Video games can be more than entertainment. They cheer us up when we’re feeling low, introduce us to new friends we may not otherwise have met and give us the opportunity to experience the world through somebody else’s eyes. So doesn’t everyone deserve to be able to play them?
SpecialEffect is a UK-based charity which believes everybody should be able to benefit from the joy of gaming. Their aim is to put fun and inclusion back into the lives of people with physical disabilities by helping them to join in, through technology such as modified hardware and eye-controlled software. By levelling the playing field in this way, they’re bringing families and friends together and having a profoundly positive impact on confidence and rehabilitation. Check out the video opposite to see some of their fantastic work.
I’ve supported SpecialEffect since first finding out about them in 2013 and take part in their GameBlast event each year. Every February, hundreds of gamers all over the country undertake marathon gaming sessions and stream their antics live on Twitch in an attempt to raise £100,000 and as much awareness as possible for the charity. In the past I’ve participated in 24-, 48- and even 72-hour streams, and you can see what Pete and I got up to for GameBlast19 in this video.
For GameBlast20, we want to do something different and push ourselves even further for SpecialEffect. So here’s our challenge: can we play video games for at least an hour every day for 50-days straight, finishing the period off with a 24-hour stream? We’ll find out in just a couple of days from Sunday, 05 January 2020. Adult responsibilities make this goal far harder than it initially seems and it’s going to take plenty of organisation and coordination – not to mention a ton of batteries for our controllers.
Our streaming schedule for the coming week will be posted on Twitter and Instagram each Saturday. But what about the schedule for the 24-hour stream? We need your help to figure this out. Pete and I have both selected our favourite options in each of eight genre categories and we’re now competing to see which get the most votes. Make your decisions in the polls below over next six weeks, and the winning games will be what we play on Twitch from 08:00 GMT on 22-23 February 2020!
THE GAMEBLAST20 BYTES BATTLE
Although we’re not sure exactly what we’ll be playing just yet – because that’s down to you guys – it looks as though we’ll end up with a nice, varied selection of games. There are a few multiplayers on the list so others can join in, along with titles which could inspire a bit of banter in the Twitch chat when we get stuck or mess up. We’ll be keeping an eye on the results over the next few weeks and announcing the final results on 21 February 2020. Get voting!
Video game lover, Later Levels blogger and SpecialEffect volunteer. Big fan of wannabe pirates and fine leather jackets.