ORLANDO – On the court, with a roster partially constructed around defensive versatility, Magic Gaming bears a resemblance to its NBA counterpart.
Now, Orlando’s gaming squad is following in the footsteps of the Magic by making a huge impact off the court as well.
Magic Gaming Head Coach Jonah Edwards and small forward Brandon “ToXsiK” Raudenbush recently visited Orlando Health Arnold Palmer Hospital for Children to distribute four Gamers Outreach GO Karts.
The GO Karts are game kiosks built specifically for a medical environment with each unit allowing nurses and child life specialists to easily provide bedside recreation to children unable to leave their rooms in the hospital.
“It certainly helps to have a wonderful partner like Orlando Health to be able to do something like this,” Edwards explained. “They do an incredible job over there, the whole facility they have is so incredible and catered to the kids and making sure their experience is as pleasant as physically possible.”
Magic Gaming helped the staff assemble the karts, which consist of a monitor, Xbox One, preloaded games, and two controllers. The units are designed to be easily sanitized, so they can reach patients, who previously would not be able to have such interactions.
“It’s therapeutic play,” Orlando Health Patient Events Coordinator Jay Brock explained. “Children don’t necessarily want to talk to nurses or doctors about how they’re feeling physically, mentally or emotionally, but if we can find commonality between the patient and the child life specialist like playing a video game, even if the child life specialist isn’t good at it, it provides that connection and bond.”
After setting up the consoles, ToXsiK and Edwards visited a number of patients to break in the new devices.
“To see an eight-year-old walk in and immediately know their gaming handles and be able to have these really cool interactions where they’re talking about different players from around the globe that are really good at Fortnite or Halo, it’s really fascinating,” Brock explained. “It’s really fun to watch, because the child immediately engages and can forget about why they’re in the hospital.”
The experience was equally special for the members of Magic Gaming.
“It’s always fun to go spend time with them and put a smile on their face and take their mind off of everything they’re going through,” ToXsiK said. “I fell in love with playing games at a young age, so it’s cool to give back and make them happy.”
ToXsiK, a West Palm Beach native, was retained by Magic Gaming earlier this offseason. He remains grateful for the opportunity to continue to play in his home state of Florida and also give back to the local community.
“Everything they give us has just been top of the line,” ToXsiK said. “I couldn’t ask to be in a better place.”
With philanthropy being one of the core tenets of Magic Gaming, that place continues to get even better.