Train2Game News One Special Day Today

Some of the biggest names in the world of gaming will be coming together in partnership with their communities today to help the gamers’ charity SpecialEffect transform the lives of disabled gamers all over the world.

Now in its third year, One Special Day is a flagship fundraising day for SpecialEffect and is supported by a stellar line up of over 50 partners across the games industry including SEGA, Supercell, Codemasters, Electronic Arts, Seriously, Miniclip, Rovio, Splash Damage, Nordeus, Outfit 7, Logitech, CCP and many others.

PC and mobile partners are donating a day of their UK revenue (and in some cases making corporate donations) to help the charity get more of the world’s most severely disabled people enjoying the fun and inclusion of digital gaming. A Humble Bundle Store promotion was also launched last night to go alongside the One Special Day Humble Bundle, and fundraising events are taking place across the UK.

Nikki, the mother of Chase, a young gamer with a severe form of cerebral palsy that SpecialEffect has helped, is urging other gamers to play games, buy games and donate to One Special Day:

“Gaming is a huge part of our lives and I can’t even begin to tell you how awesome it is that Chase can game thanks to SpecialEffect.”

For more information on who is taking part in One Special Day 2018 and to find out how you can support the biggest games industry fundraiser of the year, go to www.onespecialday.org.uk or call Nick Streeter on 01608 810055.

Train2Game News Talisman character funding SpecialEffect

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A new character for the million-unit selling Talisman PC and mobile game will be launched on June 10th thanks to a fantastic collaboration between Nomad Games and SpecialEffect, the charity which helps people with physical disabilities enjoy games.

The new Shaman character will be available as DLC from this week and is the result of a competition which Nomad Games launched earlier this year in conjunction with SpecialEffect. Fans of Talisman were invited to submit ideas for characters, with the winner voted by Nomad Games’ enthusiastic community.

US-based Graham Zaretsky was the winner of the fiercely-fought competition, with his ideas then brought to life by three artists and gamers supported by SpecialEffect, namely Amandeep Singh Heer, Ben Clark and Gareth Garratt. The three produced sketches and collages to develop the look and feel of The Shaman.

This week Zaretsky, plus Singh Heer, Clark and Garratt will see her brought to life in the game, with The Shaman available to download for £1.49, with revenue raised from the DLC going to SpecialEffect.

In addition, fans of the PC sku will be given the opportunity to choose what they pay for The Shaman character, with Nomad Games hopeful that its loyal community of Talisman fans will raise even more money for SpecialEffect.

“We’re delighted that The Shaman will finally be available for Talisman,” said Don Whiteford, MD of Nomad Games. “She’s a very special character, given that she’s been created jointly by the Talisman community and SpecialEffect.

“We are blown away by the work that SpecialEffect does to support people with disabilities to play games, and we’re honoured to lend our support to them in terms of raising awareness for this very special charity, but also to support them financially via sales of The Shaman.”

SpecialEffect’s Fund Raiser Nick Streeter added: “We can’t thank everyone at Nomad enough for this brilliantly original way of supporting our work, and for their team to involve some of the people we help in the design process was a magnificent gesture.

“All the staff at SpecialEffect are immensely excited about the launch of the Shaman, and the money raised will go straight into helping more people, whatever their physical disability, to benefit from the magic of video games.”

Graham Zaretsky, who won the competition earlier this year, offered: “I’m deeply honoured that The Shaman was selected to help raise money for SpecialEffect. I love the artwork and that it is exactly in the spirit of the character that I imagined. I hope that it helps raise a lot of money and awareness for the charity.”

Train2Game News SpecialEffect raise money at Twickenham

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A fundraising lunch, with rugby legends Paul Wallace, Simon Shaw and Zinzan Brooke, raised £22,484 on the day through donations, raffles and auctions for the gamers’ charity, SpecialEffect.

The three former International players were the guests of honor at the inaugural Legends Lunch in aid of SpecialEffect, held at Twickenham Stadium last month, and they entertained an audience of 120 guests with tales of sporting and not-so-sporting experiences on and off the rugby field.

Paul (former Ireland International and British & Irish Lion), Simon (former England International and British & Irish Lion) and Zinzan (former All Black International) were delighted to be able to assist the charity which provides life changing support through the use of leisure technology, to enhance the quality of life for people with severe physical disabilities. 

