We’re so proud to have so many amazing players around the world, and we’re humbled to know that for a few, games can offer a much-needed vessel for improving their daily lives.
SpecialEffect plays a critical role in making this a reality for many players. The UK-based charity aims to put fun back into the lives of players with physical disabilities. The SpecialEffect team of therapists and technology specialists match, modify or create personalised gaming control setups to lend to them, and offer life-long support to help them enjoy video games like FIFA and Mass Effect: Andromeda. This can help positively impact on therapy, confidence and rehabilitation.
We’re excited to share a couple of stories from their dedicated work to make gaming more accessible to everyone.
George Dowell was a typical teenager spending most of his time playing sports and video games. When he was just 17, George was involved in a car accident that left him paralysed from the chest down.
For the next 10 months, George rehabilitated in a hospital and sought ways to play his favourite video games, but due to his accident, George was left with limited arm and hand movement.
Using a standard controller wasn’t a reality as he no longer had the control, grip or the hand function to use it, so he stopped and tried other things to pass time. After being discharged from hospital, he was introduced to SpecialEffect. Who through a custom-built setup, have enabled George to play his favourite videogames again.
“I’m a competitive person,” George said, “Being able to play FIFA 18 has helped me massively with competition in my life and that’s all thanks to the great work SpecialEffect does”.
Its technology is currently used by Corey, a young boy from Birmingham, who has restricted movement on his left side due to hemiplegia.
His physical restrictions meant he could only watch his friends play FIFA 17, and his parents would give him a controller that wasn’t connected to make him feel involved in gameplay.
But after being introduced to SpecialEffect, Corey now uses a specially created control setup and enjoys playing FIFA independently and competitively, against friends and family.
Following a cycling accident, Will Clark from Cumbria was left with a spinal injury that limited his movement to just his head and shoulders.
‘Games are another aspect of the life I had prior to my accident and a real social occasion, it was great to be competitive with friends or just pass time by myself’, Will said. ‘When I was in the hospital seeking advice, I had been told I wouldn’t be able to play games like FIFA again.’
Now, with the aid of shoulder switches and chin control for his analogue stick, Will plays FIFA 17 in two button mode thanks to SpecialEffect.
Paul, an avid gamer and Mass Effect and FIFA fan, suffered a spinal injury that brought his gaming to an abrupt halt.
Through the use of a chin controlled joystick and two switches, positioned on either side of his head, plus some voice commands, Paul’s back on the pitch in FIFA 17 and busy on a mission to find a new home for humanity Mass Effect: Andromeda.
SpecialEffect are an award-winning charity that enable people with physical disabilities to benefit from the fun, inclusion and therapy of video games. They support people of all ages through personalised assessments, equipment loans and equipment modifications.
Stay up to date with SpecialEffect by visiting their blog and by following them on their Instagram, Twitter and YouTube channels.