Video Games Connect Chronically Ill Children Isolated at Home, Hospital

Video Games Connect Chronically Ill Children Isolated at Home, Hospital
Dara Riva always had a rule that her 10-year-old son could play video games only once a week. But then the COVID-19 pandemic struck, and her perspective changed. Riva's son, Maximilian, has cystic fibrosis (CF), making him particularly susceptible to COVID-19 and the complications that can arise from it. As he complies with stay-at-home orders and remains in social isolation during the pandemic, video games have helped him stay connected with the outside world from his home in Frederick, Maryland. “When we shifted to staying home all the time, we saw the value in him being able to stay connected with friends,” Riva said in a phone interview with BioNews Services, which publishes this website. That same idea of connecting through video games is more pervasive than ever in the hospital setting because safety concerns related to COVID-19 have left chronically ill patients without child life specialists and fewer visitors. “We're hearing from hospital partners that video games are in higher demand than ever,” said Zach Wigal in an email. Wigal is the founder of Gamers Outreach, a nonprofit that provides video games to children’s hospitals. “With the limitation of visitors and restriction
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