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Posted by patrickklepek (3379 posts) -

The response to my story about "Jake," a 25-year-old Swedish gamer diagnosed with Asperger's, was tremendous. It was a different kind of story for Giant Bomb, and I'm glad you all dug it.

If you haven't read the story, the reason I'm saying "Jake" is because the individual I talked to wanted to remain anonymous, hoping to avoid judgement from others because of his condition.

After the story was published, Jake decided he wanted to write a response. Jake's story also prompted several other people with Asperger's to contact me and share their own stories.

Here's what they told me.

Because of difficulty with social cues, L.A. Noire may be difficult for someone with Asperger's.
== TEASER ==

Hi everyone!

This is Jeff, sorry I mean Jake (what were you thinking Patrick giving me the same name as Mr Gerstmann himself?)

I found myself writing an entire article when trying to respond to some comments, but since I'm sure you don't want to read all that I've cut it down to the most important parts.

I never wanted to get attention and indeed I was as skeptical about having such an article on a video game site, interesting as it may be, as many of you. However Patrick had a feeling people would find it interesting and it seems a lot of you did find it interesting and there are many more nice comments than I expected. Thank you for that.

A lot of you think you have asbergers, if you think so then I suggest you should turn to professionals and find out. I was tested for 8 hours a day for a week by a team of specialists, it's not a pregnancy test you can conduct on yourself.

I agree that games are not a substitute for social interaction, in fact maybe it has been an escape from dealing with real people. From the comments here it seems most people are understanding. Maybe I should tell people about my condition so they can understand why I'm sometimes a bit weird, then maybe I can relax when talking to them instead of always thinking "don't say anything stupid." Then maybe I can have a conversation with a girl without explaining the definition of a hybrid car or going into details about the early Swedish nuclear program or at least when I do she will understand why.

I hope this is short and concise enough for anyone to read it. Take care people!"

The next story comes from Daniel, who doesn't struggle with Asperger's--his brother does.

"Hi Patrick,

I just wanted to say something about your fantastic Into the Matrix article as it dealt with a subject thats pretty important to me. My younger brother and i grew up playing games together and still enjoy meeting up every now and then and playing them to this day (I'm 24 he's 22). My brother was actually diagnosed with aspergers when he was little older than 5 and playing games together was a great way for us to overcome some of the difficulties he faced. When it came to dealing with logical puzzle type games (portal is the go to example here but it was before our time) he was always better than me and i would often seek his help when stuck in a logic based situation. Adventure games were his forte as he was able to puzzle things out in a way i couldn't which is why i thought it would be cool if we sat down and played L.A. Noire together since that's basically all it is. It didn't take long for us to realise that he had a hard time playing the game as he wasn't able to tell when people were lying or telling the truth. The main thrust of the game was really difficult for him because of his disability something we both found pretty interesting. (He still enjoyed the game despite this and i sort of feel this validates the developers 'you progress no matter what you do' decision).

Just thought i would let you know how someone with a medical diagnosis of aspergers dealt with L.A. Noire and praise your article. It's the type of insightful, interesting and mature work so often lacking in games journalism.

Keep up the good work, regards,

Daniel."

Sean is the author of our last story, who sympathized with getting lost in the world of RPGs.

"As one who has for years dealt with being told I have Aspberger's Syndrome, I wanted to express my appreciation for your article about the Swedish Aspie Jeff or Jake or whatever his name is. The things said therein about his gaming habits and how they relate to his psychological makeup are so similar to my own that they could damn near be called identical. I especially could relate to the idea of eschewing the FPS genre in favor of the vicarious living afforded players of RPGs. And yes, when it comes to RPGs I also skew toward BioWare, especially KOTOR. Lastly, allow me to commend your Matrix reference in the title, I found it most fitting for people like me who are always looking for a suitable alternative to the real world. Thanks again. ~Sean."

Sean and Daniel were not the only one who reached out, either. Thank you to everyone who enjoyed Jake's story, and especially thank you to Jake for giving me the chance to tell it.

Staff
#1 Posted by patrickklepek (3379 posts) -

The response to my story about "Jake," a 25-year-old Swedish gamer diagnosed with Asperger's, was tremendous. It was a different kind of story for Giant Bomb, and I'm glad you all dug it.

If you haven't read the story, the reason I'm saying "Jake" is because the individual I talked to wanted to remain anonymous, hoping to avoid judgement from others because of his condition.

