SpecialEffect is an amazing UK-based charity. It aims to put fun and inclusion back into the lives of people with physical disabilities by helping them to play video games, using a range of technology from modified gaming controllers to eye-control systems. Levelling the playing-field in this way has a profoundly positive impact on therapy, rehabilitation and confidence – and what’s more, the charity does all of this work free of charge.
I’ve supported them since meeting Media & Graphic Designer Hannah Whittaker at the EGX event in September 2013 and have been fortunate enough to see some of their work close-up. Volunteering on the charity’s stand at previous expos gave me the opportunity to set up the equipment, and show attendees how to play Rocket League using only their chins and control Minecraft with their eyes. Hopefully, I’ll get the chance to do it all again at Rezzed next month.
Today is the official start of GameBlast17, the UK’s biggest video game marathon, and gamers all over the country will be streaming live for 24-hours to raise funds and awareness for SpecialEffect. The sponsorship raised through the event will help the organisation change the lives of many more people – individuals such as John, who you can see in the video opposite.
A group of friends and I have participated in the GameBlast event under the team name of ‘Gamely Giving’ for the past few years, and we’re doing the same again in 2017. Unfortunately real-life has thrown some obstacles at us which have meant we’re unable to host our stream this weekend so we’re planning something huge to make up for it: from 16:00 GMT on Friday, 28 April 2017, we’ll be live on the Gamely Giving Twitch channel continuously for 72 hours.
This isn’t a post to ask for donations (although I can’t deny that sponsorship via our JustGiving page would be fantastically awesome), but one to help promote SpecialEffect because it really is an amazing cause. If you have a few minutes to spare, please head over to their website or YouTube channel to see more of their fantastic work; and give them a follow on Twitter to stay up-to-date on their progress.
If you’d like to support us at Gamely Giving, have a look around our sparkly new website for more information about what we’re doing and what we have planned for our stream. There’s also a handy press release for anyone who would like to help us get the word out to as many people as possible.