I don't know who I'm writing this to, or if anyone will relate to the kind of sadness I'm going through & I don't mean to cause any sad vibes but I need to do this. Forgive me for the following sad note.
About 27 years ago, after spending an afternoon with a childhood friend of mine, he started telling me about a game he just got that he was loving & that I had to try on his PC.
Back then I was already into gaming & he was too, & it was 1 of the things we had in common in our friendship.
We did many things together, but gaming was one of those things we were also discovering together that other friends weren't into.
Each of us would call the other when we got a new game & we'd meet to play together. It was usually at his place if the game was on PC or my place if on console. I had the Sega Master system 1, then the Mega-drive (Genesis).
It was also a form of enticing envy (the good kind) like "guess which game my mom got me that you can only play if you come to my place :)".
Back then, he was 1 of very few friends with whom I had that kind of connection playing games. That kind of understanding when talking about a new PC game that we had to discover together. Talking about the colors, the graphics, the updated rig he set up or the new screen he just got.
That afternoon as he was firing up the PC, I was thinking about the game he just spoke about. I had heard about Warcraft but never got into it. Somewhere in the back of my mind I was thinking crafting war? Or a war of crafts? I just couldn't see what it was about. He said top-down strategy, but knights vs orcs, I like knights, what was the game going to be like?
Back then you could not just search about it on the internet. If you missed that game review magazine issue about said game that was it, it was up to the word of the guy at the counter selling you the game for you to make a decision.
"Warcraft II" my friend said, had even better graphics, mechanics, types of units & "it was great" he said. "You have to try it!"
We started playing & right there & then I was hooked. Not just hooked on the warcraft games, Diablo, & Diablo 2, the first time I played those was also with my friend on his PC. It was also the developer that we both grew to love. They made games that showed the true potential of what we believed could be possible with the medium. From the stories, to the graphics, Oh my God the graphics, to the gameplay. My friend was the only one of all the others that understood as much as I did the importance of the makers of those games. We had that complicity in the love of the medium.
It had been some years that we had lost touch. Different schools, universities, then work, & well, life, I guess we just grew apart. It happens. But the memory of those times playing those games together always remained. & I kept playing, to this day I'm a gamer in heart & soul. Although I didn't play Diablo 3 on PC, I did on console when it came out & I would think of him playing it on his latest PC rig if he had gotten the game.
But my friend, had a terrible affliction. One I would never wish upon the worst of my enemies.
Dance de St Guy. The French name of the disease. I will forever be haunted by those words. In English it's called Huntington's disease. Some years later when I learned he had it & after researching online I learned it's a genetic hereditary neuro-degenerative disease of the central nervous system. His father before him was diagnosed with it too.
The thing about Huntington's, is that, you don't make it. It was devastating when we learned his father had it. Even more when we learned he did. From what I gather he was about 28 when he was diagnosed.
The last time I saw him, a few years back, we sat down & talked for a few hours then he showed me. He was playing Diablo 3 on his gaming laptop! I don't know which paragon level he had gotten to but it was way beyond whatever level I got to. I wouldn't expect anything less of him. He was still gaming. He was still at it!
Ever since I last saw him, every time I think of him, even as I write these words I tear up uncontrollably.
On the night of January 12 2022, after weeks of what I was told could only be described as unimaginable agony, you have passed.
You with whom I had experienced a golden era of gaming. You who thought of gaming the same way I do. You who was passionate about gaming the same way I am. & you who kept playing all those years.
My friend, from Mortal Kombat to Street fighter, road rash to virtua racing, Warcraft II, to Warcraft III. In Diablo 1 & Diablo 2 & many others. So many hours spent together discovering magical gaming moments.
Wherever you are, I know you'll be gaming. May you eternally play & have the best of fun.
Every chance I get I will honour you. I will never forget you.
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