Over the last two decades, the spirit of giving in the gaming world has come to light. An array of gaming charities across the UK (and the rest of the world) are bringing inclusion and improved quality of life to people with disabilities through the power of gaming.
Able Gamers, the world’s largest charity for gamers with disabilities, has influenced the wider gaming world and now many other charities are following suit. Able Gamers asserts that video games give us all a shared experience; something that we can all do, no matter our ability. This common experience allows friendships to form and flourish, beyond the borders of disability.
The charity provides a wide range of services: from custom gaming setups to modified controllers and special assistive technology that lets gamers play by using their eyes. Many UK charities are now executing similar initiatives to offer a more inclusive gaming experience.
Here at Ghost Gaming Broadband, we’ve identified several UK gaming charities we think are doing their utmost to make a difference to the lives of vulnerable adults and children.
Levelling the playing field
Special Effect is a UK charity based in Oxford that puts fun and inclusion back into the lives of people living with disabilities. The charity creates specialised equipment which allows disabled gamers to play video games. From modified joypads to eye-control systems, Special Effect is finding innovative ways to allow absolutely everybody to join in with the joys of gaming.
The charity offers a range of accessible gaming equipment which you can try out in their Games Room in Oxfordshire. Alternatively, the Special Effect team will visit your house if your disability limits your mobility. Special Effect understands that everyone’s abilities are different and will match, modify or create equipment to give you the best support they possibly can.
As they do not sell gaming hardware or accessories, Special Effect relies on donations to be able to provide one-to-one support to all its clients. You can donate directly, volunteer or participate in fundraising activities. Special Effect is keen to emphasise that this equipment is not just for fun; rather it serves as a vital building block which brings family and friends together. Prioritising fun, inclusivity and family bonds will have a profoundly positive impact on confidence and rehabilitation.
Donating unwanted consoles and games to gaming charities
Based in Glasgow, Get Well Gamers is linked to over 100 hospitals and organisations across the UK. The charity relies on donations of unwanted video games and consoles to take to hospitals and hospices. Get Well Gamers hopes to improve the lives of children and young adults while they endure long hospital stays by providing them with a “power up”. Video games are an effective and proven pain management tool, which can serve as a much-needed distraction and source of entertainment.
So, if you’re harbouring an old console or a spare tablet you no longer need, Get Well Gamers will take it off your hands. The gaming charity accepts all video games, consoles, accessories, laptops and tablet devices, provided they’re working and in safe condition. Vintage devices can also be used for fundraising events, such as tournaments or auctions to raise funds for the charity.
Gaming for good
The online fundraising platform JustGiving has launched an initiative that encourages gamers to support charities while gaming. The initiative, aptly named Gaming for Social Good, offers players resources that will make gaming for a good cause simple and accessible.
Through the Gaming for Social Good hub, players can choose a charity to support their gaming event. The hub provides gamers with handy how-to guides explaining how to launch a gaming event, how to link your JustGiving page with your Twitch page and ideas on how you can game for social good.
Players can support charities such as Macmillan by signing up for a gaming marathon to raise funds for children and adults living with cancer. The process is quick and simple; gamers sign up and create a fundraising page, set a date for the gaming marathon, gather a team, ask for sponsors and then stream their gaming marathon. The initiative offers gamers the opportunity to have fun while raising funds for a fantastic cause simultaneously. So far, the initiative has proven very successful with over £75 million raised on Twitch since 2012.
The platform encourages gamers to participate in the initiative by providing a monthly Hall of Fame, which celebrates the unsung heroes of the gaming world. The platform also provides users with a calendar of upcoming fundraising events to get involved with.
Here at Ghost Gaming Broadband, we are passionate about providing a great gaming experience for everybody and supporting gaming charities. For more gaming news, head over to our blog or check out our social media channels.