Train2Game News One Special Day Raises Half A Million

Gamers’ charity SpecialEffect is delighted to announce that, thanks to a record number of partners from the games industry, their One Special Day fundraising campaign on Friday 2nd October has raised over £500,000.

The charity, which has experienced an upturn in demand for their services since the first COVID-19 lockdown in March, are incredibly grateful to their friends from the worldwide games industry who have rallied to support their life-changing work. From donating UK income from mobile and PC games, to a special Humble Bundle and a series of socially-distanced ‘virtual’ challenges, industry partners large and small have raised vital funds to help SpecialEffect continue to find cutting edge solutions to help people with physical challenges play and avoid isolation.

SpecialEffect’s CEO and Founder, Dr Mick Donegan said “All of us at SpecialEffect are delighted and humbled at the outcome of our 5th and most successful One Special Day 2020 ever and are massively grateful to friends throughout the games industry. They’re not only ensuring that we can carry on meeting the ever-growing demand to help disabled gamers to play, but also the demand to help developers all over the world to make their games more accessible to all.”

More information about One Special Day can be found at www.onespecialday.org.uk

Train2Game News World Esports Day

The British Esports Association, the not-for-profit organisation set up to promote and support esports, has teamed up with SpecialEffect and Percent as part of World Esports Day.

The global gaming celebration takes place on October 24th 2020 and will see various organisations and members of the esports community running streams and activities to spread awareness of the positives of esports.

Money raised throughout UK-based activities will go to SpecialEffect, the charity that puts fun and inclusion back into the lives of people with physical disabilities by helping them to play video games. By using technology ranging from modified joypads to eye-control, SpecialEffect finds a way for people to play to the very best of their abilities.

Tom Donegan, Fundraising Lead at SpecialEffect, commented: “We are delighted to have been chosen as the charity partner for World Esports Day here in the UK. Over recent years we have received fantastic support from organisations, businesses and individuals throughout the esports community, who have shown a strong affinity with our work enabling more people with severe physical disabilities to play to the best of their ability. 

“We’re proud to join with the British Esports Association, Percent and our friends across the world in celebrating the positive impact of esports in bringing people together to enjoy the games we all love.”

During the World Esports Day activities, fans, viewers and those involved will be able to make donations to a number of charitable causes around the world. Monies raised in the UK will go to UK-based SpecialEffect, with each other national esports federation nominating a charity for their respective country. 

As a global payments platform for charitable donations, Percent will utilise its global giving API that makes charitable payments safe, secure and easy.

The Percent API enables businesses to build unique giving and sustainability experiences into their products. For World Esports Day, this also means that all charities will be completely vetted and validated by Percent.

The company will carry out the necessary due diligence and charity vetting to ensure donations end up in the right pockets around the globe. 

Henry Ludlam, CEO of Percent, commented: “We’re very happy to be partnering with British Esports to build charitable purpose into esports and power donations in the World Esports Day platform across 70 countries worldwide.”

British Esports is one of several founding members of World Esports Day, the others being the Global Esports Federation, Twitch Student and the Singapore Esports Association. 

Chester King, CEO and founder of the British Esports Association, and VP and chair of the Education, Culture and Wellness Commission at the Global Esports Federation, added: “We’re delighted to help raise funds for such a worthwhile cause in SpecialEffect, and to have found a partner to ensure the donations made as part of World Esports Day are transacted safely and securely.

“We’re excited to see how the day goes and to raise money for a number of great causes and charities around the world.”

For more information, visit worldesportsday.com

Train2Game News 5th One Special Day

This Friday, the gamers’ charity SpecialEffect will celebrate their fifth One Special Day fundraiser.

In a new record for the event, over 75 games industry partners have now pledged their support, ranging from mobile and PC developers, through to media and trade bodies.

With demand for the charity’s services increasing and other fundraising events being cancelled or postponed due to COVID-19, this year’s One Special Day has taken on an extra significance, as SpecialEffect’s Founder and CEO Mick Donegan explains: 

“Despite the challenges of recent months, SpecialEffect has been continuing its work to bring the joy of video games and technology to some of the most disabled people on the planet. Our staff have worked tirelessly to respond to an increasing number of enquiries from all over the world, carrying out remote assessments and providing specialist equipment and advice. Meanwhile, the R&D team have been working hard to finish some exciting new accessible gaming projects, such as Eye Gaze Games, which have the potential to open-up the world of gaming to 10,000s more people world-wide. Securing the future of these services is vitally important for the people we support, which is why One Special Day 2020 is more important than ever.”

Since its inception in 2016, One Special Day has raised over $1,000,000 towards the work of SpecialEffect to help people with disabilities in the United Kingdom and all over the world. The companies supporting the event raise money by donating revenue, holding events and contributing to special Humble Bundles. This year, many will also be staging virtual fundraising challenges, including Zoom quizzes, socially-distanced physical challenges and livestreams.

