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Gathering of Engineers

Ludographic considerations from the Silicon Forest

Friday, March 03, 2006

Why I Play Games

As I've mentioned on my own gaming session recap site, I have a good friend that was recently diagnosed with ALS, or Lou Gehrig's Disease. In six months, he has gone from a healthy, active 42 year old to a man that can barely hold his head up when he sits. He is about to lose the ability to communicate via voice and e-mail as his motor skills steadily deteriorate, and I fear that he has less than two months to live.

I visited him in Denver last week, and despite his condition he is fairly upbeat. Part of his inner strength comes from his faith, which is something I won't get into here, but I believe that an equally large part of it comes from the incredibly large number of people who have been touched by his friendship and have contacted him. As he himself put it, "When something like this happens to you, you realize that all we really have are our relationships. Everything else falls away." He will die knowing that he is loved and remembered, and that is all any of us can ask for.

I have said this more than once, but I think it is important enough to say again: Games are all about who you play with. More than that, life is about who you live it with. I have been fortunate enough to have been involved in many different communities over the course of my life, and my current game group is one of my favorites. It is the people that make our Sunriver retreats so much fun, and despite my prediliction for buying anything on the shelf I don't own, the reason that I have made gaming a priority in my life.

And so, I send this post into the world, exhorting all who read it to recognize and nurture your relationships, whether they are gaming-based or not. Cherish those moments when the world falls away and it is you and your friends and family having fun, and carry those memories into the times when you will need that strength. And, if it occurs to you, look up that old friend or cousin that you keep meaning to contact, because one day it might be too late.


  • At 1:10 PM, Blogger Dug said…

    I was informed this morning that my friend passed away today. I consider myself very lucky to have gotten to spend a little time with him last week.

  • At 4:02 PM, Blogger KC said…

    I'm sorry to hear about your friend in Denver. Glad he was loved, but sad for the grieving that follows a bright life. Will keep you in our prayers. - KC

  • At 1:32 PM, Blogger Iain said…

    Thanks for sharing that with us. We must all be thankful for what we have.

  • At 9:48 AM, Anonymous Rosemarie said…

    I ama 55 yr. old woman who is also suffering with Lou Gehrig's disease, being diagnosed on December 29, 2003. I was very active, going to the gym 5 days a week before work, participated in "boot camp" for 10 weeks, 3x a week and am now confined to a wheelchair, am waiting for my augmentative communication device to be approved and type with one finger. But through all this, I have been blessed with the love and support of family and friends and am actually enjoying life like never before. How priorities change when faced with a fatal disease. I have been keeping a blog for almost a year, Never Give Up, at http:/ramblinrosemarie.blogspot.com
    I will Never Give Up as long as there is hope.


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