(CNN) — Being stuck in the hospital is no fun — especially when you’re a kid.
So what better way to pass the time than by playing some video games?
That’s the idea behind the new Nintendo Switch gaming stations being rolled out to hospitals and health care systems across the country.
The gaming stations are the latest initiative to come out of a yearslong partnership between Nintendo of America and the Starlight Children’s Foundation, a nonprofit organization that aims to bring happiness to seriously ill children and their families.
“Starlight Gaming has been a great aid in helping patients cope with hospitalization,” said Lexi Little of Christus Shreveport-Bossier Health System in Shreveport, Louisiana. “We cannot thank Starlight enough for impacting the lives of our patients, families, and staff members on a daily basis.”
Starlight announced earlier this month that this newest gaming station would soon be available to more children, after it debuted in December 2019 at Mary Bridge Children’s Hospital in Tacoma, Washington.
“The gaming stations are important distraction tools that normalize the health care environment and help kids through difficult experiences,” Julie Hertzog, child life supervisor at Mary Bridge, said in a statement at the time. “They provide choices for kids, motivate them, and give them the opportunity to have fun when it is needed most.”
Hospitalized kids will have more than 25 games with which to distract themselves with, including “Super Mario Party” and “The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild.”
The stations are easy to clean and transport from room to room — an added bonus at a time when an infectious virus continues to spread and many hospital playrooms are closed due to the pandemic.
Since the partnership began nearly three decades ago, Starlight and Nintendo have delivered more than 7,200 gaming stations to more than 800 hospitals and health care facilities, according to a news release.
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