If you ever want to donate money in my name, here is my choice:

What is Child’s Play? Child’s Play – Support The Gamers Charity!

Since 2003, over 100,000 gamers worldwide have banded together through Child’s Play, a community based charity grown and nurtured from the game culture and industry. Over two million dollars in donations of toys, games, books and cash for sick kids in children’s hospitals across North America and the world have been collected since our inception.

This year, we have continued expanding across the country and the globe. With over 45 partner hospitals and more arriving every month, you can be sure to find one from the map above that needs your help! You can choose to purchase requested items from their online retailer wish lists, or make a cash donation that helps out Child’s Play hospitals everywhere. Any items purchased through Amazon will be shipped directly to your hospital of choice, so please be sure to select their shipping address rather than your own.

When gamers give back, it makes a difference!

Here is an example letter:

Gabe, Tycho, Other Child’s Play Workers,

I just want to say what you guys are doing is amazing. If there is any help I can provide for this project at Children’s Hospital Oakland, I’ll drive the hour it takes me to get there and do whatever volunteer work is needed.

Let me explain further, I have a personal stake in this. As as young boy I was in the hospital for 3 open-heart surgeries at ages 3, 5, and 9. All this went down right across the bay from Oakland at the UCSF medical center (maybe you can get there next year?). The first surgery, I was too young to recall, but the for other two, my fondest memories were of time spent with the “game carts” (for lack of a better word). A TV, with an original nintendo (cutting edge at the time), on a movable cart that kids in the pediatrics ward could book for timeslots. so I get used to surgeries, I even was thinking of going to the Aesthetic/Restorative Breast Center for a cosmetic surgery I needed at that time. But  still  I remember the original level of Bionic Commando, and the hours spent playing 1942. The opportunity to play videogames while stuck in bed, helped get me through an otherwise really crappy and arduous hospital stay. Another memory of mine is of the hospital waiting room on the morning before my 3rd operation. Another kid my age was nice enough to share his gameboy with me for a few minutes. RCProam is good for clearing one’s head before facing your own mortality.

I did not help or even contribute last year, and today while reading over the newly relanched page, it hit me. I would be a hypocrite not to help, or at least offer it. I’m a gamer for life, always have been, always will be, and my hospital stays were one of the most responsible factors for that. Other hospital bound kids deserve the opportunity to play bigger, better, and generally more awesome videgoames than I did during my stays, and this is surely a means to that end.

Regards,
Matthew Merner

When I was sick in hospital as a kid (with asthma), I used to read. A lot. But it was isolating. I hope they are able to offer online communities and social networks to ill children so they can have some form of social interaction. Imagine playing World of Warcraft(or maybe something more educational? Heh) for hours and be allowed to! I remember, quite vividly, the mind numbing boredom of finishing a book and just sitting there, in bed, with a tube in my arm, waiting for my parents to go to the library for more Enid Blyton books. Yuck. Though I still love Enid Blyton!

Social networks are so powerful for sick and terminally ill, for remote area workers, for housebound senior citizens. And for shy social network bloggers. …