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Why it matters: 2020 has, without a shadow of a doubt, been awful, so we can all appreciate some good news. Nintendo and the Starlight Children's Foundation has obliged by announcing their latest gaming stations are being rolled out to hospitals and health care facilities around the country.
Nintendo of America has been working with the Starlight Children's Foundation for more than 28 years now. The partnership aims to bring happiness to kids who are seriously ill by providing hours of fun and distraction through playing Nintendo games.
The partnership has delivered 7,200 gaming stations containing consoles from across the years, including the SNES, Nintendo 64, Nintendo GameCube, Wii, and Wii U. More than 800 locations have received the systems, reaching 11.6 million children in need.
Nintendo and Starlight last year announced their latest gaming station, one based on the Switch hybrid. It comes in four designs---Mario, Princess Peach, Yoshi, and Donkey Kong---and can be cleaned and disinfected easily, an essential feature in the time of Covid-19.
The Starlight Nintendo Switch Gaming station also features a monitor and is mounted on a wheeled stand, allowing it to be rolled between beds and around hospitals. It comes with 25 pre-loaded games, including The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild, Super Mario Maker 2, Super Mario Party, Pokémon: Let's Go Pikachu, Super Mario Odyssey, Stardew Valley, Cuphead, and Minecraft.
"The gaming stations are important distraction tools that normalize the health care environment and help kids through difficult experiences," said Julie Hertzog, CCLS, child life supervisor at Mary Bridge Children's Hospital in Tacoma, Washington. "They provide choices for kids, motivate them, and give them the opportunity to have fun when it is needed most."