This year marks the tenth anniversary of Special Effect, the charity that helps gamers with disabilities to play games. Today, the fundraising drive pushes up a notch with the start of the One Special Day fundraising event.
The games industry has rallied behind the cause with many developers donating their profits from this day to the charity. There are also special events including charity live streams on Twitch and a special Gamerbake event in London at Ukie's offices.
It's not just the UK development community that is helping out either. Over the last week, an eBay auction for the charity saw money raised with donated items from studios like Playground Games and media companies like IGN. Mobile companies are donating money too from big corporations like Supercell and EA Remedy and Zynga all getting involved.
The target this year £100,000 and if the current support is anything to go by then hopefully that should be achieved and eclipsed by the end of Friday.
Special Effects charity work helps thousands of people every year with disabilities, enabling players to game with customised technology that is loaned to them. With the support of occupational therapists and technical wizardry, Special Effect can create custom controllers that enable these players to play their favourite games while also allowing their carers to easily set the equipment up, and for it not to affect any medical apparatus. We visited the charity earlier this year to find out more about the process.
But for today, the thanks from the charity go to the games industry for its support. "Many people with disabilities, whether they are born with a disability or experience a serious injury or illness, are forced to sit and watch while their friends and family experience the joy of video games," said founder and CEO Mark Donegan. "We’re here to make sure EVERYONE can join in. For many of them it is the first time in their entire lives that they have been able to truly compete on a level playing field. It is SO great to enable a severely disabled person to compete with a relative or friend for the first time. You’ve never seen a rush of pent up competitiveness and energy like it!
"What the games industry is doing for One Special Day is an incredible team effort. Every company participating is making a statement that EVERYONE should be able to enjoy the fun of digital gaming. We can’t thank them and their players enough."
To find out more about One Special Day or to donate, please click here.