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

Train2Game News BAFTA Young Game Designers competition

BAFTAThe British Academy of Film and Television Arts (BAFTA) has today announced the call for entries for the 2015 BAFTA Young Game Designers (YGD) competition in association with Nominet Trust, which aims to inspire the UK’s game-makers of the future by giving young people the chance to design and make their own game. The winners will be named at a special awards ceremony in July. Entries are now open at www.bafta.org/ygd until Monday 1 June.

Originally launched in 2010 for 11-16 year-olds, this year the age range for the competition has been expanded to include 10-18 year-olds, divided into age-specific sub-groups. Entrants – who can be individuals or a team of up to three people – can choose to enter two creative categories: The YGD Game Concept Award, to create a concept for a new game; and the YGD Game Making Award, to make a game using freely available software. The winners will receive a host of prizes, including further development of their game with industry professionals.

Two new categories have also been added this year: The YGD Mentor Award, for an inspirational individual involved in the education of young game designers; and the YGD Hero Award, for a games industry professional who supports young game designers. The public can nominate their YGD Mentor, while the YGD Hero will be selected by BAFTA’s Games Committee.

The BAFTA YGD competition is part of a year-round programme of activity which gives young people and educators unique insights into the games industry and access to the creative minds behind some of their favourite games. Support includes: a website (www.bafta.org/ygd) where BAFTA members, award winners and nominees share their insights and advice through interviews and exclusive video content; a web series, that takes a light-hearted look behind the scenes of the games industry; a range of teaching resources that link the BAFTYA YGD competition to the national curriculum; an online ‘feedback hub’ where young people can submit ideas or questions about their entry, with the chance of gaining a personalised response from a games expert; and live workshops around the country.

Nominet Trust – the UK’s only dedicated tech for good funder – is headline partner of the initiative, working with BAFTA to develop additional schools-focussed activity addressing the under-representation of women in the games workforce. Other supporting partners of BAFTA Young Game Designers include: Bethesda Softworks, Criterion Games (an EA Studio), Google, Jagex, King, Pinewood Studios Group, SEGA, Sony Computer Entertainment Europe, Unity, and Warner Bros. Interactive Entertainment. Abertay University supports the development of the games of the winners of the BAFTA YGD competition.

Tim Hunter, Director of Learning and Events at BAFTA, said: “The BAFTA YGD competition is a great opportunity for young people to try their hand at game design and get feedback from the creative people behind their favourite games. The games industry is one of the biggest and most dynamic entertainment industries in the world; we hope this competition inspires entrants to consider a career in games, as well as helping them better appreciate the artistry involved in making games. We can’t wait to share the winners with the industry and public at the YGD Awards ceremony in July.”

Annika Small, CEO of Nominet Trust, said: “If the UK is to retain its world-leading position in the creative industries, we need to develop a highly skilled workforce. The BAFTA Young Game Designers competition equips young people with the creative digital skills, understanding and connections that they need to become the games designers of the future. It’s exciting to see young people move from simply playing games to designing and making their own ones. Nominet Trust is proud to be supporting this vital initiative – I can’t wait to see what ideas and games entrants come up with!”

The winning games from 2014 – Tomatos Role from 16 year-old Rhianna Hawkins, from Taunton, and AlienX from 15 year-old Adam Oliver – will be on show at BAFTA’s Inside Games Arcade in advance of the British Academy Games Awards in March.

For the Terms & Conditions, and to enter the BAFTA YGD competition, go to www.bafta.org/ygd.

Train2Game News Jagex to host SpecialEffect for Gameblast

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Jagex Games Studio, creators and custodians of the fantasy MMORPG, RuneScape and the upcoming online multiplayer action game, Block N Load, is to lead the way in SpecialEffect’s upcoming GameBlast15 games marathon weekend.

The event, which takes place between 20th and 22nd February, launches a 24-hour gamer challenge to raise money and help enable individuals with physical disabilities play games.

During the inaugural GameBlast in 2014, the RuneScape and Ace of Spades: Battle Builder communities raised more than £48,000 for SpecialEffect, and more than 90,000 viewers watched Jagex’s livestream of gameplay, interviews, and real-world challenges. In addition to holding another marathon livestream from Jagex’s Cambridge headquarters, RuneScape players will also benefit from a double XP weekend.

“SpecialEffect is a cause that’s very close to our hearts at Jagex. We had a lot of fun last year with our livestream for GameBlast14, so it’s fantastic to get stuck in once again and get even more involved in GameBlast15,” said Phil Mansell, vice president of RuneScape. “We’re really looking forward to welcoming Mick and the SpecialEffect team to Jagex, as well as holding our own 24-hour marathon and double XP weekend, next month.”

