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Video Games Fight Cancer On and Off the Screen

By HERWriter
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Video Games Fight Cancer Both On and Off the Screen Auremar/PhotoSpin

Want to fight cancer? Pick up your video game controller! That message goes out to kids with cancer as well as adults who want to help fund the search for a cure, and have a chance to play video games against comedian Will Ferrell.

It’s no surprise that children, teens and young adults with cancer often turn to video games to help fill their time during treatment and escape from the routine of being sick.

But playing video games can be more than a diversion, especially if players choose the right games.

One example is the game series Re-Mission 2, which is designed to support kids as they fight their disease by giving them a feeling of power and control.

Each of the six games in the series puts players inside the human body to fight cancer. Players are armed with weapons and super-powers including chemotherapy and antibiotics which they can use to defend healthy cells and kill cancer cells.

As players advance in the game, they are also encouraged to stick with their real-life treatment plan to improve their own fight against cancer.

Re-Mission 2 was developed by non-profit technology company HopeLab with input from doctors, behavioral psychologists, video game producers and young people with cancer.

Cigna Healthcare helps distribute the free games to doctors and cancer treatment facilities.

“The more we looked at it, the more we found it an impressive way to break through with teenagers to understand their cancer and what it takes to fight and beat it,” said Joe Mondy, Cigna director of public relations.

“Our goal is to get this in the hands of every kid with cancer in the world.”

The games are free to play online and can be downloaded on iOS and Android.

Comedian Will Ferrell is also doing his part to help get cancer-fighting video games into the hands of children with cancer. His crowdfunding campaign is geared at raising money for two cancer charities: Cancer for College and Donate Games.

Participants who donate a minimum of $10 to Will Ferrell’s SuperMegaBlastMax Gamer Challenge may receive designated promotional gifts.

If the challenge goal of $375,000 is met by the deadline of October 12, 2014, one donor will be selected in a random drawing to travel to San Francisco for the grand prize opportunity to play video games in person with Ferrell.

Funds raised by the challenge will be used to fund college scholarships for cancer survivors and to provide financial support to families with children fighting cancer.


MedCity News. Crowdfunding, therapeutic video games and Will Ferrell have something in common. Deanna Pogorelc. Web. September 26, 2014.

MedCity News. Cigna’s healthcare gaming mission: Take a “cancer-fighting” game app global. Deanna Pogorelc. Web. September 26, 2014.

Indie GoGo. Will Ferrell’s SuperMegaBlast Gamer Challenge. Web. September 26, 2014.

Reviewed September 26, 2014
by Michele Blacksberg RN
Edited by Jody Smith

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We value and respect our HERWriters' experiences, but everyone is different. Many of our writers are speaking from personal experience, and what's worked for them may not work for you. Their articles are not a substitute for medical advice, although we hope you can gain knowledge from their insight.