Some campaign highlights to look out for include: 

  • One Special Bundle, which is available now on the Humble Bundle website and features titles from nine partners. 
  • One Special Night, which takes place on Thursday 1st October from 8pm and sees SpecialEffect hosting eight of the games industry’s leading lights, including Double Fine’s Tim Schafer, for an evening of exclusive online talks. 
  • One Special Game, a competition where fan-artists have been given the opportunity to create their own poster for iconic games such as Mass Effect, Stardew Valley, Monument Valley and Need for Speed, with the winners announced on Friday 2nd October.

The range of events and activities, coupled with the number of games industry companies rallying to the call, makes this the biggest One Special Day yet. And that’s very good news for disabled gamers all over the world!


If you’d like to get your company involved in One Special Day, there’s still time. Go to www.onespecialday.org.uk to donate or, for more information, contact Nick Streeter at nick@specialeffect.org.uk

Train2Game News Fall Guys Charity Raises $1m for SpecialEffect

Fall Guys charity auction raises $1M for gamers’ charity SpecialEffect

A Battle of the Brands auction for a character costume design in the hit video game Fall Guys has raised $1M for SpecialEffect.

The online auction, organised by the game’s creators Mediatonic and Devolver, saw a bidding war that included some of the video game community’s most popular streamers.

A last-minute combined donation of $1M by @MrBeastYT@Ninja, @G2esports and @aimlab was the highest bid. 

The winners have also announced that they will be organising a livestream in support of the charity. More details will be announced in due course.

“We’re blown away,” said Dr Mick Donegan, Founder and CEO of SpecialEffect. “A huge thank you to @MrBeastYT@Ninja, @G2esports and @aimlab for their amazing generosity, and to Mediatonic and Devolver Digital for this unique initiative.”

“When the COVID-19 pandemic restrictions hit earlier this year, the charity was facing a significant reduction in funding income due, in part, to many of its key fundraising events being cancelled or postponed. As a charity that doesn’t charge for its services, this donation will be invaluable in helping to make up for that shortfall. It will enable us to continue an uninterrupted service for the many people with severe physical disabilities and developers around the world who are asking for our help in ever greater numbers year on year. What’s more, the demands on our services are rising even more rapidly as a result of the auction itself. Bring it on!”

The charity will be able to help more people like eight year-old Theo, who is a huge fan of obstacle games, but the games controller and iPad were too hard for him to use. Our assessment team recently set him up with a special joystick and buttons setup combination. Since then it’s been much easier for him to play and he’s now having a blast with Fall Guys!

The donation will boost all aspects of the charity’s work, including the development of a range of globally available resources for accessible gaming such as EyeMine, a utility for playing Minecraft with eye-control. The charity also provides support and advice for software development, helping the likes of EA, Playground Games, DoubleFine, and Rare to make games like Forza Motorsport, FIFA, and Sea of Thieves more easily playable.

Companies from across the games industry are pledging to support SpecialEffect for their One Special Day initiative on Friday 2 October 2020.

More details can be found at http://onespecialday.org.uk/get-involved/

Train2Game News GameBlast20 Sponsored By GAME

GAME are delighted to share, that for the sixth year running, they will be supporting GameBlast20 – https://www.gameblast20.org.uk.

GameBlast is an annual event run by GAME’s longstanding charity partner SpecialEffect, a UK based charity who use technology to help people with disabilities benefit from the fun and inclusion of video games.

Gamers everywhere are invited to join the many streamers, studios and student societies taking part in GameBlast20 from the 21st to 23rd February. Heralded as “the best excuse to game EVER!”, GameBlast sees SpecialEffect invite gamers to complete a challenge of their own design, whether it be a marathon livestream, speed run, esports tournament or games-themed office party!

In addition to the individual gamers and stream-teams who’ll be gaming hard over the weekend, GAME will add their customary fundraising activity which will take place across all GAME stores and BELONG arenas nationwide. GAME and BELONG HQ will also be burning the midnight gaming oil with 24hours of continuous gaming as part of the UK’s largest charity video gaming weekend!

GameBlast will be live streamed via Twitch to raise money and help people like Aaron, (http://bit.ly/308JG4Q) who never thought he’d be able to play video games again because his muscular dystrophy stopped him using a controller.

GameBlast truly is the perfect opportunity to do what you love, whilst helping people with disabilities enjoy the fun, inclusion and community of video games! Please join in or donate to – https://www.justgiving.com/campaign/gameblast20

Train2Game News GameBlast 2020

SpecialEffect’s annual GameBlast fundraising spectacular is back over the weekend of 21-23 February 2020, and the charity are inviting gamers to hit £1M raised over the event’s seven-year history.

GameBlast is the UK’s largest charity gaming weekend and has raised nearly £800,000 so far to support disabled gamers.

