GameBlast, SpecialEffect, charity, video games, heart, pixels, bomb

Helping others get back in the game

SpecialEffect is an amazing UK-based charity. It aims to put fun an 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.

Team Gamely Giving has participated in GameBlast for the past few years and we’re planning to do the same in 2017. Unfortunately, real-life thrown some obstacles at us and we’re therefore unable to host our stream this weekend; but fear not, for we have something big planned…

Gamely Giving's 72-hour stream for SpecialEffect, starting at 16:00 GMT on Friday 28 April 2017

That’s right: we’re planning on streaming continuously for 72-hours at the end of April. We’ve never held our marathons for such an extended period of time so it’s going to be a challenge; and on top of that, we’re setting ourselves our highest fundraising target of £1,000. Go big or go home, right?

Have a look around our sparkly new website for more information about the event and our team, along with what we have planned for our stream. Details on some fundraising forfeits (that we’re not particularly looking forward to) and other surprises will be revealed over the coming weeks, and if you have any suggestions please feel free to get in touch.

So how can you help? We’re not denying that donations via JustGiving would be fantastically awesome, but there are other ways in which you can show your support too. Spread the word online by joining us on our social media channels; spread the word in the real world by telling people about SpecialEffect; and share our press release with as many people as possible. There are loads of ways in which you can get involved and we’re more grateful for your support than you can ever imagine.

Good luck to all of the gamers out there taking part in GameBlast17 this weekend. We’ll be visiting your streams on Twitch to cheer you on – you’re all doing a great thing for an amazing cause.

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Since playing The Secret of Monkey Island as a kid, Kim has since been a huge fan of point-and-click adventures for over 25 years - as well as wannabe pirates and fine leather jackets. Find her on Twitter, Steam and PSN at @kissingthepixel.

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