Ben’s Game

I first saw coverage of this on G4TechTV’s Pulse. Ben, a young boy with leukemia was approached by the Make-A-Wish Foundation and asked what his one wish would be. He decided he wanted to make a videogame.

So they set out to look for a game developer that would help him. All the really big shops turned him down. Fuck you, Electronic Arts, you heartless bastards. (I believe Microsoft and Activision were two other major gamedev shops that turned the project down.)

Enter the good folks at LucasArts! (/cheer LucasArts!) and specifically Eric Johnston, the game developer who met with Ben once a week to work on his game (except for one Tuesday when Ben couldn’t make it because he was grounded. 🙂 ).

Well, here’s the CNN article but its dry going compared to the Pulse piece.
CNN.com – Former cancer patient debuts cancer-fighting video game

And you can find the game itself available for download here:
Ben’s Game

Stories like this one, and the Children’s Charity Fund that the folks at Penny Arcade put together last year at Christmas…they don’t get as much media coverage as all the ‘violence in videogames is creating a generation of monsters’ garbage. But these are the stories that tell a truer tale of the gamer lifestyle, if you ask me.

Think of how many gaming fan-sites are put up every year. Gamers work hard to help their fellow gamers enjoy the hobby. And that’s the foundation of hobby’s community. It just builds up from there. Sure they squabble on message boards and don’t always behave as well as they should, but at the end of the day, if you go to a gaming board and ask for help, you’ll get it. Gamers are naturally a supportive bunch.

BTW, in case you don’t click through the article, this story has a happy ending. Ben is in remission and doing well. 🙂

One thought on “Ben’s Game

  1. Nice story 🙂 I’ve always remembered that back in 1983, one of the Make-A-Wish kids’ wish was tosee Return of the J edi. His condition was worsening rapidly so he wasn’t expected to survive until it’s opening date (May 25 I think).
    So Lucas and co. arranged a screening of the movie in the child’s hospital room. I still get teary thinking about it.

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