It’s a festival of sponsored gaming marathons, streams and events taking place in a multitude of bedrooms, lounges, village halls, colleges and studios, all with the aim of helping the charity transform the lives of more gamers like Joe.

Joe has Duchenne muscular dystrophy and although he can’t use a standard games controller or keyboard because of his very limited abilities, he can still enjoy the excitement and inclusion of video games because of a customised controller setup put together by the charity.

He’ll be one of the gamers taking part in GameBlast20.

“I’m playing because I know what a big difference SpecialEffect make to young disabled people’s lives,” he said this year. “I was finding it very difficult to use my computer because of my disability so they came to assess what specialised equipment I needed. They managed to get me playing games again.”

SpecialEffect’s Tom Donegan said, “GameBlast is such an important event for us, not only because of the donations it generates but also the way in which it connects our work to the gaming community at large. People are so inventive with the challenges they set themselves, and the range of activities is always such a joy to see! It’s always a fantastic feel-good weekend, with gamers coming together to help their fellow gamers. It’s the best excuse to game ever.”

You can sign up for GameBlast20 at https://www.gameblast20.org.uk and keep up with the action at https://twitter.com/gameblast

Train2Game News One Special Day Mobile Support

For the fourth year running, the mobile games industry has come out in force to support SpecialEffect’s One Special Day fundraising event to help more severely disabled people from all over the world enjoy the fun and inclusion of video games.

Big hitters such as Supercell, Seriously, Miniclip, Playtika, Naturalmotion/Zynga, Space Ape, Rovio, Outfit7, Glu, First Touch Games, New Star Games, MAG Interactive, Dirtybit and Dots will donate a day of their UK income from a range of titles on Friday 4 October. One Special Day has raised almost £1 million towards the work of SpecialEffect since it started in 2016 and, as demand for the charity’s services continues to grow rapidly, the boost from this year’s event is more welcome than ever.

UK in-game purchases on 4 October from titles like Clash of Clans, Angry Birds, Best Fiends, Fastlane, 8-Ball Pool, Talking Tom and CSR Racing 2 means that, while the players themselves are having fun, they’re also helping SpecialEffect to reach more severely disabled people.

SpecialEffect’s Barry Floyd is delighted that the mobile industry combines with their gaming communities for SpecialEffect on One Special Day. “Here in the UK, on the 4 October, the money that they would have spent in the relevant mobile games takes on a whole new significance. Every penny will be used to help someone with a disability towards a better quality of life through specialist technology.”

Seriously’s CEO and Co-Founder Andrew Stalbow said “It’s been a fantastic experience working with SpecialEffect for the last two One Special Day campaigns, and we are working hard to make this year’s event the biggest one yet. It’s been really gratifying to see the mobile community come together to support this work, and we are hoping to have a record number of developers join us this year.”

Train2Game News One Special Day 2019

One Special Day, the games industry’s biggest annual day of fundraising, returns on Friday 4th October 2019 and already some of the giants of the industry have pledged their support.

Over 50 partners from across the games industry including SEGA, Codemasters, Jagex and Zynga will be rolling up their sleeves and getting involved in the event, which promises to be the biggest yet. Many companies will be donating a day of their income from game sales whilst others will stage their own fundraising events.

All the funds raised will support the work of SpecialEffect, the games industry charity dedicated to levelling the playing field for disabled gamers.

Since its inception in 2016, One Special Day has been supported by developers and gamers from all over the world and has raised over £900,000. The vital funds enable SpecialEffect to help disabled gamers both the UK and around the world through personalised help, developer support and initiatives such as EyeMine, software for controlling Minecraft with the eyes.

SpecialEffect CEO and Founder, Dr Mick Donegan, said “We’re overjoyed with the response again this year and very grateful to our One Special Day partners. The day unites the worldwide games industry and their fantastic communities of gamers because they all understand what incredible work we’re doing here. SpecialEffect has a profoundly positive impact on the lives of disabled gamers and events like One Special Day play a huge role in enabling us to reach more in the coming year.”

Companies including Rocksteady, Space Ape, Miniclip, Seriously, Outfit7 and Rare have also signed up. Craig Duncan, Rare Studio Head, said “Because of their unique work, SpecialEffect hold a special place in our heart, and indeed the whole of the video games industry, so we’re looking forward to making One Special Day 2019 the biggest so far.”

Rich Eddy, Director of Communications at Jagex, added “Our RuneScape community has celebrated SpecialEffect’s incredible work for many years, so there was no question that Jagex would be a proud supporter of this year’s event and play a big part in One Special Day. By putting the fun and inclusion back into the lives of those with physical disabilities to play video games, the work of SpecialEffect really levels the playing field”.

For more information on how your company can get involved in One Special Day, email Nick Streeter at nick@specialeffect.org.uk or go to www.onespecialday.org.uk

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!