The Child’s Play charity reached its 20th anniversary last week and I had the pleasure of attending the celebratory dinner and auction!
It’s been a few years since I attended one of these nights and I decided it was time for a change. I ditched my 15 year old tuxedo and got a new suit! I’m not a guy who dresses up often but it was fun to go all out for one night.
There was a silent auction portion of the event that featured tables loaded with all kinds of gaming related goodies. I had my eye on the Playstation varsity jacket but the price went way past my budget which is a good thing because it was all for charity! I would have looked rad in that jacket though.
Already found a bunch of stuff I want! pic.twitter.com/Kn60tdbPIX— Gabe (@cwgabriel) November 11, 2023
Next folks moved to the dinner and live auction portion of the evening. This was hosted by the incredibly talented Kris Straub and Kate Welch. These two kept the crowd laughing and bidding all night! I decided to get up at the end and offer a surprise auction item. I offered to draw the winner’s D&D character. I was blown away when after a bunch of bidding we still had two people willing to donate 10k, so I ended up offering to do both! I know today’s comic features me completing one of these auction drawings from 2017 but I am committed to getting these new ones done well before 2030. Here’s a peek at the piece I finished last week for a previous winner who got their kids drawn into the Eyrewood.
I have to say my favorite part of the evening though was hearing from the Children’s Hospital Colorado. It started with a short video from the team there talking about their new position, “Gaming and Technology developer”. I’m going to share the video here so you can all see what your donations to Child’s Play are helping to accomplish! Take a couple minutes to watch this. I promise it will make your day better.
As you can see, having the ability to custom build games and applications can be an amazing tool to help these kids! I love that they are letting the patients get involved in the design process as well. The games featured in the video are incredible. Letting kids interact with the therapy dogs even in isolation and making physical therapy more fun are really smart implementations of technology and games.
In addition to the video, Abe and Bre from Children's Colorado did a live presentation at the dinner and talked to us a bit about some of their other projects. One that is not featured in the video but I found especially interesting is an application called “Gurney Journey”. This is an augmented reality app that helps children manage the very scary trip from their room to the operating room. With the Quest 3 headset on the kids see their normal hospital room all around them via AR. However the door leading out of their room is now a magic portal to a winter wonderland. As kids are wheeled out of their room they pass into a snowy landscape with a beautiful dancing aurora borealis above their heads instead of a maze of hospital hallways. This was designed in collaboration with the anesthesiologist so that the kids actually drift off to sleep in the headset looking up at the stars. Your donations are making this possible!
I am so incredibly proud of what Child’s Play has been able to accomplish over the past 20 years and none of it would have been possible without your support. Thank you all for believing in our goal of improving the lives of children in hospitals all over the world through games and technology. I believe we are just getting started.