Gaming Charity SpecialEffect Will Receive Prestigious BAFTA Special Award

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BAFTA has announced that UK gaming charity SpecialEffect will be presented with its prestigious Special Award at the 20th BAFTA Games Awards this April. SpecialEffect is a charity that uses technology to improve access to video games for people with physical disabilities.

SpecialEffect was started in 2007 as a collaboration between founder Mick Donegan, a specialist in assistive technology, and his son Bill, a gamer and product designer. SpecialEffect works with game developers to create accessible hardware and improve accessibility of video game software, as well as providing one-on-one assessments and support for severely disabled gamers.

The charity now has thirty employees and raises all its own funds, often aided by high profile fundraising campaigns from industry figures including voice actors, streamers, and game developers.

“I started SpecialEffect not only to help individuals to play video games but also to collaborate with the games industry to make their games more accessible ‘at source,'” Donegan said in a statement. “Since then, we have been privileged to be invited to share our ideas with more and more developers all over the world. Now, 17 years since SpecialEffect began, it’s an absolute honour for SpecialEffect’s work to be recognised by BAFTA.”

“SpecialEffect’s work is essential to the games world and is hugely deserving of a BAFTA Special Award,” said BAFTA’s executive director of awards Emma Baehr. “Their innovative and supportive approach to making games accessible drives progress within the industry, collaborating with developers and studios on new technologies to make games within reach to more people.”

The BAFTA Special Award is awarded sporadically to people and companies who have made major contributions to the games industry. Previous recipients of the award include Epic Games, voice actor Nolan North, Uncharted director Amy Hennig, and PlayStation marketer Chris Deering.

The 20th BAFTA Games Awards will take place on April 11, 2024.