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 Twin Town SpecialEffect Challenge Success

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Train2game News 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 GameBlast15 break last years record

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GameBlast, the UK’s largest charity video gaming marathon event, has raised over £120,000, smashing the £70k raised by last years’ fundraiser.

Gamers from across the world took on gaming marathons of up to 48 hours over the weekend of 20-22 February to raise money for gamers’ charity SpecialEffect, who help people with physical disabilities to experience the fun and inclusion of video games.

As well as the hundreds of individuals and teams that took part, over 50 games companies backed the event including GAME, Ginx, Twitch, Jagex, SEGA, Bossa, KING, Gamer Network, Frontier, Team17, Radiant Worlds, Fragers and Insert Coin.

Mick Donegan, SpecialEffect CEO, said, “We are genuinely blown away by the huge amount of support that we’ve had from gamers and the gaming industry all over the world. Everyone who contributed will make a massive difference, changing the lives of hundreds of people with disabilities who can only watch everyone else experience the many benefits of video games. A huge, heartfelt thank you from all the SpecialEffect team.”

Jagex, the developers and publishers of RuneScape were the biggest industry fundraiser. Their 24-hour marathon at their Cambridge offices raised £50,000.

The biggest individual total came from BBC Technology Correspondent and SpecialEffect VP Kate Russell, who raised £12,000

The dates for GameBlast16 are 26-28 February 2016

Donations for GameBlast can still be made at http://www.justgiving.com/gameblastlive

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

Train2Game News Humble Bundle supporting SpecialEffect

SpecialEffectThis weeks Humble Bundle sale is supporting the great team at SpecialEffect to help advance the great work they do.

This sale is brought to you by Devolver Digital, purveyors of fine digital entertainment wares such as Broforce and Hotline Miami! Each title has been hand selected by the Devolver team as games outside of their roster, save for Dungeon Hearts and Foul Play, that they enjoy playing and want other folks to check out! Pay what you want to enjoy the fast-paced, strategic action-puzzler, Dungeon Hearts, the quirky Western action adventure game, The Real Texas, and a retro-inspired album of games, Cryptic Sea EP.

If you’re feeling generous, pay $6 or more to also receive side-scrolling brawler, Foul Play, get in on the randomly-generated, action RPG beat-’em-up, Legend of Dungeon, and the claustrophobic quick-reflex game, KRUNCH Digital Collector’s Edition. Paying $10 or more will get you all of the titles above plus fast-paced, “rogue-lite,” bullet-hell Tower of Guns.

These games seperately would cost you just under $100 but with the humble bundle paying $10 will get you the lot.

You can purchase the bundle by visiting https://www.humblebundle.com/weekly

The money raised will go to SpecialEffect to helping them with cases like Rob who you can view in the heart warming video below.

Train2Game News: SpecialEffect’s first Crowd Funding Project

SpecialEffect SpecialEffect, the charity that enables people with disabilities to play games through adapted technology, have today appealed to all gamers to support their first ever crowdfunding project, codenamed PLAYING WITH YOUR EYES.

SpecialEffect aims to raise £5950/€6955/$9190 in order to purchase one new specialist Eye Control unit. This equipment will help many people with severe disabilities to enjoy and play games, levelling the playing field and creating a better quality of life. If they raise double the amount, SpecialEffect will buy two of these amazing pieces of equipment. Eye Control technology can be particularly helpful for those suffering from locked-in syndrome, motor neurone disease, muscular dystrophy and cerebral palsy amongst many others conditions. Together with the technical and medical expertise of the SpecialEffect team, Eye Control technology can not only enable people to access and play games, but assist with rehabilitation, build self-esteem and help create a better quality of life through playing games.

But it’s not all one way. In return for the pledges made by supporters, apart from the amazing reward of knowing that your pledge will help many people with disabilities to enjoy games, SpecialEffect have designed a range of rewards. Whether it’s being included on the ‘Roll of Honour’, being featured in the ‘Video Credits’, or a place on the ‘Virtual Plaque’, there are unique rewards available for all supporters. At the top of the list is being invited to visit for a full day at the SpecialEffect National Accessible Games Centre’ where supporters get to meet the team and see the fantastic work they do.

And here’s what a difference this campaign can make – “The look on Henry’s face when he first used the eye-gaze to control something on screen was indescribable… for the first time he could play with something completely on his own. It was a landmark moment for us as a family.” Rob, Henry’s Dad.

CEO of SpecialEffect, Dr Mick Donegan commented – “We set up, create, lend and support the use of specialist games controllers from our library of equipment. Everyone we work with is different. Some of the people we work with find it difficult or impossible to control parts of their body other than their eyes. In these instances we use computers which are controlled just by moving your eyes.

“The demand for this work is growing all the time, so we are asking the gaming community, who have always been enormously supportive of our work, to help SpecialEffect through crowdfunding. The PLAYING WITH YOUR EYES project will help us meet this growing demand and enable us to purchase this very special piece of eye-controlled equipment in order to reach and help more and more people with disabilities to play games”

The crowdfunding project PLAYING WITH YOUR EYES launches on Gambitious at 10am on 13th September 2013 and will run for 30 days until Saturday 12th October 2013 and you can watch the video and pledge your support here –www.gambitious.com/projects/3576

To meet the team and see with your own eyes the amazing work that SpecialEffect do and to try out Eye Control game playing for yourself, please visit the SpecialEffect team at The EuroGamer Expo between 26th September to 29th September at Earl’s Court, London.

Train2Game News: SpecialEffect needs the help of Train2Game students with Steam initiative

Team Fortress 2 SpecialEffectSpecialEffect is asking for the help of Train2Game students who use Valve’s Steam system! The charity who provide video gaming equipment to people with disabilities need your votes.

