SpecialEffect I’d like to pass on my heartfelt thanks to everyone who took part or donated,” said Dr Mick Donegan, founder and director of SpecialEffect. “Yet again they’ve raised the lion’s share of the overall GameBlast total, and it will make a huge difference in ensuring we can continue to bring the magic of video games to those who would otherwise be excluded from their many, many benefits.”

A number of companies supported the Jagex hosted marathon, including We Got Game, Multiplay, CoolerMaster, and Fragers, as well as local franchises of Domino’s Pizza and Subway.

Train2Game News GameBlastLIVE Stream

SpecialEffectGameBlastLIVE, a Children in Need style 24 livestream, will be anchoring SpecialEffect’s GameBlast gaming marathon event this weekend.

Streamed from the London headquarters of industry trade body UKIE, the show will feature interviews with top gaming figures, playthroughs of new game content, gaming merchandise giveaways and regular updates from the hundreds of teams across the world taking part in the charity fundraiser.

The livestream starts at 10am on Saturday and can be seen at http://www.twitch.tv/gameblastlive

Highlights of the stream include:

  • The Oliver brothers from SkySaga, who will be reflecting on 20 years in the industry before a gameplay session.
  • Kate Russell will be battling through hyperspace with some top Elite antics.
  • PocketGamer will be on the sofa talking and showing the best of mobile entertainment.
  • Team17 will be live from their headquarters, scrambling their way out of The Escapists.
  • The team from Bossa will be slicing through I Am Bread, before things get messy with Surgeon Simulator.
  • Go8Bit will be creating mayhem in the studio with gameshow and forfeit challenges.

GameBlast, the UK’s largest charity gaming marathon, swings into action on Friday with the aim of raising over £100,000 for gamer’s charity SpecialEffect.

The challenge event, which will run from 20-22 February, has attracted over 250 individuals and gaming teams from across the world. They’ll be running their own gaming marathons at times over the weekend – some up to 24 hours in length – and asking for online sponsorship to hit their fundraising targets.

Big names in the gaming industry are involved, including retail giant GAME, online games developer Jagex and global video streamers Twitch. In total over 50 companies from the industry are involved in various ways, from hosting their own 24 hour staff marathons to contributing to the prize giveaways.

The aim is to raise money for the work of SpecialEffect, who help people with physical disabilities to benefit from the fun, friendship and inclusion of video games.

For more details about GameBlast, see http://www.specialeffect.org.uk/gameblast

Train2Game News GameBlast15

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The gamers’ charity, SpecialEffect, is aiming to build on the success of its inaugural GameBlast gaming marathon weekend in 2014 by calling on the UK games industry and gaming community to sign up for GameBlast15 as they look to raise over £100k towards the charity’s work.

The event, the UK’s largest game-based fundraiser, takes place 20-22 February and already has some of the UK’s top games industry names behind it including Jagex, the company behind the hugely successful Runescape. Jagex is SpecialEffect’s original GameBlast partner and last year raised almost £50k for the charity’s work in helping people with disabilities to access video games.

Along with a major marathon stream from Jagex from Friday to Saturday, the UK gaming trade body, UKIE, is supporting the SpecialEffect fundraising effort by hosting GameBlast LIVE, a 24-hour gaming broadcast from its headquarters in London. This will run from Saturday to Sunday.

Dr Jo Twist, SpecialEffect Vice President and CEO of UKIE, explained why she is so keen to get behind the SpecialEffect fundraiser, ‘They [SpecialEffect] were one of the first groups I met when I started my Ukie role in 2012 and I was bowled over by their dedication, their passion and their love. The innovative work they do to enable young people enjoy the games they love is incredibly inspiring. Games and the ability to play can enhance and enrich people’s lives in so many ways and everyone should have the right to play.’

The event, hosted by Matt Cuttle, promises 24 hours of unadulterated gaming and madness as BBC Click presenter and SpecialEffect Vice President, Kate Russell, builds on the £7,500 she raised through her Elite:Dangerous livestream at Christmas by flying a 12 hour Elite marathon alongside other enthusiasts of Frontier’s iconic space travel game. But Kate will be taking a break from space travel to battle it out with Jo Twist using SpecialEffect eye-control technology as they compete live on Twitch for the fastest lap in Codemasters’ popular Dirt 3 motor racing game. 

Kate explained why she has done so much to raise money and awareness of the charity’s work, ‘Ever since I found out about Special Effect a couple of years ago – a charity dedicated to helping those with physical limitations through illness or injury have fun playing computer games – it has been my pleasure and honour to be able to help raise funds and awareness about their tireless and dedicated work’.

If you’d like to join industry names like Jagex, Gamer Network and Multiplay and join hundreds of other gamers across the UK in raising money for SpecialEffect through the GameBlast15 gaming marathon go to:

http://www.specialeffect.org.uk/gameblast-about