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Enable Gaming - Launched!

Computer games are changing children’s lives in hospices across the country. Students on London South Bank University’s BA (Hons) Game Cultures course have been commissioned by charity Lifelites to develop video games accessible to youngsters with disabilities, prototypes of which were unveiled at a ‘sneak peek’ industry event held at LSBU on 31 May 2013.

Lifelites, a charity that provides specialist technology for young people at all 49 baby and children’s hospices throughout the British Isles, tasked LSBU students with creating a variety of accessible games: from traditional platform and racing games, to more abstract and experience-based worlds. The games have been developed for hardware specifically created and supplied by Lifelites to children in hospices throughout the country.

“This project is amazing on so many fronts,” says Siobhán Thomas, course director for Game Cultures at LSBU. “Students get the chance to work with a professional client on a real-life brief. They’re under pressure to deliver quality games and they know what they’re doing has real-life consequences.

“This project really has the power to change the lives of children in hospices. It’s not just a university assignment. It provides students with the type of life lessons that are impossible to replicate in a classroom—life lessons that make somebody graduating from university incredibly employable.”

Lifelites says that their technology packages provide youngsters with severe disabilities better opportunities to learn, play and participate with their brothers, sisters and mates. At Richard House in Beckton, for example, groups of boys stay up all hours, thrashing each other at football, exploring new worlds, racing expensive cars and behaving like all other teenage boys—enjoying games and forging friendships.

The technology is specially designed with disability in mind: the head-mouse gives children with low motor skills the chance to use the computer and type like anyone else. Special mices are installed for interactive and story-telling games. And each package includes an adjustable touch-screen computer so that children can paint and play.

“It’s so exciting to be involved with a development project like this,” says Lifelites chief executive Simone Enefer-Doy. “Especially as it’s the first project of its kind.
“Accessibility isn’t always at the forefront of a game developer’s mind, so it’s been really interesting to see the ways in which these talented students have used it as a launchpad for some really fantastic ideas.”

Aaron Morley is a third-year studying Game Cultures at LSBU. He’s been volunteering as a press officer for Lifelites as part of the on-going collaboration between the charity and LSBU.

“It’s not often that a group of students have the chance to pitch a real product to a real client, but that is the opportunity that my classmates and I were given when we were asked to produce a game for severely disabled children in hospices.
“There were a lot of constraints, the most important—and problematic—of which was that all the games had to be playable using just one button.

“To put that into perspective, the average keyboard has more than 100 buttons, a mouse generally has three, and even the earliest of computer games utilised at least two.

“Taking this into account, you can understand why accessibility isn’t always a priority for developers. It’s really exciting to be part of a project that helps develop and launch our creative ideas.”

“Few games industry professionals have this kind of skillset,” adds Siobhán.

“Students can go into companies and share this knowledge about how to make games accessible and, as a result, the industry itself changes, from the ground up.”

“Places are fiercely fought for and we will have to ensure that our work is up to scratch,” says Aaron. “I’ve had the opportunity to speak with some of my games industry heroes. It has been a brilliant networking opportunity and an invaluable addition to our CVs.”

“That’s the holy grail, isn’t it?” says Siobhán. “Students aren’t just learning skills, they’re taking away a phenomenal life experience from this.”
[This story is an excerpt from a LSBU publication]


Lifelites Master's Ride

Mon 24th Jun 2013 

Over 100 cyclists complete Master’s Ride for Lifelites

Cyclists riding from London to Brighton as part of the Lifelites Master’s Ride raised more than £20,000 for Lifelites last Saturday (22 June).


Open Garden this weekend

Fri 6th Dec 2013 

15 & 16 June 2014: Open Garden at “Thatched Cottage” for Lifelites


Lots of fun in store for Lifelites at Sainsbury’s

Tue 25th Jun 2013 

Children’s Charity Launch Partnership with Sainsbury’s Local in Holborn

With balloons and banners adorning the shelves and checkouts, the team at Sainsbury’s Local in Holborn were on hand to welcome children’s charity Lifelites yesterday (Monday 24 June) as the store unveiled its new fundraising partnership for the year.


Lifelites @ Grace House

Sat 20th Jul 2013 

Lifelites arrived at Grace House with a bundle of fun and educational technology that has been put together especially for the youngsters at the brand new children’s hospice.

With some of the children who will be using the technology, their parents and the hospice staff looking on excitedly, the charity unveiled a range of state-of-the-art kit designed to get even the most severely disabled Grace House visitors playing and learning.


Run away with us!

Tue 2nd Jul 2013 

Shape up for Summer with Lifelites.


Get Pedalling for Lifelites

Mon 1st Apr 2013 

There are still a few places left on this year's London to Brighton Master's Ride, which is being held this year in aid of Lifelites.


Lifelites runners complete Silverstone Half Marathon

Sun 3rd Mar 2013 

Three runners braved the cold March winds of Northamptonshire this weekend to run around the home of British motorsport, Silverstone.


Little Bundles of Joy

Mon 25th Feb 2013 

Three Zoë’s Place baby hospices are to receive magical packages of fun technology thanks to national children’s charity Lifelites.


New Year takes off for Lifelites

Mon 11th Feb 2013 

Thomas Cook Children’s Charity, Children with Cancer and other Lifelites donors help to give children in hospices the time of their lives.


Lifelites Levels Up in Defence of Gaming - Again

Fri 1st Feb 2013 

The debate that won’t die received a last gasp power-up this week as the head of EA Games, John Riccitiello, was forced into iron-man mode to discuss the causal link between gaming and violence.


