Written by Cynella; PSHG Founder and Team Writer
Every year children are diagnosed with several illnesses that can lead to long stays in the hospital. Whether short-term or long-term, the normal routine of a child is interrupted as the focus turns to treatment and sickness, instead of just being a kid. In 2003, the founders of Penny Arcade, Mike Krahulik and Jerry Holkins, wanted a way for the gaming community to get involved with helping sick children. After a very successful drive for the Seattle’s Children Hospital, Child’s Play was born and has grown to a network of over 70 hospitals. (Click link for list of Hospitals)
Child’s Play is dedicated to improving the lives of children in hospitals around the world through the kindness and generosity of the video game community and the power of play. Studies show that children that are able to play games while undergoing treatments tend to request less pain medication. Technology such as the Kinect or the Wii Balance board help in Physical therapy.
I found a fantastic article that lists 50 Video Games that can be used for Physical Therapy and Rehab. Find it here.
Letters to Child’s Play
My little sister has intercranial hypertension, which basically means that her body makes way too much spinal fluid and it starts to squeeze her brain and give her the worst headache ever. She’s been hospitalized a dozen times since she was 12 and has had to have six spinal taps to drain all the extra fluid. We live in Salt Lake City, Utah and the only hospital in the state that she can go to for the specialized care she needs is the Primary Children’s Medical Center right next to the University of Utah.
The pain from the headaches and severe exhaustion and illness caused by the medicine she takes while hospitalized mean that she doesn’t have the mental facilities required to read a book or do her school work while she’s in, so pretty much she just gets to play the cheap boardgames the hospital keeps around that were probably picked up at a secondhand store somewhere.
The last time she was in, though—about a year ago—the Child’s Play fairy had visited and left an Xbox 360 Core System in her room. She’d been watching me play Fallout 3 for a few weeks at home, and was interested, so I snuck in my own 360’s external hard drive and Fallout 3 into her hospital room the first night she was in the hospital. She was hospitalized for nearly a week and beat the entire main storyline of the game and even spent some time getting familiar with the dozen or so Arcade titles I had bought. According to the doctors, it was the quickest recovery she had ever made out of the many hospital stays she had made up to then.
So, I’m really thankful for Child’s Play. This charity really helped my baby sister when she was at her worst and when I think how many other millions of people’s younger siblings have the same story, it just makes me bawl like a little girl. -Sean Brown , age 25
Since the inception of Child’s Play, I’ve donated every year—long before I a became a father. I’ve been an avid gamer all my life, and have given my daughter the “gamer” bug. When she was diagnosed with cancer at the beginning of 2011, just after my last donation to Child’s Play, it became apparent that I would soon see the charity from the other side. Our year-long struggle with her treatments and frequent hospital stays have been enriched by the time we’re able to spend with her playing games in the hospital just as we would at home (only with better games and a larger selection). Our local children’s hospital has quite obviously benefited significantly from these donations, and this year I donated more than any year previous. Having seen the “other side” of the effect of the donations, I can think of no better gift to children who need every last bit of enjoyment in otherwise miserable situations.
At PS Home Gazette, we find the mission of Child’s Play to be a very noble one. As gamers, we would love to support Child’s Play by throwing our own charity event the entire month of March. All proceeds will be directly deposited into Child’s Play’s PayPal account; all donations are tax-deductible. In addition to a donation box located on our site, several PlayStation Home developers have graciously donated codes, redeemable for Home items. Items will be distributed as prizes at Donor Events. Click here to read more about Events.
Of course we would love to be able to give everyone something for donating. In addition to being automatically eligible to win a handful of prizes for donating, we will be issuing a thank you certificate via email. (Similar to the Shamrock you fill out for donating to the Childrens Miracle Network.)
We hope you will join PS Home Gazette to raise money for Child’s Play. We have a month full of fun events and contests to help you get involved in this great cause. Although we are only holding this event for a short time, we encourage you to get involved by volunteering at your local hospital, by holding your own fundraiser, or by just making a decision to donate annually to Child’s Play. Help Child’s Play improve the lives of children in hospitals around the world through the power of play.
For Questions about the fundraiser, please feel free to contact me at: firstname.lastname@example.org
For more information regarding Child’s Play, please visit the Child’s Play Website: http://www.childsplaycharity.org
To learn more about Penny Arcade, visit: http://penny-arcade.com/