There are moments in time that can be remedied with a smile. So for children cooped up in a hospital, a smile can go a long way in bringing some much-needed joy. And in a world where video gaming stands amongst the most popular pastimes, what better way to bring a smile to those who could use one than with a visit from Mario and friends?
Well, thanks to the partnership between Nintendo of America and the nonprofit Starlight Children’s Foundation — an organization geared towards bringing happiness to seriously-ill children and their families — all that is being made possible. The two recently announced that 2021 will see a new wave of Nintendo Switch gaming stations rolling into healthcare facilities across the country.
After establishing the Starlight Gaming program in 2019, the two have since been delivering Starlight Nintendo Switch gaming stations to lighten the mood of hospital stays. With the first station unveiled at Mary Bridge Children’s Hospital in Tacoma, Washington, it is yet another successful initiative completed through the nearly three-decade-long partnership between Nintendo and Starlight Children’s Foundation.
“The gaming stations are important distraction tools that normalize the health care environment and help kids through difficult experiences,” Julie Hertzog, child life supervisor at Mary Bridge, said in 2019. “They provide choices for kids, motivate them, and give them the opportunity to have fun when it is needed most.”
There needn’t be any worry of game burnout as hospitalized children will have more than 25 titles to choose from including favorites like Super Mario Party and Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild.
Since 1992, these two outstanding organizations have come together to bring more than 7,200 gaming consoles to over 800 healthcare facilities. It’s an act like this which brings a little light to a world in need of it. Let’s give these two a round of applause.