A new documentary offers a much-needed look at the human faces in the gaming community and the reasons people love to gather online to play games together. It shows the journey to healing that the gaming world sometimes offers to those who are sick.
The film follows Terry Bolt, who was diagnosed with Neuroendocrine Tumors (NET) in 2010. (It’s a rare form of terminal cancer that eventually killed Steve Jobs.)
The now 64-year-old, self-described “WoW MoM” had a lot of stuff left in life that she wanted to do. (That’s short for World of Warcraft, for those of us who live under rocks impermeable to gaming culture.) So she set off to complete her bucket list, and make a documentary as she spread awareness of her disease. She wanted other people to hear how the gaming community had helped her heal. And through sharing her story, she found other gamers in similar circumstances. She interviewed a father who plays World of Warcraft with his diagnosed son and learned about a tournament thrown in support of a stomach-cancer patient in Denmark.
“Once I started looking into gaming as a way to heal there was too much story there to tell,” says director Andie Bolt. “It’s not just a bunch of dudes in their parent’s basements; it’s grandmas on their ranches, terminal children in their hospital beds, or wives who just lost their husbands.”
In case you were wondering, the “bucket list” of the “WoW Mom” was also pretty cool. In the documentary, she attends BlizzCon in full cosplay costume. She’s able to self-publish a young adult sci-fi novel, and she even does stand-up comedy with Chris Hardwick of Nerdist Industries.
In order to finish the post-production phase of the film, Bolt is turning to Kickstarter. “It’s a movie about an online community and I’m opening the film up to be completed by an online community,” she explains. As the project has expanded from a short web piece to a full feature, Bolt and her mother hope to increase awareness about NET tumors while shining a light on the positive effects of the online gaming community. (Which has really gotten a really bad rap from a loud and obnoxious minority that would seemingly rather argue about games and with gamers than actually play them.)
You can contribute to the Kickstarter here.