Death of an OG (Original Gamer)

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  • DocktorJ 17 Jun 2013 19:47:43 20 posts
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    I'm sitting next to my Dad who is in the last hours of his battle with cancer. He's not the 'forum' type, but I think people should know about him, he's responsible for fostering a life-long interest in gaming.
    He bought us an Atari 2600 when I was 4 years old and it used to be on the living room TV all the time - in those days, every game was score attack, or survival, and we'd play for hours just trying to get that little bit further into River Raid or Beamrider. When I asked for a Sega for my birthday, I showed him the 60 Master System in the Argos catalogue (60 was our birthday present limit). To my surprise he says with a cheeky smile, "wouldn't you rather have a Megadrive?" His true motivation was clear one morning when I came downstairs to find my forthcoming Christmas present (Gynoug) in the cartridge slot, he'd been playing it into the early hours before we were allowed to play it on Christmas Day.
    When he got divorced, the first thing he did with his midlife crisis was to drop a grand on a top-line PC, a 75Mhz Pentium that could play DOOM! we'd turn the phone line off so we could play online after school all day. When he met his new partner he wouldn't give up gaming for her - they used to play Medal Of Honor together, she was on the mouse, firing the weapons, he controlled the keyboard. "Shoot! Shoot!" "Who? Where?" "The fucking Nazi!! There!!! SHOOT!!!"
    I got a Sega Saturn next but Dad liked the look of Wipeout, so justified the purchase of a PS1 by saying it was a reward for my GCSE results. He then proceeded to call in sick from work for a solid week to fuel his Colin McRae Rally addiction.
    When I imported a Dreamcast, instead of bollocking me for spending 100 on House Of The Dead 2, he went out and bought a second light gun so we could play together.
    My Dad is 57 and would be gaming today if he was able, even though none of his peers 'get it'. Anyway, I thought he deserves some recognition for being a dedicated and generous gamer and a great father.
  • RobTheBuilder 17 Jun 2013 19:50:30 6,976 posts
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    Sorry to hear. Sounds like a great guy.
  • CosmicFuzz 17 Jun 2013 19:51:43 32,214 posts
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    That's both awesome and incredibly sad at the same time :(

    Your dad sounds exactly like to want to be to my kids. All the best mate.
  • Kostabi 17 Jun 2013 19:53:22 5,915 posts
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    Game on!

    Sounds like an awesome guy, sorry to hear he's not doing well.
  • jonsaan 17 Jun 2013 20:53:18 26,774 posts
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    Huge respect to your Dad. The hardest thing about having cancer is seeing the effect it has on the people you love.

    Edited by jonsaan at 20:56:08 17-06-2013
  • THFourteen 17 Jun 2013 20:54:56 47,918 posts
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    Mate that story brought a smile to my face, and then so much sadness.

    Really sorry.

    Reminds me of when I came home from school one day and found my dad playing Zool on my PC. That was bizzare.

    Edited by THFourteen at 20:55:21 17-06-2013
  • Deleted user 17 June 2013 21:05:49
    I'm really sorry to hear about your dad. He sounds like a terrific guy.

    Think I speak for everyone here when I say all the best.
  • Deleted user 17 June 2013 21:15:25
    Sounds like a top bloke.
  • SparkyMarky81 17 Jun 2013 21:18:58 601 posts
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    Sounds like a top man, and I wish you you both all the best.
  • Dolly 17 Jun 2013 21:20:16 3,499 posts
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    I can't wait to be a 'cool dad' one day, who plays games with my kids. Can see myself being just like your pops, buying presents that I actually secretly just want for myself! :D

    Sounds like you have some sound memories to move forward with :)
  • mothercruncher 17 Jun 2013 21:32:16 14,793 posts
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    Very sorry to hear about the situation. Glad you've got great memories, keep hold of them because that's how we live on.
  • MiniAmin 17 Jun 2013 21:33:22 3,794 posts
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    Thanks for sharing those wonderful memories with us.
  • UncleLou Moderator 17 Jun 2013 21:34:48 39,413 posts
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    I am not sure what to say, but all the best, and thanks for your post.
  • swede 17 Jun 2013 21:41:49 461 posts
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    Thanks for sharing your wonderful memories. Your Dad is a true gamer's hero - a first gen gamer. All the very best wishes.

    Edited by swede at 21:42:19 17-06-2013

    Edited by swede at 21:42:52 17-06-2013
  • kdsh7 17 Jun 2013 21:49:19 1,260 posts
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    Despite never reading about any cool gaming dads you always hope you can be one yourself. And then you read something like that. Went out to buy a second light gun hey? That's inspired me.

