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Spouse Aggro!

I blog at www.spouseaggro.com, write for www.ablegamers.com, run www.mmovoices.ning.com and post all over the net. HOWDY!

Author: beauturkey

A cool story about a guy with a disability.

Posted by beauturkey Tuesday July 21 2009 at 11:29AM
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I have decided to keep it simple, this time around.

So, this is simply my comments about a cool story about a disabled dude. I am not reducing him down to just "disabled dude", but merely streamlining the writing for the sake of those that have a hard time understanding me.

Anyway, go watch This American Life season 2, the episode called "Escape." It features a story about a disabled guy and a guy that plays with G.I.Joe's to cope with his brain injury. All I can say is WATCH IT. Good editing, nice music, brilliant story-telling. I am going to be featuring more story-telling on my show, in an attempt to rip off This American Life and in an attempt to get away from whiny gamers a bit. So, watching the show (and listening to it on the radio) is good homework.

Anyway, the first story talks about Mike, a guy with a crippling disease. (SMA, Spinal Muscular Atrophy) He can only communicate through a thumb-driven laptop. It takes ages for him to type out a sentence, much more time to type out the entire posts that he keeps on his blog and emails. The story isn't hard to watch, as some might think, but very easy due to the guys ability to keep (what seems like) a solid grip on reality. Perhaps it is because he is used to his reality and that is mostly what he has known, or perhaps he is just putting on a charade. Either way, it is inspiring to see someone maintain a sense of humor. So many people I meet, able-bodied or not, have NO F*****G SENSE OF HUMOR.

 

 

For me, I didn't get any of that "...this guy is a hero" stuff from the show. That was too sappy to take from it. Too cheesy. Also, nowadays the term "hero" is thrown around so much that it has lost it's meaning. It is something easily tacked onto a person that actually takes away from the person. After all, he is acting heroic because it is his default stance on life, right? He isn't just an ordinary guy in extraordinary circumstances, but is surviving only because of his remarkable spirit?

Nah, I say he has the same issues we all do, along with many that most of us don't. I think he has faced his situation and said (literally) "F*** that, I am going to live my life." He doesn't go out into the world hanging at coffee shops with his girlfriend mostly because of his unstoppable bravery and remarkable spirit. Why he seems to do it is more nitty-gritty than that, more ordinary, and that's what makes it special. He does it because he decided to, did some work to get it done and said "F*** it."

And I love the part that talks about technological advancements keeping pace with his disability:

"When I was a kid, I could sit up, and drive a power wheel chair. I could breathe on my own, so I played outside with my brother and neighborhood kids. Interestingly, technological advancements have kept pace with my disability. As it got harder to drive my chair, we got video games. As breathing got harder, the by-pap was invented. When I lost the ability to speak, software already existed that did the speaking for me."

That speaks to the gamer in me that has always thought that gaming technology is great if but for one reason: it brings people from different lifestyles together. Where else could you say that you "hang out with" people from all over the world? Where else could you not only meet all types of people and have interactions with them, but also exist in a virtual society with them? It's f****** cool, to put it simply. If you read an email from Mike, would you know that he was disabled? Hearing his writings, I think not.

Thank you, technology.

Technology is the Great Equalizer. No, I don't mean equalizer of people, but of situations. Mike might be in his particular situation, but thanks to technology, he can go out in the world we are all part of. In gaming it might be even more so, being that it can take but the push of a button to steer a digital person. Inside a game we are all in the same situation, all of us existing with the same rules, boundaries, and chances to seek glory and fun. Inside a game everyone has the same chance to do what they want.

Thanks to AbleGamers.com, I have learned more about disabled players in the last few months than I had in 10 years of gaming. Not only are the number of disabled players remarkable, but the number of disabled players that are ignored by the game and peripheral developers is even more remarkable. Forget considering it some kind of moral obligation, the developers just need to think of the f****** CASH they are missing out on.

Anyway, go watch the story. It is, after all, a cool story about a guy with a disability.

Beau

steelfrenzy writes:

Thanks for writing this :D I found it to be a good read. I'll have to look up that show.

...actually your Netflix link was broken >.< Might wanna just use this? http://www.thisamericanlife.org/TV_Season.aspx?season=2.

Tue Jul 21 2009 11:57AM Report

MMORPG.com writes:
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