After the story was published, Jake decided he wanted to write a response. Jake's story also prompted several other people with Asperger's to contact me and share their own stories.

Here's what they told me.

Because of difficulty with social cues, L.A. Noire may be difficult for someone with Asperger's.
== TEASER ==

Hi everyone!

This is Jeff, sorry I mean Jake (what were you thinking Patrick giving me the same name as Mr Gerstmann himself?)

I found myself writing an entire article when trying to respond to some comments, but since I'm sure you don't want to read all that I've cut it down to the most important parts.

I never wanted to get attention and indeed I was as skeptical about having such an article on a video game site, interesting as it may be, as many of you. However Patrick had a feeling people would find it interesting and it seems a lot of you did find it interesting and there are many more nice comments than I expected. Thank you for that.

A lot of you think you have asbergers, if you think so then I suggest you should turn to professionals and find out. I was tested for 8 hours a day for a week by a team of specialists, it's not a pregnancy test you can conduct on yourself.

I agree that games are not a substitute for social interaction, in fact maybe it has been an escape from dealing with real people. From the comments here it seems most people are understanding. Maybe I should tell people about my condition so they can understand why I'm sometimes a bit weird, then maybe I can relax when talking to them instead of always thinking "don't say anything stupid." Then maybe I can have a conversation with a girl without explaining the definition of a hybrid car or going into details about the early Swedish nuclear program or at least when I do she will understand why.

I hope this is short and concise enough for anyone to read it. Take care people!"

The next story comes from Daniel, who doesn't struggle with Asperger's--his brother does.

"Hi Patrick,

I just wanted to say something about your fantastic Into the Matrix article as it dealt with a subject thats pretty important to me. My younger brother and i grew up playing games together and still enjoy meeting up every now and then and playing them to this day (I'm 24 he's 22). My brother was actually diagnosed with aspergers when he was little older than 5 and playing games together was a great way for us to overcome some of the difficulties he faced. When it came to dealing with logical puzzle type games (portal is the go to example here but it was before our time) he was always better than me and i would often seek his help when stuck in a logic based situation. Adventure games were his forte as he was able to puzzle things out in a way i couldn't which is why i thought it would be cool if we sat down and played L.A. Noire together since that's basically all it is. It didn't take long for us to realise that he had a hard time playing the game as he wasn't able to tell when people were lying or telling the truth. The main thrust of the game was really difficult for him because of his disability something we both found pretty interesting. (He still enjoyed the game despite this and i sort of feel this validates the developers 'you progress no matter what you do' decision).

Just thought i would let you know how someone with a medical diagnosis of aspergers dealt with L.A. Noire and praise your article. It's the type of insightful, interesting and mature work so often lacking in games journalism.

Keep up the good work, regards,

Daniel."

Sean is the author of our last story, who sympathized with getting lost in the world of RPGs.

"As one who has for years dealt with being told I have Aspberger's Syndrome, I wanted to express my appreciation for your article about the Swedish Aspie Jeff or Jake or whatever his name is. The things said therein about his gaming habits and how they relate to his psychological makeup are so similar to my own that they could damn near be called identical. I especially could relate to the idea of eschewing the FPS genre in favor of the vicarious living afforded players of RPGs. And yes, when it comes to RPGs I also skew toward BioWare, especially KOTOR. Lastly, allow me to commend your Matrix reference in the title, I found it most fitting for people like me who are always looking for a suitable alternative to the real world. Thanks again. ~Sean."

Sean and Daniel were not the only one who reached out, either. Thank you to everyone who enjoyed Jake's story, and especially thank you to Jake for giving me the chance to tell it.

Staff
#2 Posted by SixtyXCelph (211 posts) -

I love these articles of yours!  Always super interesting!

#3 Posted by monkeynuts8 (73 posts) -

Great stuff

#4 Posted by Oni (2094 posts) -

Patrick, you're earning your keep. You're still wrong about Shutter Island but I forgive you.

#5 Posted by mak_wikus (498 posts) -

Journalism! Keep up the good work, Patrick.

#6 Posted by punkxblaze (2947 posts) -

The news section has seriously climbed back into one of my favorite parts of GiantBomb since Patrick came onboard. Keep up the good work, mang!

#7 Posted by MolluskLingers (109 posts) -

Thank you patrick.

