Generations Cures Launches Nation's First Online Game-a-Thon to Raise Funds for Pediatric Research
Tweens Use Technology, Fun and Games to Fight Childhood Diseases
April 20, 2009
Boston, Mass. -- Generation Cures from Children's Hospital Boston, officially launched the country's first "Game for Good" game-a-thon. The two-month competition lets tweens use their gaming powers for good to fuel the discovery of cures and treatments for serious childhood diseases.
As more and more kids turn to the Web to make a difference, the Generation Cures "Game for Good/Make it Better" (g4gmib) Challenge puts tweens in the giving driver's seat. Just like they do in traditional fundraising initiatives like walk-a-thons, kids raise money by securing sponsors to reward their efforts in support of a good cause. However, with the game-a-thon model, kids can change the world right from their own homes as adult sponsors support their progress in an educational-adventure game on the Generation Cures site. While they have fun and learn, tweens are making a big difference for peers who are facing serious health issues.
"This initiative is novel because kids can help other kids on their own terms," said Jan Cady, Chief Philanthropy Officer, Children's Hospital Boston. "Knowing tweens love to play games, we designed an interactive adventure that teaches young people about the power of giving and the science of medicine. The result is a fantastic game called Caduceus that not only inspires kids to change the world; it lets them actually do it."
From Virtual Cures to Real-World Breakthroughs
The Caduceus game transports kids to a virtual world where they take on the role of young healers tracking down the source of a mysterious plague. As they solve scientific puzzles, tweens experience the same hurdles that real doctors and scientists face in their work. They are challenged to track down the source of the disease, isolate its causes and mix and match ingredients to find a cure.
As kids conquer each of the game levels, portions of their sponsors' pledges are unlocked and donated to Children's Hospital Boston. If they complete all five, they cure the virtual plague, earn the title "Master Healer" and win the full donation amount to advance real-world cures for kids. All funds raised go directly to research to find cures and treatments for debilitating childhood illnesses including cancer, diabetes and heart disease.
Kids can enter "Game for Good" challenge by registering for free on the Generation Cures site (www.kids.generationcures.org). Once registered, kids can reach out to parents, relatives and family friends, asking them to sponsor their game play by making a "Game for Good" pledge of any dollar amount.
"I play on Generation Cures because I love interactive games and these are awesome, plus I'm helping to do something good for sick kids," said Siobhan, a fifth grader in Massachusetts. "My mom has sponsored me, so I know that with each new game level I reach, part of her donation goes to Generation Cures. The games are really hard, but it's a cool way to make a difference so I really want to finish all five levels."
In addition to the interactive Caduceus game, the Generation Cures website features an animated cartoon series about a high school rock band that makes a difference through music and moving kid-directed videos filmed by former patients of Children's Hospital Boston.
The Generation Cures Game for Good competition kicks off today and runs through June 14, 2009. For more information, visit www.kids.generationcures.org.
Julie Murphy, CXO Communication
Generation Cures is a web-based philanthropic community built especially for tweens (ages 8-12) and their parents, providing free and safe access to original content that teaches kids about the power of caring, compassion and giving. Representing an innovative new approach to e-Philanthropy and a healthcare first, Generation Cures mobilizes kids and their families to help fund research to cure debilitating children's diseases.
Children's Hospital Boston is a leading source of life-saving treatments, groundbreaking research and compassionate care for children in New England and worldwide. In its annual "America's Best Hospitals" issue, U.S. News and World Report has rated Children's Hospital Boston one of the top two children's hospitals for 19 consecutive years. Children's Hospital Boston has the largest and most active research program at a children's medical center.