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GameChanger Gives An Escape To Children That Need It Most

We focus on the charitable organization GameChanger. Find out how this amazing group helps children with illness by giving them some much needed playtime.

Illness is unfortunately a fact of life for some people, but it’s especially tragic when it comes to children. Fortunately, there is respite from pain with charitable organizations like GameChanger. For over a decade, GameChanger has partnered with video game and technology companies and hospitals around the country to create joy and positivity for children that have been seriously hospitalized.

GameChanger, according to their website, has “leveraged technology & innovation to ease the pain and suffering of children facing life-threatening illnesses.” Since 2006, The organization has delivered gift packages to children suffering with illnesses and other serious medical conditions. Additionally, GameChanger takes things a step further in what their director of Operations & Technology, David Arditti, laid out an extensive approach to the charity’s mission.

GameChanger was founded by Taylor Carol and his father Jim. Taylor is a survivor of leukemia who cited video games as a much-needed distraction during his treatment and wished to pay it forward.
GameChanger was founded by Taylor Carol and his father Jim. Taylor is a survivor of Leukemia who cited video games as a much-needed distraction during his treatment and wished to pay it forward to other children in need.

GameChanger’s approach is a four-pronged method to helping hospitalized children.

The first phase of their work is called the “Gamers Give Back” Tour. In addition to supplying children with video game packages in partnership with Child’s Play, they also assist children’s hospital staff with questions, technical help, advice, and more. GameChanger is partnered with over 100 hospitals to provide these services.

Next, GameChanger brings VR headsets to about 10 children’s hospitals and some camps sponsored by the Serious Fun Children’s Network started by Paul Newman. Their research has shown that the use of VR headsets positively impact treatment behavior and reduce pain levels from children receiving painful treatment.

GameChanger's arrival at the Women and Children’s Hospital of Buffalo in New York marked the last of about 40 stops in their
GameChanger's arrival at the Women and Children’s Hospital of Buffalo in New York marked the last of about 40 stops in their Gamer's Giving Back Tour in 2017, with even more trips planned for 2018.

GameChanger also sets up “Play Days” where the organization turns the hospital into a “pop-up arcade,” as Arditti put it. The children are allowed to play to their heart’s content with games and consoles supplied by various partnered companies and publishers. These events have also been set up at PAX, TwitchCon and E3, where members of the streaming community also join in on the fun.

Lastly, GameChanger awards about 20 to 40 scholarships a year to young people who are looking to begin college after having their lives derailed due to medical reasons. These scholarships help those who come out of debilitating illness or financial hardship caused by it get back on the right track with their education. In many cases, the children could not continue education without these scholarships.

The results are often more than a little heartwarming.

Arditti told me a story about a recent trip to a children’s hospital, where a 10-year old patient and a 14-year old patient struggling with serious illnesses both received care packages from GameChanger, including games, systems and an iPad for the younger patient. He pointed out how people can take it for granted how easily they can purchase electronics and video games. On the flipside, for these kids, it can mean the whole world to them. Hearing David get a bit emotional as he explained this really pushes just how dedicated he and the organization are to this cause - and why they absolutely deserve our support.

Jack Harrthy is an enthusiastic young man who makes a positive impact for those around him despite his diagnosis of cancer. He was one of the latest recipients of a scholarship on behalf of GameChanger in 2017.
Jack Harrthy is an enthusiastic young man who makes a positive impact for those around him despite his diagnosis of cancer. He was one of the latest recipients of a scholarship on behalf of GameChanger in 2017.

To learn more about GameChanger, you can visit their website, follow them on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram. You can use these to learn more about the various campaigns the organization runs with partners. Arditti mentioned that they recently held a promotion where the winner received a $15,000 gaming PC courtesy of NVIDIA. You can bet that even if you don’t win, your support is going towards a worthy cause.

You can also follow their Twitch channel to donate and participate in various campaigns. Arditti promised more events would be coming in 2018, making this channel definitely one to watch.

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