“We’re honored that Paul, Simon and Zinzan have made such a difference to our fundraising,” said SpecialEffect Fundraiser Nick Streeter. “The money raised from this superb event will help us meet the growing demand for our specialist services including our video games loan library and our StarGaze project, that provides the loan and support of eye controlled technology to those that really need it “

Matt Hampson, a former England International and Patron of SpecialEffect, suffered a major spinal injury while training with England in 2005 and is the inspiration for the StarGaze project;

“When I regained consciousness I couldn’t move and I couldn’t speak – all I could do was move my eyes. It’s impossible to explain the fear, desperation and helplessness you feel when you are totally unable to communicate.”

“SpecialEffect were there for me with an eye-controlled computer that allowed me to speak using an artificial voice. I know first-hand the difference that SpecialEffect can make”

The event was organised by Limelight Interactive, and it is hoped to be an annual event.

Train2Game GameBlast15 exceeding previous years

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Donations to GameBlast, the UK’s biggest charity gaming marathon weekend, have already exceeded the £70,000 raised in the 2014 event.

Over £80,000 has already been pledged in online and offline donations, with more still to come. The final total will be announced at the beginning of March.

Last weekend saw thousands of gamers from across the world take on gaming marathons of up to 48 hours to raise money for gamers’ charity SpecialEffect, who help people with physical disabilities to be included in the gaming community.

Hundreds of individuals and teams across the world took part, and over 50 companies from the games industry backed the event including GAME, Ginx, Twitch, Jagex, SEGA, Bossa, KING, Bethesda, Gamer Network, Frontier, Team17, Radiant Worlds, Fragers and Insert Coin.

SpecialEffect’s own 24 hour livestream event, GameBlast LIVE, comfortably broke its £5k target. The event saw UKIE CEO and SpecialEffect vice President Jo Twist beat BBC technology presenter Kate Russell in an eye-controlled racing game challenge. Kate then played Elite Dangerous for 12 hours and raised £12k, including a £10K donation from BT.

Jagex ran a spectacular 24 hour livestream from their Cambridge HQ that attracted thousands of Twitch viewers, as did the streams from GAME and Ginx.

Nick Streeter, Fundraiser at SpecialEffect, said “We’ve been absolutely blown away by the generosity of the gaming community and the games industry. The money raised will change the lives of hundreds of people with disabilities who can only sit and watch everyone else experience the fun and inclusion of video games. A huge and heartfelt thank you to everyone who took part or donated from all the SpecialEffect team.”

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

Train2Game News SpecialEffect helps gamer complete GTA V

SpecialEffectWhen Lee lost the ability to play video games because of spinal muscular atrophy, he lost a major part of his life. But with the help of gamer’s charity SpecialEffect, he’s conquered Rockstar’s Grand Theft Auto V.

“I’ve played games all my life,” he said, “and I got quite depressed when I couldn’t play them. It was taking a big part of who I was away.”

SpecialEffect, who specialise in helping people with disabilities to experience the fun and inclusion of video games, worked with Lee to find a customised equipment setup that exactly suited his individual abilities.

The charity positioned microswitches to harness the small finger movements in his right hand, and mounted two joysticks that he can operate using his chin.

“I didn’t think I’d be able to play GTA because of my limitations, but there are no limitations anymore,” he said. “With games I can do the things I can’t do because of my disability,” he said. “I can play football with my brother by playing FIFA, or drive cars.”

“Disabilities are very frustrating and limiting – you’re basically imprisoned. This is the charity that could help change your life and bring something back that you thought you’d lost.”

Before his condition had advanced, Lee had found out about the charity through a clicking on the SpecialEffect pitchside advertising board in Sports Interactive’s Football Manager 13 game.

Nick Streeter, fundraiser at the charity, said “We’re absolute delighted to be able to help Lee. His physical abilities are changing over time, and we’ll keep visiting him to modify his equipment so that he can continue to play games as effectively as possible.”

“Games are an amazing medium through which people make friends, socialise and come together for a common cause. To be able to extend that medium to people that would otherwise not be involved is both an honour and a privilege.”

Lee’s story is featured in a short YouTube video, shown below, by the charity

Train2Game News: SpecialEffect case: Ben

SpecialEffect do amazing work.

Their caring work helps people with disablities play games and interact with their friends in an enjoyable way.

Following the challenge put out by SpecialEffect a few days ago, I got in contact with them to tell them what amazing work they are doing. They responded by sending me some of their cases which I would like to share with you.

The first is about a young man named Ben. The study can be read below:

CASE STUDY – BEN DECEMBER 2011

If you would like to watch the video and help SpecialEffect reach their goal of 25,000 views by December 25, you can do so here: