Earlier this year, Australia’s first Adolescent and Youth Hospice (AYAH) opened in Manly, and dozens of game developers from various industries joined forces to provide free games for patients.
Jess Damerst, Subnautica Release Manager at Unknown Worlds, spearheaded this charity event. On July 10, she wrote that she met with one of the center’s nurses and found out that his game room has three PS5 consoles and controllers, but few games. Having already shared several Subnautica codes with the center, Damerst reached out to other game developers to help, and the response has been amazing.
Replies to Dahmerst’s first tweet are filled with indie and AAA developers willing to share their games. Developers of games like Cloudpunk, Astroneer, God of War: Ragnarok, Jackbox Games, Moving Out and other great games have already contributed, and dozens of other developers have made personal contributions, according to Damerst.
I received so much information that it’s amazing. I can not believe this. I thought, “Oh, I’ll just tweet about it, I don’t think anyone reads Twitter.” But yes, it was amazing. I got about six or seven games from two companies, and also from just a few people. There were also responses from developers or people going in and asking their studio to give me keys, or marketing managers at a publishing house. I had PR agencies that provided keys and a few streamers that got in touch. I got a bunch of private messages from people, Humble Games reached out to me, I got a response from Gamers Outreach. I was shocked by the number of people.
The new AYAH center in the Australian city of Manly specializes in working with patients aged 15 to 24 with life-limiting illnesses and offers services for patient care, symptom management, end-of-life care and care coordination during the transition from child to adult,” the center’s official website says. Filling the game room for patients has been an important part of the center’s entertainment program, but center staff obviously have many other important things to do, so Damerst says she hopes to reduce burden on employees while making more games available to patients.
“Initially, I spoke with one employee to whom I just sent the keys to our game,” she explains. “But when I saw the kind of response I was getting, I thought I really needed to talk to them directly. So I called them and talked to the person who’s going to be doing the consoles and setting them up, and they were really excited. They said, ‘We’ve just opened, we don’t have that many games on consoles’ – I think they said they only had two or three games. They were very excited.”
I’ve helped with other initiatives, so I’m well aware that it’s possible to put people in the awkward position of having a bunch of everything but no one to manage it, so it creates an extra cost for them. So I try to respect them and what they want and need as a center. It looks like they agree on everything. They want to make it, they call it a game room, really great.
Specifically, Damerst hopes the center will be able to purchase additional PS5 controllers as well as games for multiplayer sessions at group family events. The process is ongoing, but in the near future, many patients of the center will have access to a solid library of games.