#8 Posted by willman2 (15 posts) -

This is very very cool and they say video games don't help people and can't make them friends look "Jake" now has website of them ( not saying he didnt have any before). Thank you so much Patrick

#9 Posted by TaliciaDragonsong (8698 posts) -

If this is the stuff we can keep expecting, then I'm all for it!
 
Any sod can report the gaming news, few can do articles (and get such responses) like these.
I'm a fan, keep it up!

#10 Posted by Vitor (2809 posts) -

@punkxblaze said:

The news section has seriously climbed back into one of my favorite parts of GiantBomb since Patrick came onboard. Keep up the good work, mang!

Man keeps throwing out articles like a machine. Keep it up Klepek!

#11 Posted by Liv (43 posts) -

I enjoyed both the article and this... commentary. It's almost always interesting to hear about other ways to perceive and appreciate video games - aside from my own narrow-mindedness.

#12 Posted by cooljammer00 (1490 posts) -

Great job, Ja-Jeff-emy

#13 Posted by smellylettuce (117 posts) -

Wasn't his name "Jeff?"

#14 Posted by DavoTron (147 posts) -

I'm totally glad I pay you people money.

#15 Posted by Monkeyman04 (998 posts) -

Just read the original article and I loved every second of reading it. Very insightful. I'm so glad that Patrick is on the team writing not only gaming news, but stories about people that play them. 

Online
#16 Posted by Sinful (211 posts) -

Sigh

#17 Posted by GreggD (4475 posts) -

@Laketown said:

still don't believe any of them

Why not?

#18 Posted by rottendevice (159 posts) -

@smellylettuce said:

Wasn't his name "Jeff?"

Yeah. This.

#19 Posted by Animasta (14632 posts) -

@GreggD said:

@Laketown said:

still don't believe any of them

Why not?

the internet is full of people who self diagnose themselves with asbergers, so that they can internalize to themselves their decision to stay inside and play video games all day and not feel bad about it.

#20 Posted by Boogey131 (46 posts) -

@Laketown: The Internet is also full with people so afraid they're being naive that they become cynical and mistrusting. Jakes advice for people who think they have aspergers was to go get it proffessionally diagnosed, not "self-diagnose"

#21 Posted by MisterChief (831 posts) -

Am I the only one who wants to hear about the early Swedish nuclear program?

Online
#22 Posted by HydraHam (1338 posts) -

Great article.

#23 Posted by HeadNodShy (72 posts) -

@Laketown: Who don't you believe?

#24 Posted by StrikerTheLizard (315 posts) -

Yup, just copy your emails and call it a news article. That's some bang up reporting right there.

#25 Posted by HIMSteveO (15 posts) -

The original was a well-written and informative piece that gave an insight into a condition many know about but few truly understand (I don't also, despite teaching kids with aspergers in the past). This follow-up was again interesting to read, particularly seeing others who experience the same. Articles like these are among the reasons why Giant Bomb is a favourite Internet destination for myself and, I'm sure, many others.
 
Great job Patrick. I'd love to read more articles like this, assuming you have the time to write said articles.

#26 Posted by rmanthorp (3850 posts) -

Wonderful!

Moderator
#27 Posted by RelentlessKnight (963 posts) -
@StrikerTheLizard said:
Yup, just copy your emails and call it a news article. That's some bang up reporting right there.
I don't think this was a news article. 
Online
#28 Posted by Cirdain (2996 posts) -
@StrikerTheLizard: You sir are a troll and deserve a slap.
#29 Posted by Cirdain (2996 posts) -
@HIMSteveO said:
The original was a well-written and informative piece that gave an insight into a condition many know about but few truly understand (I don't also, despite teaching kids with aspergers in the past). This follow-up was again interesting to read, particularly seeing others who experience the same. Articles like these are among the reasons why Giant Bomb is a favourite Internet destination for myself and, I'm sure, many others.   
   Great job Patrick. I'd love to read more articles like this, assuming you have the time to write said articles.
Ditto 
 
<3 Patrick
#30 Posted by thealexray (66 posts) -

I would've liked to see Patrick talk to a clinical psychologist or two, or maybe the parent of a child diagnosed with aspergers rather than internet randoms.

