You’re the true legend, Gabe
I could never imagine living with a fatal disease. I’ve seen it take the life of my aunt and have watched others slowly succumb to some miserable affliction, but I don’t know how I would react in a similar situation. Would I cling to the things I love most, or shelter myself and wait for the inevitable? I don’t envy anyone in that kind of situation, because any minute could be your last. Having to go through life knowing you will never see your family grow older with you or miss out on one of your favorite pastimes would slowly destroy me.
This story about Gabe Marcela, a 26-year-old man with CHD (congenital heart defect), is very gut-wrenching. Posted on Waypoint yesterday, the article details Gabe’s struggle with his heart condition, his passion for gaming and Zelda, and how Nintendo was able to give hope and joy to a man in his final hours. It doesn’t end well, but the message should be clear to anyone who reads this.
We often take gaming for granted as able-bodied people. For us, we can put the game down, go outside, and experience the real world. For some, though, that may never be an option. Having a portal into a different dimension where you are the hero of the day can be huge for keeping someone’s depression and condition at bay. I know for myself, I suffered from some pretty severe bouts of depression and would often retreat into the vastness of gaming to find respite.
There is real power in this medium. Gaming is more than just bright colors, flashy graphics, and time wasting. We can bicker about failed experiments, cancelled projects, or unsavory developers all we want, but we’re all here for the same reason: video games are magical.