“It’s life-changing, and my way of giving something back.” Joe, a young man with Duchenne muscular dystrophy, powered through a 12 hour gaming challenge back in February for GameBlast20 – and we’re delighted that he’s back again for the GameBlast21 weekend. Although he can’t use a standard games controller or keyboard, he can still enjoy the excitement and inclusion of video games because of a customised tech setup put together by the charity SpecialEffect.
Joe’s one of hundreds of video gamers across the UK and beyond who are once again uniting to level the playing field for gamers with disabilities through GameBlast, a festival of sponsored gaming marathons and events that takes place in a multitude of bedrooms, lounges, village halls, colleges, studios and boardrooms, all with the aim of raising £100,000 to help us transform the lives of more gamers like Joe. It’s possibly one of the biggest annual fundraisers you’ve never heard of, and since 2014 it’s raised nearly £1 million for our work.
Below: Joe playing on his PC during GameBlast20 using an adapted control setup devised by SpecialEffect.
“I know what a big difference SpecialEffect make to young disabled people’s lives,” said Joe last year.
“Everyone’s GameBlast challenge will help SpecialEffect find new ways for people with disabilities to play – the expertise, assessments, equipment and lifelong support that brings joy, self-confidence and a degree of independence into the lives of hundreds of people. It’s life-changing, and my way of giving something back.”
“In 2020 SpecialEffect managed to find a solution for me to play my PlayStation again for the first time in over 11 years. Luckily for me that was the time I was shielding so it gave me something to do during that time.”