It’s been a few years since I started this blog up and, in that time, I’ve changed and grown as a person. I figured I would take the time to update this page for viewers, new and old. Here is my story and why I decided to start Gastrogamer.
My name is Chad and I’m a 28 year old man and I have a medical condition known as cloacal bladder exstrophy. I spent a large part of my life dealing with trying to fit in, overcoming self confidence issues, and trying to discover who I was. Bladder exstrophy comes with a myriad of complications and I’m lucky to be alive today. I won’t go into all the details, but if you would like to find out more please feel free to see: Association for Bladder Exstrophy
I started Gastrogamer, because I remembered what it felt like to be a young kid in the hospital. You wondered when and if you were going to be able to go home. If you were like me, you got to know the hospital and doctors on a personal level. I got to meet kids with varying conditions, and grew to see the variations of play we were all able to experience. Video games were a new medium that I saw I could escape to when I was feeling self conscious or lacking self esteem. It got me thinking about how these other kids might embrace and escape from their current conditions.
I didn’t discover that I wanted to be a game designer until 2009, but games have always been a crucial component of my life. They have helped me, and others like myself, overcome the struggles that we deal with on a daily basis. Why then should we live in a world where accessibility is not on the forefront of game design? I want the world to know though, that I feel for those who don’t have the confidence to pursue their dreams because they feel different.
The reason I even started this blog was so that I could find a way to promote inspiration, hope, and bring families together by giving them fun through gaming. I’m an aspiring game designer that has dealt with my own struggles all of my life, and now I’m just coming to terms with acceptance and love of it. I’ve had 26 surgeries in my lifetime. I know the difficult times of hardship others with disabilities go through. I want to ease that hardship though, with the means of fun. My goals in life are to use my life experiences to help give gamers, both disabled and able bodied, the opportunity to experience games, fun, enjoyment, and communication together.
I’m a complete and total nerd who enjoys all things nerd culture, whether it’s comic books to video games. I’ve got some experience within it all. I hope that you all enjoy my blog as it goes forward. I hope that as articles go up, we can work together to shape a gaming society that incorporates all players – not just the mainstream culture. I want to change the way the gaming universe looks at how games can be used. I want to show how they can be fun and life changing, and how they can improve aspects of life for those who can’t help themselves.
I look forward to seeing all of these things come to fruition, and I pray that you all will come with me on this journey. You have my thanks for even reading this. Gastrogamer is a place where all people, disabled or able-bodied, can learn about one another, learn about how to help the gaming world and the disabled community, and support those programs that will help those who truly need it.
Here’s to new games and new technology, which will shape the future of our combined enjoyment of games, and hope for solutions in our lives.
– Chad K.