Games in Healthcare

Nintendo Donates Wii Units to Children's Hospitals

Starlight Starbright LogoIn what is now a 16 year partnership, Nintendo of America and the Starlight Starbright Children's Foundation are teaming up again to deliver upgraded Fun Centers to children’s hospitals across the United States. With over 5,000 gaming stations already distributed over the years, Nintendo is unveiling new Fun Centers including brand new Wii consoles today at the Children's Hospital Los Angeles.

Nintendo is currently manufacturing 1,250 of these new Fun Centers, 500 of which will go to Starlight hospitals this year. These will provide rest and entertainment to thousands of sick kids across America. Read More...

“Everyone who has spent time in a hospital knows how scary and lonely it can be,” said Paula Van Ness, CEO of Starlight in a news release. “Our Fun Centers transform the hospital experience for children, bringing enjoyment and laughter to an otherwise daunting experience. And as an added benefit of this new Fun Center model, the Wii technology can be used to encourage children to do physical therapy and motor coordination exercises.”

The newly designed gaming stations are set to include Sharp AQUOS flat-screen television, a DVD player, along with a Wii system and a selection of family-friendly games like Super Mario Galaxy, Wii Sports and Mario Party 8.

Former Fun Centres included Nintendo GameCubes. Since the first model was created in 1992, more than 5,000 Nintendo consoles have been distributed to over 1,000 hospitals across North America.

“The Fun Centers serve as a diversional tool for Child Life Specialists to provide to patients and families in the playrooms, at bedside and throughout the hospital, including medical units, clinics and waiting rooms,” said Linda Garcia, Manager, Child Development Services, for Childrens Hospital Los Angeles.

“The Fun Centers promote socialization, mastery and fun. Through this play, children learn about cooperation, positive thinking and problem-solving skills. The Fun Centers also provide opportunities for hand strengthening and finger dexterity, an important therapeutic value for our patients undergoing physical rehabilitation,” added Garcia.