Growing up with a bunch of friends that loved to play video games, I developed a very strong connection to the world of gaming. In my younger age, believe it or not, I was a bit of a nerd. Unfortunately, doing things that the school jocks and cool kids did never became part of my routine. While my fellow cohorts drove out to a park to drink or sneak into places they shouldn’t, I kept my time busy playing games. For me, video games took me to a place that let me forget about the problems of my day. I was the hero that stormed into the battlefield, slaying the evil warlord that threatened my people. I kicked a soccer ball at the speed of sound, leaving the goalkeeper in complete amazement at my skill. Video games allowed me to dream big and think outside of the box.
What I never thought about my time gaming was the fact that I actually COULD pick up a controller and turn on a TV. My physical ability allowed me to do things that others can’t, even something as simple as turning on a TV. When I think about people who don’t get to experience the joy and thrill of jumping into another world, it truly breaks my heart.
Enter the AbleGamers charity. From their website, AbleGamers describes themselves as:
“A 501(c)(3) nonprofit charity organization that empowers children, adults and veterans with disabilities through the power of videogames. AbleGamers holds the largest community for gamers with disabilities found anywhere in the world.”
In 2004, Mark Barlet and Stephanie Walker came together to create a charity that allows people with disabilities to participate in playing games and participating with other people to create a lasting bond. By advocating to developers and companies who design video games, they are able to provide the best practices to help these individuals enjoy gaming. AbleGamers help describe the walls that disabled gamers must overcome in order to enjoy a specific game or genre.
AbleGamers will always welcome donations and volunteers to their cause. To date for 2016, AbleGamers have raised over $64,000. If you are interested in helping, visit http://www.ablegamers.com
(Thanks to AbleGamers for information regarding their cause)