Train2Game News GameBlast19 SMASHES £100,000

People who took part in SpecialEffects GameBlast19 smashed the target of £100,000!

SpecialEffects CEO, Dr Mick Donegan recorded this video to show his appreciation

GameBlast took place over the weekend and saw participants raising money streaming their gaming marathons.

Since 2014 it’s raised over £680,000 and this year adds over £100,000 to that total.

All the money raised goes to support the SpecialEffect charity who work to help disabled gamers play their favourite games.

A representative of SpecialEffect said “You wouldn’t believe just how awestruck we are and grateful to everyone who’s given up their valuable time, energy, sleep and money towards this years’ event.

To watch hundreds of gamers cheerfully committing themselves to crazy hours of game time and taking on ludicrous forfeits, all in the name of helping disabled gamers to have a chance to shine has been both humbling and uplifting for the whole team here.”

If you would still like to donate go to https://www.justgiving.com/campaign/gameblast19

Train2Game News SpecialEffect GameBlast This Weekend

GAME is excited to announce that for the fifth year running they will be hosting their annual gaming marathon in support of SpecialEffect over the weekend of 22-24 February.

GameBlast is the UK’s longest-running charity gaming event, with hundreds of individual gamers, community groups and companies raising over £680,000 since 2014.

With GAME’s purpose to fuel the passion for gaming, SpecialEffect’s fantastic work is very close to company’s heart and the team believe that Gameblast is the perfect way to change the lives of disabled gamers.

Visit GAME’s Gameblast19 website www.gameblast.game.co.uk to see what the company have planned, including a detailed stream schedule and what’s going on in GAME stores and BELONG arenas around the country.

Presented by @bex_bomb from GAME’s Aberdeen store, the team will be live streaming from 10am on Saturday 23rd February, running through until 10am Sunday morning.

Here are just a few things taking place:

• Gameplay with hot new titles such as Trials Rising, GRIP, Anthem and Apex Legends
• GAME will be linking directly with SEGA’s Gameblast stream to play Sonic Allstars Racing Transformed
• There will be a speed run of Celeste & an Uno ‘Room of Doom’
• Various unique and exciting items will be part of GAME’s ebay auction, including a giant Vault Boy statue www.ebay.co.uk/itm/292970674384
• …and of course, a few challenges and forfeits as always!

Following its success last year, there will be the option in store for customers to donate their trade-in to charity, so why not pop in to see what’s going on and pick up a pin badge!

Train2Game News Box Joining GameBlast19

Committed video gamers from Birmingham technology giant Box are gearing up to burn the midnight gaming oil to raise money for people with disabilities.

Around 20 staff at the Minworth-based business will be playing video games continuously for 24 hours as part of GameBlast19, the UK’s largest gaming marathon weekend.

This will be the fourth year Box has taken part in the event, having previously raised more than £2,000 for the charity SpecialEffect, which uses technology to help people with disabilities enjoy video games.

Box is asking people to help them reach their £1,000 target by donating money via www.justgiving.com/boxgameblast19

The game-a-thon takes place February 23-24.

Rodney Critchlow, store manager at Box, said: “We’re really excited to be taking part in GameBlast19. A lot of us are keen gamers, but playing for 24 hours is still a big challenge.

“We’ll have a schedule of games to play throughout the event, and people will be able to watch via our Twitch channel, www.twitch.tv/boxuk

“SpecialEffect is a fantastic charity which uses things like modified joypads and eye-control technology to enable disabled people to play games. It means they don’t have to just sit there and watch their friend or sibling having fun.

“We’re hoping to raise at least £1,000.”

Box.co.uk sells an extensive range of technology and computing products through its specialist website and retail shop, including laptops, desktop PCs, phones and tablets, components, monitors and printers.

The business was founded by Mark Jordan in 1996 and today is the UK’s leading technology e-commerce business, employing over 100 people and turning over £42 million.

Train2Game News SpecialEffect ask for #GiveWithXbox support

What does Gaming Together mean to you?

SpecialEffect are asking gamers to join Xbox’s #GiveWithXbox campaign by posting their answers, along with an image and the hashtag #GiveWithXbox, to raise vital funds for four gaming-related charities.

