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Make-A-Wish® Alaska and Washington Brings Local Child's Video Game Wish to Life

Date

April 20, 2015

Location

Seattle, WA

Sixteen-year-old Mason will soon see his wish come true when his video game concept is released as a full-fledged video game. Make-A-Wish® Alaska and Washington, together with DigiPen Institute of Technology, will unveil Mason’s new game on Thursday, April 30, at DigiPen’s Redmond campus.

Mason is living with cystic fibrosis, a life-threatening medical condition that affects the lungs and digestive system. He aspires to be a video game designer when he grows up, so it came as little surprise to his family and friends when he wished to design a video game.

“Mason is extremely passionate about gaming, and it has been a real joy for us all to see him light up when he talks about the game he is creating,” said Mason’s mom, Angie. “He really found his niche when he stepped on the DigiPen campus.”

A team of 18 DigiPen students have dedicated countless hours to bring Mason’s concept, Lord of the Bats, to fruition as part of a senior class project. Just like a professional video game designer, Mason collaborated with artists, programmers and developers to bring his main character, Battede, to life.

Devin Jensen, a lead programmer who initiated this project with fellow senior student, Pearce Bergh, shared his thoughts about this experience. "This project gave us the opportunity to give back to the community using our skills as game developers. It's been amazing working with Mason to make his game ideas come to life. I hope that our team will inspire others to pursue community service projects in the future," said Jensen.

To experience Lord of the Bats, visit games.digipen.edu where the public is invited to play Mason’s game for free beginning May 1.

About Make-A-Wish® Alaska and Washington

Since 1986, Make-A-Wish Alaska and Washington has granted wishes to more than 5,600 children with life-threatening medical conditions to enrich the human experience with hope, strength and joy. According to a 2011 U.S. study of wish impact, most health professionals surveyed believe a wish-come-true can influence the health of children. Kids say wishes give them renewed strength to fight their illnesses, and their parents say these experiences help strengthen the entire family. Currently, there are more than 400 children awaiting their wishes and there are more who qualify for our services, yet we are unable to reach them and grant their wishes due to a lack of funds and capacity. In fact, every year, one in four seriously-ill children in Alaska and Washington do not receive a wish because of a lack of funding. For more information about Make-A-Wish Alaska and Washington and how you can share the power of a wish® please call 800.304.9474, visit akwa.wish.org or connect with us at facebook.com/makeawishakwa or on Twitter @MakeAWishAKWA.

About DigiPen Institute of Technology

DigiPen Institute of Technology is a global leader in game design and development, hardware and software engineering, computer science, fine arts and digital art, and sound design education. For 27 years, DigiPen's educational programs currently ranging from bachelor's and master's degrees to continuing education programs and Summer Workshops for K-12 youth, have helped students become world-class software developers, engineers, designers, and artists. DIT students make innovative, award-winning games, and when they graduate, they take their expertise, creativity and vision into the workplace, where they help produce groundbreaking titles like Portal and Guild Wars 2. For more information, visit www.digipen.edu.

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CONTACT:

Jessica Mathews
Make-A-Wish® Alaska and Washington
wrffvpnz@nxjn.jvfu.bet

206.588.8953 (office)
425.770.3212 (cell)

Angela Kugler
DigiPen Institute of Technology
nxhtyre@qvtvcra.rqh

425.895.4438 (office)
425.765.4243 (cell)

Press Contact

Jeannette Tarcha
Vice President, Communications & Marketing
811 1st Ave #620
Seattle, WA  98104

Phone : (206) 623-5338
Fax : (206) 623-5333
wgnepun@nxjn.jvfu.bet

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Make-A-Wish® Alaska & Washington
811 1st Ave #620
Seattle, WA 98104
(206) 623-5300
Toll Free (800) 304-9474
Make-A-Wish® Alaska & Washington, Eastern Washington Office
104 S Freya St
Yellow Flag Bldg #207
Spokane, WA 99202
(509) 458-2618
Toll Free (888) 790-7005
Make-A-Wish® Alaska & Washington, Alaska Office
430 W 7th Ave #110
Anchorage, AK 99501
(907) 258-9474
Toll Free (844) 510-9474