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NINTENDO ROLLS ENTERTAINMENT TO CHILDREN'S BEDSIDES; NYU MEDICAL CENTER AMONG MANY HOSPITALS TO RECEIVE DONATION FROM NINTENDO AND STARLIGHT

NINTENDO ROLLS ENTERTAINMENT TO CHILDREN'S BEDSIDES; NYU MEDICAL CENTER

AMONG MANY HOSPITALS TO RECEIVE DONATION FROM NINTENDO AND STARLIGHT
 NEW YORK, Nov. 10 /PRNewswire/ -- As part of their dedication to brightening the lives of hospitalized children nationwide, Nintendo of America Inc. and the Starlight Foundation today launched the Nintendo Fun Center program at New York University Medical Center.
 Lucy Mullen, executive director of Starlight Foundation of New York, presented Nintendo Fun Centers, which are specially designed mobile video and video game trolleys, to Margaret L. McClure, Ed.D., vice president, hospitals operations, and to the pediatric patients. She was joined by pop singer Debbie Gibson, actresses Christina Ricci and Rae Dawn Chong, New York Giants player George Rooks and New York Yankees player Pat Kelly, as well as Nintendo's internationally recognized Mario and Yoshi costumed characters. A computer-generated, "digital puppet" of Mario, known as MIRT (Mario in Real-Time), served as the master of ceremonies.
 In May of this year, Nintendo joined with Starlight by donating $525,000 to bring 161 Nintendo Fun Centers to 68 hospitals nationwide.
 "Our business is to entertain children, and this donation ensures that hospitalized kids can play video games just as if they were leading normal lives," said Phil Rogers, Nintendo's vice president of operations. "The Nintendo Fun Centers meet the needs of these patients by bringing a home entertainment environment right to their bedside. We've waited a long time for this day. We're pleased that through our association with Starlight, the Nintendo Fun Center program has now become a reality."
 The Nintendo Fun Centers are self-contained entertainment trolleys that bring a TV monitor, a Super Nintendo Entertainment System, a library of video games, and a VCR to the bedside of a hospitalized child. In accepting the donation, Marianne Hardart, senior child life specialist of NYU Medical Center, noted, "Nintendo's donation makes the company an active participant in the overall patient care program. It complements psychological care. We have observed how elated and amazed the children are when they see the Nintendo Fun Centers. The centers provide a distraction for the kids, which in turn creates a positive experience that alleviates fear and anxiety associated with a hospital."
 This donation will bring video game entertainment to more than 6,500 hospitalized children each month," said Mullen. "We're so pleased to be associated with Nintendo, because their donation will help so many of these children forget about the pain of treatment or surgery and allow them to cope with the long days in a hospital room."
 In addition to the Nintendo Fun Centers, NYU Medical Center pediatric patients were treated to a special presentation of MIRT, a unique application of virtual reality technology created by SimGraphics Engineering Corporation. Acting as a "digital puppet," an actor controls, exaggerates and triggers features and movements of a computer- generated Mario. The intricate computer system needed to run MIRT was generously donated for this occasion by Silicon Graphics, the leading manufacturer of visual computing systems which delivers interactive three-dimensional graphics, color and digital media technologies to technical, scientific and creative professionals.
 Since 1983, the Starlight Foundation has enhanced the lives of seriously ill children and their families through granting wishes, providing recreational and entertainment activities for pediatric patients, and implementing Starlight Express, an innovative program in children's hospitals that includes state-of-the-art media rooms and mobile entertainment centers.
 Nintendo of America Inc., is based in Redmond, Wash., and is a wholly owned subsidiary of Nintendo Co. Ltd., Japan, the world's largest manufacturer and marketer of video games.
 -0- 11/10/92
 /CONTACT: Len Abbazia and Lori Zaslow of Golin/Harris Communications, 212-697-9191, for Nintendo of America/ CO: Nintendo of America Inc.; Starlight Foundation ST: New York IN: SU:


SH-PS -- NY019 -- 9128 11/10/92 09:23 EST
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Date:Nov 10, 1992
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