Nonprofit brings video game therapy to sick kids

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Being stuck in a hospital room isn’t fun. For children it can be an especially lonely and scary place. That’s why the Gamers Outreach Foundation is providing video games to children’s hospitals to help with long-term treatment. 

The group started out in 2009 at Mott Children’s Hospital in Michigan, and witnessed firsthand the impact it made in the children’s lives. Kids that were unable to socialize were brought GO (Gamers Outreach) Karts. The medical-grade rolling kiosks feature a video game console with a monitor that allows nurses to bring the games to patients that can’t leave their room.  

Eight years later, the nonprofit helps more than 100,000 children in hospitals across the country.

The group’s 27-year-old founder, Zach Wigal, told Forbes, “Every time we get the chance to go into a hospital and deploy a GO Kart or get the chance to see volunteers interacting with kids, it’s incredibly powerful. It’s the most fulfilling thing that people can do.”

In addition to their GO Karts, Gamers Outreach also has their Player 2 initiative. They invite gaming enthusiasts into the hospitals to assist with tech support, distribute games, and sometimes just sit down and play the games with the kids. 

Wigal continued, “There are all these different scenarios where the video games are helping to aid the healthcare process, whether that be through distraction or therapy. It’s a way for kids to be motivated to get out of bed, and interact with other kids in the hospital.”

 

Watch the video to see how the nonprofit is helping kids get to the next level. 

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