David Solari, vice president of Block N Load, added “The Ace of Spades: Battle Builder community were really supportive during GameBlast14, so we can’t wait to see how the burgeoning Block N Load player base performs this year. We’re currently in the beta phase of development, so the 24-hour GameBlast marathon will really put the game through its paces ahead of its launch!”

“We were simply stunned by the amazing generosity of the Jagex community during last year’s GameBlast, and honoured that they’re gearing up for another 24 hours of activity in February,” said Dr Mick Donegan, founder and director of SpecialEffect. “Having such a major force in the gaming industry backing our work helping people with disabilities is a great boost, and I’m personally really looking forward to being at Jagex HQ during the event to be part of their GameBlast heroics.”

Hosting SpecialEffect and taking part in GameBlast15 is the first of a number of fundraising drives for planned by the Jagex throughout 2015. During 2014, the studio and its passionate RuneScape community raised more than $300,000 for good causes, including Oxfam and SpecialEffect. RuneScape was also the first games partner of United for Wildlife, and helped to raise awareness of the plight facing the world’s rhinos with a series of in-game quizzes and limited edition virtual pets.

Train2Game News WeWanaPlay Charity Live Stream

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WewanaPlay are supporting Birmingham Children’s Hospital this Christmas with a unique event. 

What started as just a small project to help the children at this festive time has spiralled into something much bigger with companies such as Microsoft, Jagex and Tripwire Interactive already committing their support.

Deepak Pathak, WewanaPlay CEO explained “WewanaPlay has a history of working with the local Children’s Hospital, so when they approached us to help with their £25,000 ‘Let us Play’ room, we knew we had to get involved. I’d seen first-hand with my nephew this year just how much they needed a decent games room and set the challenge to the team to do something special”

The simple idea to do a 24 hour Twitch live stream somehow spiralled into an event which will bring together many well-known gaming companies and personalities. The 24 hour live stream will be split into 30 minutes slots with each going to one of the events partners and collectively creating a highly entertaining event.

Deepak added: “WewanaPlay aims to bring gamers together, so It’s fantastic that companies such as Jagex (who make Runescape) and Microsoft jumped right in and saw the value of bringing their community together for crazy event.  We still have a lot of hard work left to do with filling the final slots with exciting companies and making sure the message of our event reaches many more people. If anyone out there can help, or know people who could help us, please get in touch!”

The event will run from:

Tuesday 9th December   3pm  (GMT:  UK time)
Until  Wednesday 10th December  3pm
On WewanaPlay’s Twitch channel: http://www.twitch.tv/wewanaplay

Full details including the JustGiving Donation Page can be found here:
http://www.blog.wewanaplay.com/events/

Please make sure you tune in and if you can help out in any way for this great cause lease get in touch via twitter:  @Wewana_Play or via their website.

Train2Game News Jagex support GameBlast 15

SpecialEffectJagex Games Studio, makers of the multi-award winning fantasy MMORPG RuneScape and upcoming Transformers Universe, today announced its continuing corporate support of GameBlast, the annual charity games marathon weekend in aid of gamers’ charity SpecialEffect.

Jagex held its own 24-hour games marathon as part of the previous GameBlast weekend in February 2014, which was live-streamed online to 90,000 unique viewers over the course of the event. Both staff and selected members of the RuneScape community played RuneScape and Jagex’s Ace of Spades: Battle Builder throughout the 24 hour period, raising over £48,000 as a result.

Riaan Hodgson, chief operations officer at Jagex, was vocal about the company’s continued support of GameBlast: “It’s great to see our staff get behind such a worthy cause once again, especially one so suited to our core company principles. At Jagex, games are a way of life and if we can have fun while welcoming others into this medium, then that’s definitely a good use of our time and resources.”

GameBlast is the UK’s biggest charity gaming marathon event, and is next scheduled for the weekend of 20-22 February 2015. Hoping to improve on last year’s total of £70,000, SpecialEffect is targeting a figure of £100,000 and is calling upon other games companies to join in and help people with disabilities benefit from the fun, friendship and inclusion of video games. The charity is hoping that other studios recognise the huge internal and external corporate social responsibility benefits from taking part, as well as the ability to directly benefit gamers in the best way possible.

“Jagex’s support was a major part of the success of GameBlast14,” said Dr Mick Donegan, founder and director of SpecialEffect. “We’re incredibly grateful for the generosity of its staff and communities, and we’re delighted that they’ll be participating again in 2015. The money they raise will enable even more people, whatever their age or physical disability, to enjoy video games and leisure technology.”

Donegan continued: “We know we can achieve so much more if the rest of the UK games industry follows Jagex’s lead and pledges their support for GameBlast15. There’s a warm welcome awaiting any developers, publishers or gaming communities who want to get involved, whether that’s at a small scale stream or at industry partner level.”

More information about next year’s GameBlast can be found at http://www.specialeffect.org.uk/gameblast