May 16, 2022

Games Are For Everyone: Insomnia Gaming Festival Sets A New Standard of Accessibility

Everyone is equal in front of a game. The only thing that matters is your imagination and desire to experience new worlds. That is why many people find comfort in gaming communities.

Here, they can share their passion with like-minded people around the world. But, most importantly, feel welcome and included in something bigger.

New Levels Of Inclusion

Understanding the value of this, the organisers of Insomnia Gaming Festival – Player1 Events, has placed an extra focus on accessibility. They have also invited Special Effect, the UK gamers charity, to advise them on how to create a better experience for people with special needs.

“Working with Special Effect has truly opened our eyes to just how alienating a festival environment can be for those with additional needs. From simple things, like accessibility issues into the venue, to the stress that queuing can can cause those with anxiety: there’s so much that can be taken for granted. That’s why we’re changing the way we run our festivals, looking at prevention as well as cure, and placing a focus on designing out the obstacles”.

Phil Crawford, Player1 Events

And even in their approach to accessibility, organisers are thinking inclusively. They go beyond making sure that areas are wheelchair-accessible and stairs are not in the way. They also train all of their staff to provide mental health support and sell special tickets for carers.

“Making the event entirely unrestricted for everybody is incredibly important for us. Insomnia Gaming Festival has always been about creating a sense of community beyond the computer screen; but we know that we cannot do that if we don’t truly take into account the needs of everyone. We want to make sure that all gamers feel part of the action and can enjoy the unrivalled atmosphere, without worrying about whether they will be included”.

Phil Crawford, Player1 Events
More People To Consider

Insomnia Festivals manage to attract more and more visitors each year. Especially because of the growing popularity of esports. In 2020, organisers are hoping to increase the number of visitors from 45,000 to 60,000.

This year, the festival is coming back from 10th to 13th April to the NEC, Birmingham. There, players can meet their favourite YouTubers, play new or retro games, experience VR, or tabletop games. You can already buy tickets on the website of the event.

Here you can also find more information about the accessibility of the venue. And for an early article by ABG‘s own Darren Colley about Special Effect, check this out. Special Effect is a near and dear organisation that is close to Darren (and ABG‘s) heart.


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