    I hope he doesn't suffer, or he gets past this boss with this remaining millimetre on his life bar and gets to a bonus stage
  • Corvo-Attano-77 18 Jun 2013 11:27:04 29 posts
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    57, that's tough. Tough at any age of course, but you don't really expect it as early as 57 right? Sounds like an awesome dad though. I'm happy for you, in that you had a great relationship with him and fond memories to remember him by. Best wishes.
  • Tryhard 18 Jun 2013 12:04:06 12,014 posts
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    Sadly Doc my Dad is dying of cancer to,bladder now spread to stomach.The only gaming he did though was break my Atari 2600 joysticks with his powerful hands when he played Space Invaders.

    Stay strong and always think of the good times.
  • Murbs 18 Jun 2013 12:17:00 23,869 posts
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  • Ignatius_Cheese Moderator 18 Jun 2013 12:25:05 11,048 posts
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    Very difficult to read. Sounds like you've had a true life journey together. Best wishes to him, you and your family.
  • ibenam 18 Jun 2013 12:31:00 3,130 posts
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    Keep gaming in the afterlife dad.
  • Malignant 18 Jun 2013 12:55:43 89 posts
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    I was in the same position as you, exactly 3 years ago, he was only 52. It's tough...really tough.

    My gaming memories with my Dad were with the Spectrum, Amiga and PC...and they'll live with me and my two younger brothers for the rest of our lifes.

    All the best, and thanks for posting.
  • JoeGBallad 18 Jun 2013 14:00:08 467 posts
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    @DocktorJ Thank you for sharing this DocktorJ. Hopefully these memories will live on with you and help you to cope with what must be an awful situation for you and your family.

    5 years ago now, at the age of 58, my dad suddenly died while on holiday. He had an aneurism in the middle of the night and didn't wake up. My brothers, my sister and I all rushed over to be with my mum and see him in the hospital in his final moments. It was a sad time for all of us.

    But, while we were there on that bizarre weekend, we shared our memories of him. He worked at a college in Ayr in the maths and computing departments, and he always brought home computers and other technology for us to play with growing up.

    Thanks to him, I was introduced to the BBC Micro when I was very young. We would all play Repton, Dunjunz, Elite and Exile. My old brother even wrote a lightcycles game for it (we loved Tron)

    One christmas, just after the iBook and Airport were first released, Dad brought home four iBooks and a hub so we could all play Myth 2 and Bolo wirelessly. My mum hated it, of course, but my brothers, me and a my dad would play for hours on end.

    He used to play the N64 with me. 1080 Snowboard was his favourite, but he only liked the first track because he hated 'all those shortcuts' in the other tracks.

    It's thanks to all this that I grew up with a passion for games, and it's also thanks to him bringing home cameras and editing software that I wanted to work in TV and video. It's thanks to him that I make Bit Socket now.

    I really hope I can be as great a dad as he was one day.

    Again, I'd just like to say that I hope you and your family can get through this difficult time. And thank you for sharing your memories of your dad. It sparked off a welcome bit of nostalgia for me.
  • 1Dgaf 18 Jun 2013 15:10:56 5,025 posts
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    It's good that you're with him DocktorJ. Thank you for telling us about him.
  • Armoured_Bear 18 Jun 2013 15:25:56 21,967 posts
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    What a sad but lovely story.
    As heartbreaking as it is to lose your father, having such wonderful memories is something to genuinely cherish, they should comfort you the rest of your life.
  • mal 18 Jun 2013 15:38:38 29,326 posts
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    Problem with gaming with the little ones in my extended family is all they ever play are fucking Lego games. I HATE Lego games :(
  • Salaman 18 Jun 2013 15:55:28 23,035 posts
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    That's heartwarming and heartbreaking to read.

    My thoughts are with you for the hours/days/weeks to come though.
  • DocktorJ 18 Jun 2013 21:32:28 20 posts
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    Thankyou all for your posts, I've found it cathartic to read your lovely gestures, as well as to write about my Dad. He passed away half an hour ago. Tryhard - never give up hope. My dad was given a 6-9 month prognosis for pancreatic cancer and survived 21 months. On Sunday the district nurse expected him to die within 4 hours and he lived 54 hours. I have had more closeness with my Dad in the last two years than ever before, and in a way we have cancer to thank for that. I have a wonderful template to work from in bringing up my 6-month-old son. Make the most of your time together. Thanks guys.
  • DocktorJ 18 Jun 2013 21:33:19 20 posts
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    Oh also - Fuck you, cancer.
  • Futaba 18 Jun 2013 21:37:37 3,630 posts
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    Sorry for your loss, stay strong mate.
  • caligari 18 Jun 2013 21:38:34 17,923 posts
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    All the best, man - as other have said, he sounds like an awesome guy.
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