SpecialEffect is an amazing UK-based charity which 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, they’re finding a way for individuals to play to the very best of their abilities. They’re not just doing it for fun, however: by levelling the playing field, they’re bringing families and friends together and having a profoundly positive impact on therapy, confidence and rehabilitation.
As regular visitors to Later Levels will already know, I’ve supported the charity for several years now and have been fortunate enough to see some of their work close-up. Volunteering on their stands at expos has given me the opportunity to show people how to play Rocket League and Mario Kart 8 using only their chins and Minecraft using their eyes alone. It really is wonderful stuff – it makes you appreciate how easy it is to take the joy of gaming for granted sometimes.
GameBlast is SpecialEffect’s annual gaming marathon where gamers from all over the country come together to raise funds and awareness for the charity so they can continue their excellent work. Over £500,000 has been raised during the first four events, and this amount has helped to changed the lives of hundreds of people with disabilities who could previously only watch everyone else have all the fun.
Last year I roped a group of friends and bloggers into completing a 72-hour marathon under the team name of Gamely Giving and we managed to raise just under £900 with the help of you awesome lot. While it was an incredible experience (and we learnt so much), unfortunately we’re not going to be able to repeat something of this size again this year due to existing work and family commitments (sad face).
That doesn’t mean we’re not participating in GameBlast18 though – far from it! Myself, Ben, Nathan, Pete and Ethan have already registered for the event and, although we’re not going to be able to game for three-days straight this time, we’re going to do as much as we can to support SpecialEffect on Saturday, 03 March 2018 and have a bloody good time doing it.
Later Levels (@LaterLevels) November 11, 2017
This isn’t a post to ask for donations (although I can’t deny that sponsorship via our JustGiving page would be absolutely brilliant), but one to ask you to check out the charity. 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.
Why not consider signing up for GameBlast18 yourself, or even joining our team for the event? We’ll be sharing more details next month once we’ve got ourselves a little more organised but in the meantime, we’d love to hear your suggestions for fundraising forfeits and games to play. Rumour has it that we might be able to get Nathan to play Resident Evil 7: Biohazard VR live on Twitch if anyone is willing to sponsor him £1 per scream…
Video game lover, Later Levels blogger and SpecialEffect volunteer. Big fan of wannabe pirates and fine leather jackets.