King of Shaves Angus Takes Bald Step for Lifelites

Wed 23rd Jan 2013 

Trichophobics should look away now...


A Christmas Cracker!

Mon 17th Dec 2012 

The bpma held its annual Christmas lunch at the Guoman Tower Hotel in London in December and Lifelites was the chosen charity.


Double Your Money - Christmas Challenge

Sat 1st Dec 2012 

This year, for the first time ever, Lifelites are taking part in the Big Give Christmas Challenge.


The Eyes have it

Mon 12th Nov 2012 

Lifelites Donate Cutting Edge Technology to Children in Yorkshire Hospice.


Lifelites Feature in Lord Mayor’s Show

Tue 13th Nov 2012 

Lifelites Feature in Lord Mayor’s Show


Two for joy in October

Wed 31th Oct 2012 

Lifelites install two brand new and award-winning packages in children’s hospices this month, Chestnut Tree House in Arundel and the CHSW Charlton Farm, near Somerset.


Lifelites, Camera, Action!

Mon 29th Oct 2012 

Lifelites equipment used for filmmaking celebrated at Richard House fourth annual ‘Oscars’ ceremony.


Jump! For Lifelites

Thu 4th Oct 2012 

Thirteen brave (or foolish!) souls got up early last Saturday to jump off Tower Bridge in support of their local Lifelites projects. 


Pooled Together in Surrey

Mon 1st Oct 2012 

The Presentation Event was held at The Croydon Masonic Centre at which a total of over £17,000 was presented to 8 different Charities.


GamesAid - Your Vote Counts

Thu 13th Sep 2012 

You can be the difference between £20k and nothing.


St Oswald's Got Game thanks to Lifelites

Thu 20th Sep 2012 

Children at a Newcastle children's hospice have access to state-of-the-art fun and educational technology thanks to Lifelites


Ready for take off

Wed 12th Sep 2012 

Lifelites Launch Party a success - gaming stations spark competitive streak - Pledges made!


Lifelites Turns Up the Volume

Sat 8th Sep 2012 

Martin House in Yorkshire will become the first children’s hospice to have run its own radio project.


Gong! Chief Executive Announced Digital Leader

Wed 6th Jun 2012 

More Praise for Lifelites' Innovation as Chief Executive is Announced Digital Leader.


Team Lifelites Run the Capital

Fri 1st Jun 2012 

Great turnout for Lifelites at the BUPA London 10k


Winning Awards, and what it means for charities

Sat 28th Apr 2012 

Winning Awards, and what it means for charities 


Middlesex Masons Put Stars in the Sky

Fri 20th Apr 2012 

Relief Fund donation ‘Makes the difference’ to Lifelites project at local children’s hospice


Lifelites Leap to the Defence of Gaming

Wed 4th Apr 2012 

As featured in the Evening Standard


Lifelites Celebrate Chancellor’s Vision for the UK Gaming Industry

Fri 23rd Mar 2012 

There’s an awful lot of number-crunching to be done as the dust settles on George Osborne’s second budget. But, as the Chancellor made his historic journey from Downing Street to the despatch box in the House of Commons, some technology charities were already feeling optimistic.

“It’s great news for charities like ours,” said Simone Enefer-Doy, the Lifelites’ Chief Executive of Lifelites’ the award-winning charity that provides fun and educational technology for children in children’s hospices throughout Great Britain and Northern Ireland.

“Gaming and the gaming industry are central to the work we do,” she continued, “We already know that gaming makes children more creative. But it also changes the lives of children with profound learning disabilities.”

“And that’s really important,” she continued, “Gaming isn’t just about teenage boys in bedrooms anymore. Games are being used in our projects all over the country as a means of giving terminally ill and disabled children the chance to express themselves, and to take some form of control.”

Simone said, “We’d like the Chancellor to go further: let’s use Britain’s place at the forefront of technology to make Britain accessible, and let’s start that revolution with games for children with disabilities.”

Lifelites were announced as a charity partner of gaming industry’s charity GamesAid last year.


Tech 4 Good Awards 2012 Launched

Wed 7th Mar 2012 

Lifelites were invited to mark the launch of the Technology 4 Good Awards at the BT Tower this week, having had a very successful time at the ceremony last year.


Lifelites Donate Pre-Loved Computers to Charity

Wed 1st Feb 2012 

Children’s technology charity donate their used equipment to Computers 4 Africa 


Lifelites Triumphs at Technology 4 Good Awards with Double Win!

Fri 1st Jun 2012 

Lifelites was the toast of the inaugural Technology 4 Good Awards  in June, winning both the Accessibility Award and the Best in Show.


Lifelites a sure thing

Tue 1st May 2012 

Lifelites delighted to be nominated as chosen charity for social software company Surevine.



Rotaract Club holds race night for Lifelites

Tue 1st Mar 2011 

Thank you to Epsom Rotaract Club for raising a brilliant £1,326 for Lifelites by holding a Race Night in March.


Lifelites supporter abseils 450ft

Tue 28th Feb 2012 

Lifelites supporter Dave Foy bravely abseiled 450 ft down Guys Hospital Building last Sunday.


Scrapping your car?

Tue 14th Feb 2012 

You can now donate your scrap car to Lifelites and raise much needed funds, without it costing you a penny.


Sam Smith completes Brighton Half-Marathon

Wed 1st Feb 2012 

Lifelites supporter Sam Smith ran the Brighton Half-Marathon for Lifelites


Lady Kalms becomes Lifelites patron

Sat 1st Jan 2011 

Lifelites is pleased to welcome Lady Pamela Kalms MBE (wife of the Founder and the current President of DIXONS Retail Plc) as our newest Patron.


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