Fun and Games for a Hospitalized Child

Les and I still own our original Atari 2600. We keep talking of selling the gaming console and the 20+ games cartridges we still own, but I think nostalgia holds us back. We haven’t played them in years, but, oh, the memories!

I am thankful I never gambled, because if my gaming personality is any indication, I would be enrolled in Gamblers Anonymous. When Les and I were first married, I worked in retail, which means I worked on Saturdays and had a day off during the week. Les would head for work on my day off, and I would head for the Atari to play “just a few games” of Pacman or Super Breakout. Hours later, Les would arrive home to find me still sitting in the same spot on the floor, severely in need of a bathroom break and with my hand cramped up from gripping the joystick. See, if I’d had a bad game, I couldn’t end on that note. And if I had a good game, maybe the next one would be even better.

I still can get swallowed up in games of all types (Mahjongg, anyone?). I still get lost in the fun, in the thrill of trying to get further or score just a little higher. I know how time can fly when I’m absorbed in a game.

And hospitals know that too. That’s why Child’s Play exists.

Child’s Play works with the video game industry (and people like us) to supply games and toys to children’s hospitals based on the hospital’s wish list. Visit the hospital map, click on a hospital close to you (or across the globe), and you’ll be taken to the hospital’s Amazon wish list.

I know, I try not to use Amazon because of their destructive practices. But Amazon is what Child’s Play uses.

The wish lists contain items with a full range of pricing. The hospital nearest to me—A. I. DuPont—has crayons for $3.25 on its list and an iPad for $418. It includes video and other electronic game elements but also traditional games and toys, like Legos.

If you’re someone who is into games, you might want to consider the fun of donating a toy through Child’s Play. A donation of this type could also be a great way to honor a gamer in your life on his or her birthday or for Christmas.

Sickness isn’t child’s play. But you can still help a child play while she or he deals with that sickness. A few hours lost in the gaming world might be just what the doctor ordered.

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