With over 45,000 gaming enthusiasts attending the event annually, the Insomnia Gaming Festival in Birmingham in the UK has implemented new measures to make the event more accessible. The issue of accessibility has been addressed in terms of both mental and physical barriers. Every aspect of accessibility has been considered, for example, making the venue more wheelchair-accessible, as well as all their staff having training in mental health first aid. These positive changes may encourage more people to attend the Insomnia Festival. This aims to bring a wider range of gamers from all walks of life together.
Special Effect charity
As well as this, Insomnia Festival has partnered with the UK-based charity, Special Effect. This charity aims to use technology and video games to help improve the lives of people with physical disabilities. Also, the charity will act as an advisory partner at the Insomnia Gaming Festival, helping implement the inclusive policies.
Marketing and social media manager at Player1 events, Phil Crawford recognized the importance of making such events more accessible. He said, “Working with Special Effect has truly opened our eyes to show how alienating a festival environment can be for those with additional needs.” In addition he recognized the “stress that queuing can cause those with anxiety: there’s so much that can be taken for granted.” Ultimately, this led to the changes being made, in an attempt to remove as many mental and physical obstacles as possible.
The next Insomnia Gaming Festival will return to Birmingham’s NEC facility. It will take place between April 10 and April 13, and tickets are available for purchase. A variety of guests have been announced to be attending the gaming festival via the Insomnia Gaming Festival Twitter page. For example, content creator Kevin “Call me Kevin” O’Reilly will be attending on the Friday and Saturday dates.
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