Over 150 teams and individuals from across the world spent last weekend playing video game marathons to raise money for Oxfordshire charity SpecialEffect.
The event was called GameBlast, and by Monday morning the total had moved past the £38,000 mark, a figure that will rise even further as offline donations come in.
SpecialEffect, who help people with disabilities to benefit from the fun and inclusion of video games, organised the event as an opportunity for gamers to help others enjoy their own favourite activity.
Gaming teams from as far as Australia and the US raised their own sponsorship to play for up to 24 hours. One team in the UK played for 72 hours.
“We’re immensely grateful to everyone who played, donated or supported the event,” said charity CEO Mick Donegan. “The funds raised will make a dramatic and instant impact on the quality of life of the people we do our best to help.”
“It’s been very humbling to experience the video games community and industry coming together to provide such overwhelming support for people with disabilities.”
“Jagex Games Studio ran an unbelievable event from their offices, and we’re also indebted to staff from Multiplay, GAME and many other companies for their involvement.”
Both disabled and non-disabled gamers took part. Ajay, an IT support analyst who has spinal muscular atrophy, hadn't been able to play games since he lost his hand dexterity many years ago. As a result of help from SpecialEffect he now games using a combination of a chin joystick, voice control and body switches. He raised over £200 playing for over seven hours.
“If it wasn’t for SpecialEffect then many people with disabilities, including myself, wouldn’t be able to play computer games,” said Ajay. “They’ve brought inclusion back into many people’s lives.”
Find out more about Ajay at http://bit.ly/1o2JLLL
The charity have already set a date for next year’s GameBlast, and they’re hoping that even more teams will play together on the weekend of 20-23 February 2015.