Zach Wigal, founder of the Gamers Outreach Foundation
THIS NON-PROFIT FOUNDATION PROVIDES TECHNOLOGY TO HELP CHILDREN COPE WITH TREATMENT AT U.S. HOSPITALS.
I’d certainly attribute an aura of magic to the first ever GO Kart, [a portable, medical-grade video game kiosk that can be easily rolled into wards], that we constructed. Building a tangible product is difficult and, to a newcomer, the process for getting started can be nebulous. Our initial challenge was figuring out how to create a solution for hospitals that was of medical quality, low volume, accessible and secure.
We started as a bunch of high school students who enjoyed hosting video game tournaments for charity. [During development], our team was actively involved with our local hospital. We solicited feedback, and learnt as much as we could from the people who were working directly with patients daily. This type of learning can be a major indicator of whether or not a product will be of use to its intended audience.
Our first unit repurposed an existing medical product. I don’t think we ever felt our goal was out of reach. We were a very determined group of youngsters. That’s the great thing about working on something you love: passion is blinding, and naivety is often an ally of innovation.
Our first GO Kart was built in 2009, two years after the formation of Gamers Outreach. We were ecstatic to deliver something to our hospital that we knew would be of use to patients. Creating a product that’s of service to others has been one of the most fulfilling things I’ve been a part of.
Commit yourself to the joy you have for your work, and maintain faith that your persistence will lead to your envisioned result.