The Gaming Community Had My Back

Hello, 1 More Castle! You guys kept my room just how I left it! I am back and very happy to be writing here once again. This post will not be in my usual N64 Connoisseur series because I have something a bit more personal to discuss today. That feature will return in 2 weeks. To me, it is always noteworthy when a person or a group of people defy a reputation. That noteworthy quality becomes magnified when I am personally involved in the situation. Such has been the case over these last couple of months.

Overall, when you speak to someone of the gaming community, they tend to look at you as if the term “community” does not mean what you think it means. A lot of the time they are right. People within the community, even the sub-communities like arcade, retro, console, PC, etc., often times get very ugly with one another over the most petty of issues. It’s embarrassing and I wish it was not a part of this, but it is. People dish out personal insults, family insults, use some of the more colorful language I have ever seen, and in some cases even threaten each other physically. I’m not going to get into the “tough guy hiding behind a computer” aspect because that isn’t my point here. Speaking of my point, let’s get to it.

On February 2nd of this year, I lost my grandmother. This was a woman who had a large hand in raising my sister and I while my mother was frequently ill during our childhood and my father was doing everything he could to put food on the table and tend to my mother. This loss to me was more like losing a mother than a grandmother. She was perfectly healthy at Thanksgiving. By Christmas, something was off but we did not know what or the severity. By New Year’s we learned she had very aggressive brain cancer and a month later she was gone. It happened in the blink of an eye but it also took an eternity, if that makes any sense. Most of her hospitalization was here in Tampa where I live and I literally watched her deteriorate day after day. It was, by far, the hardest thing I’ve ever had to deal with. It is why I took my hiatus from my various gaming media outlets. As sad as all of that was and still is for me, there was a lighter side to this. A side that has had a great hand in helping my heart to heal.

No big secret here, I am a Twitter guy. It has just proven itself to me as the best outlet for me to find people with like interests, find great content that people put out, and a place to have a lot of fun. As this saga went on, I tweeted about it a lot. It’s what happened after those tweets that is the real story. You guys cared. You, reading this right now. You, the gaming community, cared. Some of you joined me in prayer. Some of you tweeted me well wishes. I received an outpouring of love, encouragement and support. Someone who is aware that I am a Christian man sent me an email full of Bible verses on comfort. My editors both here and elsewhere gave me absolutely no grief over taking time off and all assured me of the safety of my spot when I wanted to come back. One person even sent me a few retro cartridges with a very touching note. For as bad as the reputation of the gaming community at large is, I saw none of it. I saw a community who took a fellow gamer that was down, and did everything they could to lift him back up. For that, every one of you has my sincerest and most heartfelt thanks.