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SpecialEffect appoints two new VPs

Johnny Minkley and Kirsty Payne to help promote, grow and raise funding for videogame charity

SpecialEffect, the charity dedicated to helping young people with disabilities enjoy videogames, has appointed two new vice presidents from within the games industry.

Journalist Johnny Minkley and Mastertronic Group consultant Kirsty Payne have joined the charity and, in their new roles, will help the organisation in an advisory capacity to grow, attract further funding and raise awareness.

Minkley is an award-winning journalist who has been writing about games for a decade. He the editor of Eurogamer TV, contributor to numerous leading magazines and websites, including GamesIndustry.biz, and a games expert for BBC Radio 1.

Payne is a veteran of the games industry of 20 years and worked at companies including Codemasters, Mindscape and Activision before joining regarded specialist games agency Rocket Media then moving on to consult for the Mastertronic Group.

"The work SpecialEffect does to improve lives is inspiring and vitally important, so it's a huge honour for me to take on the role of vice president," said Minkley.

"The charity's projects are a striking example of the literally life-changing potential of technology and gaming, and the difference it can make in boosting self-esteem, promoting engagement and simply helping to make fun possible is amazing to witness. There's so much the games industry can do to help this brilliant team achieve its goals, so I'm delighted to be involved."

"As many as one person in every ten misses out on the joys and therapeutic benefits of gaming because of their disability. Kirsty has been involved in the charity since its launch and, in turn, kindly introduced us to Johnny soon after," added SpecialEffect director Dr Mick Donegan.

"Both of them have already been an immense help and support to us and share our goal of achieving 'GameOn for Everyone', no matter how disabled they are. We are absolutely delighted and honoured that they have accepted our invitation to become vice presidents of our games-related charity.”

The charity enable young people with disabilities to play games and use leisure technology by adapting, developing and modifying cutting-edge technology, including eye control.

It supports hospitals, hospices and special schools in finding leisure technology and provides an online service for children and parents to research games suitable for the needs of individuals with disabilities.