Monday, September 12, 2011

Rest in peace James Ayles aka "xxxjammerxxx"

This post is in honor of a friend and long time listener of our show dating back to our Dice Like Thunder days.  James Ayles aka "xxxjammerxxx" passed away recently from a sudden massive heart attack at age 45.  The entire crew of the Eternal Warriors would like to offer his wife, young children and his extended family our most sincere condolences.  We never personally met James, he was always an internet friend who we'd meet on-line on our forums or on facebook.  Despite never meeting in person we got to know him quite well and feel his loss.

To honor a request from his wife to us I'm going to post a letter on Gamer Health written to us from "Ben", another long time listener.

    • Gamer Health
      This topic may seem a bit funny or awkward, but it is a very important issue that is facing many of us, especially gamers. It is the issue of health. The hobbies we love demand alot of our time. Whether its painting for hours on end, traveling hundreds of miles for a tournament, or standing still at said tournament or one-off game all day, too many gamers simply do not get enough excercise. We take great pride in our armies. We use the best paints. We transport them in cases to protect them. We spend a great deal of time on them. Yet, so many of us take better care of our armies than we do our bodies.
      This is not a direct attack on gamers by using the cliche' that they are fat and smell funny. But, look around the next time you go to your local game store or tournament. In fact, look around you anywhere you go. Look at yourself. What do you see? Do you see a healthy group of people? Do you care about you and your friends? This isn't a joke and it really is a matter of life and death.
      I, personally, have lost three friends in the past few years because of health issues. All of them were under the age of 30, and they did not take care of themselves. One of them committed suicide, one of them had severe diabetes that lead to cancer, and the other died of a massive heart attack in his sleep. All of them were overweight and unhappy. At tournaments and during friendly games, they would eat exactly what you see most other gamers eat and drink. It was either the stuff from the vending machine, pizza the tourny organizers would order, or fast food from the closest place to the bunker. These are not just opponants to roll dice against. These are real people and they are your friends.
      There has got to be a coorilation as to why so many gamers do not take care of themselves. Game nights are full of junk food, beer, coffee, sugar, carbs, cigarettes, energy drinks. Combine all of these things with non-movement over hours at a time and you end up putting on weight and adding depression.
      We play these games to escape from reality, and these are some really awesome games. Whether its playing an MMO, table top rpg, video games, poker, or 40k...they are all great games. However, our bodies are still in reality when we go to our favorite escape.
      These hobbies do take time, and they do require us to stay still and steady. But we do not need to spend hours at a time staying completely still in order to finish one task. If you have a unit or army to paint, allow yourself an hour of painting, and then walk outside. Set a timer for 10 minutes. Walk one way. Beep. The timer goes off. Then, turn back around and come back the other way. Get a glass of water, and sit down and continue to paint. You might notice something different this time. Your mind will be clearer. You will have better focus. You will even enjoy painting alot more. Before a tournament, go for some excercise and eat a good breakfast. You will also notice that your mind can think easier, rather than the Mountain Dew thinking for you. Your moral will be higher, and you will have alot more energy to stay alert throughout those long days of gaming. Also, pack a few "small" lunches when you go gaming. If you are hosting a game at your house, make it a healthy potluck. Everyone loves veggie trays. Nobody will even notice fat-free turkey over ham. Take a walk around the neighborhood with you and your friends before you start.
      If you know a friend who might be suffering from obesity, you don't even need to say anything at all. The best thing you can do is to lead by a healthy example.

  • 1 comment:

    1. Great Write up. Condolences to family.
      I contributed to the fund. Hopefully gamers might start taking better care of themselves.
      Not judging, I didn't know James at all. This might have come out of nowhere for him, for many other gamers they have years of bad health warnings.