The William Merritt Centre in Leeds has been a long-time supporter of SpecialEffect, so we were stoked to hear that they were going to take part in GameBlast again. We asked them to share a few words about who they are and what they’ll be doing for this GameBlast20.
“Here at the William Merritt Centre we offer impartial professional advice and assessments to enhance people’s independence in everyday living,” said Maxine, a therapist assistant at the centre, “This includes gaming. We know how important the work that SpecialEffect is, which is why we take part in GameBlast.”
“The William Merritt Centre has taken part in GameBlast since 2015 and the event has just grown and grown since then. We started off in a room with 10-12 people, and today it takes over the whole building with nearly 40 people gaming.”
“Our event is split into two areas. The ground floor hosts a drop-in for a more casual gaming environment, and this is open to any gamer of any ability. We have the luxury of having some adaptive equipment so that people with disabilities who are unable to use a standard controller can also take part in GameBlast. However on the first floor I suggest people only enter at their own risk – this where you will find all the intense hardcore gamers, who bring their own equipment and set up camp for 24 hours. The the only time we hear from them is if the internet goes down.”
William Merritt Centre gamer Colin McDonnell, who has taken part every year, says: “In the last five years I have seen a dramatic change in the technology that has enabled more people with disabilities like myself to play video games. By raising money for SpecialEffect, we are ensuring all people with disabilities get the opportunity to take part in gaming if they want to.”
Anyone wishing to sponsor the William Merritt Centre team and support SpecialEffect can do so via their JustGiving site.