SpecialEffect is a charity dedicated to helping all young people with disabilities to enjoy computer games, they'll do whatever it takes, because they know how much of a kick-start effect they can have on motivation, inclusion and quality of life. Their adapted games technology is slightly more complex than the plug and play of most peripherals, however with their experience and committed team SpecialEffect offer the time, patience and ability to get diabled people involved with computer games.
SpecialEffect had some of the technology that they loan out to young disbled people, and we were most definitely impressed with it, much like the rest of the attendants we were ignorant to the ways in which games have been made accessible for disabled people, and hope that this short description of exactly what SpecialEffect do will make you think twice about how accessible games are to the disabled, and maybe even about donating towards their cause.
Currently they have four unique projects that is already changing the way that disabled gaming is perceived, most importantly they are working to develop a ‘gamebase’ website that will will cater for disabled gamers. By providing recommendations of games that they know are accessible from their own exhaustive testing through a range of access devices, they also aim to provide a top 10 list of games that have the greatest chance of being played, no matter what your disability. SpecialEffect also run workshops to bring together disabled young people, their technology and volunteers enables as many disabled people as possible to join in with what their friends play.
The StarGaze project loans the eye-gazing technology to people that are completely paralysed allowing them to operate a computer for communication, independance, work and leisure by simply moving their eyes. At Eurogamer Expo they brought this and some of the other technologies that they loan out to show everyone the side of gaming that is most often ignored through ignorance.
We had a go at the head-tracking software with a PC racing game, and the eye tracking software with another racing game. The technology without a doubt is absolutely stupendous, and the very subtle gestures required of you to control games are beautifully honed. Without a doubt SpecialEffect were the most impressive stand at Eurogamer Expo this year, and there was never a lack of people interested in their technology. If you wish to find out more about SpecialEffect, or donate to their cause visit their website.