A few select artists from the Steam community have created SpecialEffect themed items for the game Team Fortress 2 and with your votes they can be in game this summer! The items that have been designer are: a viewfinder, cabinet and belt pack. 99% of the profits from these items will go to help disabled players enjoy games to the best of their abilities thanks to the work done by SpecialEffect.

This idea is the brainchild of James Schall, SEGA’s Director of Digital Distribution.

“Demand for SpecialEffect‘s help is rocketing,” said James. “And I’m excited about the potential of these generous artwork donations to kickstart a big-hearted response from the TF2 community to help meet that demand.”

“It’s a fantastic gesture,” said charity CEO Mick Donegan. “Gamers get what we’re trying to do, and to get that support from artists within the community is a real endorsement of our work.”

“We need £750k this year to give people a fighting chance through specialised games control equipment. We’re bringing this technology directly into the homes and hospitals of the people who need it most, and transforming the lives of people with the most severe disabilities through cutting-edge equipment like eye control and brain control.”

You can vote for the items to be in Team Fortress 2 by going to the link below:

http://steamcommunity.com/sharedfiles/filedetails/?id=156361911

You can also find the items from within Steam itself by selecting Workshops from the Community menu. Hit the link in the grey text below the main ‘Create, Discover…’ heading, and on the next page type ‘special effect’ in the search box (note the space between the two words!). Then hit the Rate button.

If you would like to check out the pages of the artists who created the items for SpecialEffect you can view them in the links below:

Psyke

Svdl

*゚✲*。✧*☆Twilight Sparkle☆*✧*✲*

void~

Train2Game News: SpecialEffect Charity video

SpecialEffect Over the past few months I have been updating you with all the good work that SpecialEffect have been doing and trying to get their video up to 25,000 views.

SpecialEffect is a wonderful charity that helps the disabled to play games. This means that they can interact with other people and play together on a level playing ground.

The SpecialEffect website describes themselves as “Doing whatever it takes to help everyone with disabilities to have a better quality of life. For some, this means access to fun and leisure activities like computer games. For others, it’s giving them a voice at a time when they can’t even speak.”

SpecialEffect help people by using there loan library which is where all the specially made controllers are loaned to those in need. For example a specially created Wii mote for a girl who lost her limbs to Meningitis.

The charity also uses their StarGaze project to help people who can move nothing but their eyes. StarGaze is, perhaps, the most labour-intensive and demanding element of SpecialEffect’s work. A huge amount of care and sensitivity is required to ensure that the person we support has a gaze controlled computer system – as quickly as possible – that is personalised to meet their specific and often complex needs.

Dr Mick Donegan, the CEO of SpecialEffect said “Time after time, people with disabilities tell us what they want and need most is to find a way to enjoy themselves – a way to interact, compete and make new friends.

“It’s difficult or impossible for them to access mainstream videogames and leisure technology, and before we started there was nowhere to go for independent and expert advice and support to help them use technology to actually have fun!

“At the heart of the charity is the determination to do whatever it takes for as long as it takes to help each individual, and that necessitates a huge range of services. On the one hand, our GameBase website is giving information to many people who might need immediate specialist advice about accessible games and controllers. On the other, we have an increasing waiting list of very severely disabled individuals with complex problems that we know will take us years of support visits and equipment loans to achieve any level of success.

But that’s why we’re here. If the charity had been set up to support just one individual, it would have been more than worthwhile.”

The charity has been trying to get this video to 25,000 views by Christmas day. It isn’t far off so please keep watching and sharing the video as much as possible to spread the word of the amazing work SpecialEffect do.

Train2Game News: Art exhibition raises over £21,000 for SpecialEffect

Death of the JokerTrain2game has been told that the London games festival Art Exhibition has raised over £21,000 as the auction enters the final stages.

The art exhibition was held to raise money for the charity, SpecialEffect who help many people with disabilities to be able to play their favourite games with their friends and family.

Some of the pieces of art that are on sale include the stunning Joker’s Death concept sketch from Batman: Arkham City, a fantastic New Super Mario Bros composite, and a huge signed Football Manager 2013 canvass.

As it stands at the moment it looks like the auctions are going to make over £25,000 for the charity which will help them to help more people to play games.

Kirsty Payne, event director of the London Games Festival where the exhibition is taking place said “The response has been overwhelming! The exhibition attracted a huge amount of interest whilst it was being held – but even we have been astonished by the amount people are pledging for these wonderful and rare pieces of art. We’ve just unveiled the final batch of exhibits to go under the hammer, so there’s just over a week left to win a stunning one-of-a-kind exhibit, make someone’s Christmas even more special – and donate to a wonderful charity.“

Mick Donegan, SpecialEffect CEO said “Our huge thanks go to Kirsty Payne, her team and every single artist and software house for making this wonderful idea a reality. It has made an amazing and instant impact on our work. Earlier today I saw a blog from a guy with muscular dystrophy we assessed near Liverpool just a couple of days ago: ‘…Just had a meeting with SpecialEffect fantastic charity – will make a huge difference in the quality of my life – need to raise the funds for my controller and some for others less fortunate…’ Well, this much-needed boost to SpecialEffect’s funds not only means we’ll be able to buy that special loan controller for Lee right now but also for the many of the others he talks about too. Just as important, we’ll be able to take on more specialist time to help with our essential assessment and support work, too. For the people that SpecialEffect help, both right now and into the future, there really couldn’t be a more welcome Christmas present!”

The London Games Festival art auction is running through until December 12 and you can check out some of the art by visiting www.londongamesart.com

You can continue to help SpecialEffect by watching and sharing the video below and help them reach their target of 25,000 views by Christmas day!