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About Child’s Play

Started by the founders of Penny Arcade, Mike Krahulik and Jerry Holkins in 2003 uniting the gaming community and highlighting the good in the industry when Gamers Give Back! Child’s Play seeks to improve the lives of children and teens in children’s hospitals and other child welfare facilities through the kindness and generosity of the gamer community and the power of play. 

Focusing on helping change the patient experience, Child’s Play works closely with Child Life departments to understand their technology needs, provide solutions to gaming roadblocks and support their hospitals program with in-kind and cash contributions. We support more than 190 hospitals worldwide and 200 Domestic Violence Shelters in the US alone. 

The last five years Child’s Play has heavily focused on Gaming and Technology Specialists. These positions inside children’s hospitals have proven to enhance the patients experience while creating an environment that is inclusive around gaming. These technology specialists are able to promote immersive technology such as augmented and virtual reality to help provide distraction during procedures. This helps kids get home sooner and heal quicker. Child’s Play has funded 20 of these positions to date and continue to look for additional donor/sponsor support to grow this program. These capacity building grants allow the hospital to operationalize the positions in year 2 or 3 of their grant request. 

We know not all clinicians and caretakers in and outside the hospital setting are gamers. We want to meet people where they are at and show them the benefits of gaming and power of play. That’s why Child’s Play created the Therapeutic Video Game Guide, a tool to recommend video games for children based on their symptoms. The games are curated by researchers at EEDAR, a market-leading video game research firm, in collaboration with mental health researchers at UCSD. This guide was designed as a quick reference to help caretakers quickly select games for their patients. 

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