For every qualifying post on Twitter, FaceBook and Instagram, Xbox will donate $5, up to a maximum of $1M, to be split among SpecialEffect, Child’s Play, Gamers Outreach and Operation Supply Drop. Xbox will also donate $5 for every retweet of their campaign tweets about the charity partners.

The campaign will run to 9 December 2018.

Gail, the mother of Finlay, one of SpecialEffect’s beneficiaries, said “#GiveWithXbox is such an easy way for gamers to help bring the joy of gaming to everyone and I’d encourage anyone to donate a few seconds to take part.”

“We never thought Finlay was going to have the opportunity to play video games like FIFA with his brother but now, thanks to SpecialEffect, it’s amazing to see the boys gaming together. The fights are even more phenomenal, but that’s just brothers for you! Please do support SpecialEffect by sharing a photo of what gaming means to you.”

Alan Hartman, Studio Head of the Forza Franchise and SpecialEffect VP, said, “As a very proud SpecialEffect Vice President I’m delighted they are part of the #GiveWithXbox campaign and having hosted Dr Mick at Turn 10 and seen more of their latest work I know this campaign and any support for the charity will help them make a big difference to the disabled gamers they help across the globe.”

The #GiveWithXbox Campaign was launched as part of the Inside Xbox broadcast from X018 on 10 November.

Find out more at https://www.xbox.com/en-US/promotions/give-with-xbox

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 SpecialEffect Develop Xbox Adaptive Controller

Gamers’ charity SpecialEffect are proud to confirm their involvement in the design and testing of Microsoft’s Xbox Adaptive Controller, a customisable Xbox Wireless Controller designed primarily for gamers with limited mobility.

The controller features large programmable buttons and connects to external devices such as switches, buttons, joysticks, and mounts, to help make gaming more accessible for everyone.

“This has been a milestone collaboration for us,” said SpecialEffect Founder and CEO Dr Mick Donegan. “Our experience in helping people with complex physical disabilities to access video games has enabled us to provide not only very relevant advice about features and design, but also direct feedback from a user-centred perspective. Microsoft have a competitively-priced product here that has massive potential to help many more people globally to enjoy the magic of video games.”

The charity were one of several accessibility non-profits and special interest groups asked by Microsoft to be in involved in the planning and development phases of the controller. Other organisations included The AbleGamers Foundation, The Cerebral Palsy Foundation, SpecialEffect and Warfighter Engaged. This also included a large number of gamers with accessibility needs who work with and through these organisations.

“Creating complex game control setups for people with severe disabilities takes time, care and specialist expertise,” said Dr Donegan. “With so many factors to be considered – comfort, safety, positioning, equipment selection and mounting – this first-party product provides a terrifically versatile and effective way of connecting our game setups to the console.”

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 One Special Day 2017 huge success

SpecialEffect, the UK charity that specialises in helping people with disabilities enjoy the fun and inclusion of video games, has announced the total amount raised from its One Special Day 2017 fundraising event on 29 September 2017 is £446,000.

The charity’s largest fundraiser of the year, where partners from the games industry gave either 100% of UK or worldwide sales on 29 September, will help its team of occupational therapists and technology specialists to meet the increasing demand for their experience and expertise over the coming months.

Dr Mick Donegan, Founder and CEO of SpecialEffect said, “The money raised from One Special Day is a huge financial boost to SpecialEffect. It will enable us to take on the extra staff we need to help even more severely disabled people all over the world to play the games they love.

Being supported by so many games industry partners like Supercell, SEGA, Seriously, Unity Technologies, Codemasters, Playdemic and Rovio is not only a tremendous funding boost but also a terrific morale boost to our passionate and dedicated team here at SpecialEffect.”

“The money raised from One Special Day 2017 will go towards employing two additional clinical staff to join our growing team of occupational therapists and technology specialists.

It will also help pay for vital modifications to SpecialEffect’s national accessible games room where people with disabilities can visit to try out a huge range of hardware and software modifications.”

The One Special Day event, which attracted worldwide attention and very positive publicity including a tweet out from reality mega-star Kim Kardashian, is set to take place again on 28 September 2018 with a significant number of the One Special Day 2017 partners already committed again this year.

If you’d like to find out more about how your company can take part in One Special Day 2018, contact Nick Streeter at nick@specialeffect.org.uk or catch up with the charity at PGC London and Games Forum London.