What exactly IS a Gaming Specialist? Are they:
a) The highest-ranking member of a League of Legends clan?
b) A certain type of theoretical physicist?
c) That one friend who always requests Candy Crush lives on Facebook?
d) A video game and technology expert who works with hospitalized children?
The correct answer is D.
As a member of the Child Life Department, the primary role of a Gaming Specialist is to use video games and technology to make life as normal as possible for a kid who’s in the hospital. But Gaming Specialists aren’t just “playing games.” They’re using tools like virtual reality to help kids who are too sick to leave their rooms to escape into other worlds. They’re offering a distraction from painful procedures and sometimes even educating a child to help them better understand the procedure they’re about to undergo.
The power of gaming in improving quality-of-life for patients is immense. On the most basic level, playing games together is a great way to get kids out of their hospital beds and interacting with one another while simultaneously alleviating the boredom and loneliness that can set in during a hospital stay. Newer technologies, such as Virtual Reality and Augmented Reality, can have a truly transformative effect. Starlight offers programs like Starlight VR and Starlight Gaming to our 800+ hospital and healthcare center partners to deliver gaming to as many seriously ill children as possible.
Child Life staff have a difficult and vital job that makes an enormous difference in the lives of their patients. Having Gaming Specialists available allows clinicians to not only make the best use of the technology at their disposal but also keeps them on top of the latest developments thanks to the expertise they bring to the world of pediatrics.
To help us keep delivering happiness —and gaming — to seriously ill children, please donate today.