Elf Island Offering Gifting Option to Patients at Columbus’ Nationwide Children’s Hospital

Elf Island (www.elfisland.com), the virtual world that allows kids to Play Games and Do Good has announced a special gifting option that brings annual memberships to patients at Nationwide Children’s Hospital (NCH) in Columbus, OH.
By: Mitch Leff
 
May 1, 2009 - PRLog -- Contact: Mitch Leff, (404) 861-4769, mitch@leffassociates.com

Elf Island Offering Gifting Option to Patients at Columbus’ Nationwide Children’s Hospital

Strategic Partnership Focuses on the Well Being of Kids Who Need a Boost in Fun

ATLANTA, May 1, 2009 – Elf Island (www.elfisland.com), the virtual world that allows kids to Play Games and Do Good has announced a special gifting option that brings annual memberships to patients at Nationwide Children’s Hospital (NCH) in Columbus, OH.
      
As one of America's largest pediatric hospitals, patients travel from across the U.S. and internationally to receive medical care at NCH.  For many of the patients, treatment can result in weeks or month of hospital care due to transplants, cancer care and major surgeries.  

Recognizing the strong synergy between empowerment and healing, Elf Island and Nationwide Children’s Hospital have formed a strategic partnership to reach beyond the hospital beds and the illnesses to give these kids an opportunity to have fun, interact with other kids and do good by bringing real results to other people, animals and our Earth.

In addition to the gifting program, Elf Island is also creating a GoodQuest this winter to fund computers for the kids seeking treatment at NCH. The hospital currently has just one computer for every 20-25 patients.

“Nationwide Children’s Hospital is honored and excited to be a beneficiary of Elf Island's mission to empower children to do good,” said Steve Allen, CEO, Nationwide Children’s Hospital.  "This is a wonderful opportunity to add a unique aspect to the healing process for the thousands of children we see annually."

Through this gifting program, Elf Island gives people two options:
•   Buy an annual membership for a child in your family and Elf Island will gift an annual membership to a patient at Nationwide Children’s Hospital
•   For those who don’t have kids but are supporters, people have the ability to gift an annual membership to a patient at Nationwide Children’s Hospital that is 100 percent tax deductible

“There are so many young patients who need a lift from their day-to-day reality,” says Liz Kronenberger, co-founder of Elf Island. “By bringing Elf Island to these kids, we can uplift their spirits and empower them to help others through gaming.”

Founded on the premise of uniting and empowering kids through storytelling, social interaction and gaming, Elf Island has created a new category in the virtual world space, called Mirrored Gaming, Working directly with non-profit partners, Elf Island supports real world projects and then mirroring an online game to bring the project to life.  Special “GoodQuests” are designed for each partner, creating an online and real world connection to the non-profit’s focus area.

How Mirrored Gaming Works

Each month Elf Island creates a new GoodQuest.  This month, Elf Island is challenging kids to help the African country of Niger with their environment and local sustainability by planting trees.  The effort is a partnership with Plant-In 2020, a non-profit that plants trees around the world.

•   In the Virtual World of Elf Island: Kids must navigate the roots of a tree to the nutrient filled layer of soil buried deep below its surface.  They’ll collect energy-filled gems along the way to ensure that they have enough “turns” to reach the end.  Each time they will help one of four randomly selected types of trees.
•   In the real world of Niger: As a result of the kids meeting the collective virtual goal, Elf Island will donate money to plant 2,000 trees in Niger.

As kids meet the collective goal within Elf Island by Gaming for Good their actions are “mirrored” offline and to the real word.  To accomplish this, nonprofit initiatives are woven into Elf Island’s lush, interactive environment using multimedia game play, social networking, safe chatting, storytelling and a vibrant economy.

A GoodQuest designed specifically for Nationwide Children’s Hospital will launch in December.  The goal of the GoodQuest is to fund the purchase of laptop or tablet computers for hospitalized kids, allowing them to play Elf Island during their treatment.

With parental permission, and a basic membership that is free, kids can enter and play limited offerings and chat in Elf Island. As a paid subscriber, kids can become an active participant in GoodQuests and upgrade features. Kids also have the unique ability to unveil secret passageways, communicate with hybrid-animals, participate in an economic marketplace and ultimately learn the Secret of Elf Island.

Every element of Elf Island’s game play supports individuality, self-expression and character building:
Community based: parties, events,
•   Kids have access to 2,000 variations of personalization; include gender, hairstyles, skin, hair and eye color, clothing, outfits and eight different action sequences for their Avatars.
•   Elf Island fosters healthy friendships through community events, interaction with elves and in-game parties that celebrate accomplishments.
•   Elf Island uses real moderators and robust dictionary chat to ensure safety is maintained and enforced at all times.

About Elf Island
Elf Island is the first kids virtual world specifically created to instill positive social and environmental values into the world’s future stewards. Elf Island turns online gaming efforts into tangible offline results through nonprofit partnerships and Mirrored Gaming. Elf Island invented Gaming for Good, Mirrored Gaming and GoodQuests and is an independent children’s interactive entertainment developer that delivers entertaining game play for kids that inspires, rewards actions and builds awareness of social issues around the world. Craig and Liz Kronenberger are a dynamic husband and wife duo, parents to twin boys, and veterans in the online gaming industry that founded Elf Island in June 2007(www.elfisland.com).

About Nationwide Children's Hospital
Ranked in the U.S. News & World Report’s 2008 “America’s Best Children’s Hospitals” and Parents magazine’s  2009 top ten “Best Children's Hospitals” lists, Nationwide Children’s Hospital is one of the nation’s largest not-for-profit freestanding pediatric treatment and research networks providing wellness, preventive, diagnostic, treatment and rehabilitative care for infants, children, adolescents and adult patients with congenital disease  (www.nationwidechildrens.org).
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