Train2Game News SpecialEffect Exclusive Kit Available In FIFA 22

Electronic Arts are supporting charity partner SpecialEffect by featuring an exclusive FUT kit in FIFA 22. 

The kit will went live in game yesterday as a reward for a weekly objective in FUT 22

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.

The kit is being launched at SpecialEffect’s local professional club Oxford United with guests including beneficiaries of the charity, and an appearance of the Premier League Trophy by kind arrangement with EA Sports.

Peter Moore, SpecialEffect Vice President said, “as a proud SpecialEffect Vice President it’s wonderful to see the charity featured within FIFA 22. It shines a bright light on the great work that Dr Mick and the team carry out to help gamers with disabilities across the world. I first got involved with the charity after seeing a story of how they helped a fellow Liverpool fan game again and know the reaction to the shirt will be huge, raising awareness of their important mission of bringing gaming to all.”

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 fifteen year ago, I could never have dreamed that we’d be honoured in this way through the most popular game series ever.”

“SpecialEffect plays a critical role in making gaming accessible to everyone.  This is something EA too feels very passionate about, as we inspire the world to play” said David Jackson, VP of Brand, EA SPORTS FIFA. “FIFA 22 is proud to support the incredible work of SpecialEffect as they break down barriers for players living with physical disabilities and make video gaming truly inclusive.”

Train2Game News New Eye Gaze Game From SpecialEffect

There’s an exciting new sandbox driving game on SpecialEffect’s eyegazegames.com website that’s already gaining fans across the globe.

Open Drive is optimised for players who use eye gaze technology as their primary controller, and promises tricks, challenges and trophies. 

Like all the games on the site, Open Drive boasts a range of eye gaze settings and controls, but it can also be enjoyed using touch, assistive mice, keyboard, gamepad, a switch or switches. The game will be regularly extended with additional worlds to explore.

Bill Donegan, SpecialEffect’s Projects Manager, said “Open Drive is one of twelve different games on the site with a focus on accessibility for eye gaze players, enabling them to play with friends and family, in person and online. All the games are browser-based and free-to-play, with the aim of removing as many barriers to play as possible to players all around the world.”


The release of Open Drive extends the charity’s mission to help people with severe physical challenges all around the world to play video games to the best of their abilities.

SpecialEffect already offers of a range of globally available resources for accessible gaming such as EyeMine and gameaccess.info. They also provide resources such as the SpecialEffect DevKit to support accessible game development, and have helped major developers such as EA, Playground Games, DoubleFine, and Rare to make their games more accessible.

“We’re indebted to The Yogscast and their worldwide community for generously helping to support the creation of Open Drive through their Jingle Jam Christmas fundraising campaign. We’d also like to thank the amazing team at Sun and Moon Studios, the game’s developers.” A representative of SpecialEffect said.

To find out more about SpecialEffect and the work they do you can go to

Train2Game News GameBlast 2022 Starts Today

Gamers’ charity SpecialEffect are looking forward to welcoming hundreds of people from the gaming community and industry who are taking part in their annual GameBlast challenge this coming weekend, 25-27 February.

 
With face-to-face fundraising severely restricted over the last two years due to the pandemic, GameBlast is again taking on vital importance this year as a major source of funding for the charity’s work in helping people with physical disabilities to enjoy video games.

 
Heralded as ‘the best excuse to game ever,’ the GameBlast weekend will see hundreds of gamers take on sponsored fundraising gaming-themed challenges of their own design, including marathon livestreams, speed runs, pub quizzes and fitness challenges. The event has raised over £1m over the past seven years to help the charity create custom control setups for disabled gamers and collaborate with the gaming industry to make their games more accessible.

 
As well as the individual gamers and creators who’ll be gaming hard over the weekend, many names in the games industry will also supporting or taking part in the event, including SEGA, Corsair, Coatsink and many others.

 
The SEGA community have a team of over 60 streamers participating. Marta Camilo, Digital Design Manager at SEGA Europe from SEGA said “I love taking part in GameBlast as a streamer. It’s so thrilling, the energy is always positive and everyone, from viewers to streamers and industry, unite for a cause they care about.”

 
SpecialEffect’s Tom Donegan commented: “GameBlast is so close to our hearts here at SpecialEffect because it’s all about gamers coming together to help their fellow gamers. The range of challenges streamers take up to support the charity is always such a joy to see and it’s a real feel-good weekend from start to finish! A huge thank you to everyone taking part and we hope they all have a fantastic time while raising vital funds.”

 
Check out the streams and fundraising events happening throughout the GameBlast weekend at https://www.specialeffect.org.uk/gameblast and get the latest Updates at https://twitter.com/GameBlast 

Train2Game News GameBlast21 Huge Success

The total raised for GameBlast21, the UK’s largest charity gaming weekend, has been confirmed at £228,300 ($317,800).

It’s more than double the original fundraising target for the event, and one of the biggest totals in its eight-year history.

Gamers across the UK and beyond took on gaming marathons and game-themed events over the weekend of 26-28 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 who took part, many major names in the games industry supported the event, including Twitch, EA DICE, Mediatonic, SEGA Europe, Unit 2 Games, Fanatical, Insert Coin Clothing and Turn 10 Studios, alongside a host of esports teams and popular streamers.

In addition, several other companies including HyperX, Noblechairs, Fierce PC and Big Potato Games, showed their support for by creating some awesome limited-edition products and running giveaways to reward people for taking part.

“We’d hoped to raise £100,000 this year,” said Becky Frost, the GameBlast Event Coordinator, “so we’re amazed and humbled by the final figure. To have the support of so many gamers is a huge boost for the charity, and we’ve been overwhelmed by the enthusiasm of everyone involved. As result of their generosity, many hundreds of people will be able to enjoy the magic of video games for many years to come. A heartfelt thank you to everyone who took part.”

The dates for GameBlast22 have been announced as 25-27 February 2022.

Donations for GameBlast can still be made http://bit.ly/3cytyA7

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