#31 Posted by randomfella21 (59 posts) -

The original article was really interesting, and these individual stories as well. My younger brother has aspergers and he's the exact same way with logic/puzzle and adventure games. He absolutely adores the Portal games, and he has played through both of them multiple times now. We've played through a lot of the co-op and he figures out the puzzles waaaaayy faster than me. It's actually really interesting because he finds that game incredibly easy as opposed to Call of Duty which he has a really hard time with.

#32 Posted by MaFoLu (1858 posts) -

@MisterChief said:

Am I the only one who wants to hear about the early Swedish nuclear program?

We created the Earth, that pretty much sums it up I think.

#33 Posted by GreggD (4475 posts) -

@Boogey131 said:

@Laketown: The Internet is also full with people so afraid they're being naive that they become cynical and mistrusting. Jakes advice for people who think they have aspergers was to go get it proffessionally diagnosed, not "self-diagnose"

This, pretty much. And I was professionally diagnosed, so Laketown can shove it.

#34 Posted by Branthog (7340 posts) -

I'd like to see more stories like this, addressing how people use gaming for various purposes as well as how people are able to game from positions of various potential disadvantage. It is difficult for me to conceive of, but I know that there are blind gamers out there and plenty of other disabilities that people can still game with.

A few years ago, I lead an effort to help raise money with fellow geeks online for a kid on the east coast with MD who was the victim of a burglary where everything that gave him some joy and peace was stolen. This young kid could not attend school and had to do so remotely, from his home. He could do very little for himself and most of his life was bolstered by online experiences and videogames and movies. Thanks to generous people all over the world, we raised a few thousand dollars in only three days and replaced everything he had stolen with cool new stuff. Anyway, having muscular dystrophy, he still managed to game. He could not really hold the weight of a controller or even a handheld, but he loved the PSP he got for himself as part of all the new goodies. He was able to leverage its shape in a pillow on his lap so that he could manage to play certain games just fine.

Personally, becoming disabled in a way that would impact my ability to use a computer or play videogames (and read, watch movies, etc) is something that terrifies me. I've had nightmares about it. I've daydreamed about it. I can't imagine how I would handle it. Yet, some do. I find it kind of fascinating. It'd also be interesting to see some articles featuring the very few individuals on the planet who are working to make gaming more accessible. They are usually volunteers working for free to create devices and software and drivers, because commercial organizations can't be bothered.

#35 Posted by StingerMK2 (386 posts) -

@rottendevice said:

@smellylettuce said:

Wasn't his name "Jeff?"

Yeah. This.

i think the original article was edited after people started called him up on it (i wonder if Jeff had anything to say about it :p)

great follow up once again Patrick!

#36 Posted by jorbear (2517 posts) -

Great, great job Patrick. I have loved both of these articles.

#37 Edited by RobinOttens (33 posts) -

Three cheers for mr. Patrick Klepek. Once again you get me to actually read an article on this site, instead of just skimming over it and gravitating back towards the video content. 
 
"Jake's" story is kinda fascinating, as someone starting to get into making my own games, it's an interesting subject.
 
Subtitles to help the deaf, good sound design to help the visualy impaired, options to customize control schemes for people who can't work normal controllers. No exclusive reliance on 'real-life' social cues for people with aspergers?

#38 Posted by Vortextk (418 posts) -

Thanks patrick, great read and a different read. Videogame stuff that isn't just purely about the business, which I realize is kind of what giantbomb is trying to go for.
 
As for Jake, if you read this, do tell people you meet that you want to talk to. If they take it bad or don't understand, and seemingly you might go a bit too indepth explaining it to someone ignorant of your syndrome(me, until the last article by patrick), oh well. I mean, having them react badly to you telling them and then moving on is probably better than doubting yourself internally for whole conversations or any time you see them, right?

#39 Posted by deadly_polo (471 posts) -

Great article Patrick, and very interesting as a reality check on how some people experience games

#40 Posted by PKHilson (205 posts) -

Great job!

#41 Posted by iShayman (90 posts) -

Great stuff Patrick! Your articles are consistently interesting.

#42 Posted by Deusx (1902 posts) -

Great article again patrick, I hope articles like this are published more often.

#43 Posted by TatsurouXIII (649 posts) -

some kinda crusade? this is exactly why I haven't paid this month.

#44 Posted by Depth (354 posts) -

Maybe this will make some nerds self-diagnose them self because hey they are fat and not good with people, must be some sort of disorder that explains it OK!

#45 Posted by MjHealy (1817 posts) -

Thanks a lot for these stories Patrick. You are adding a great variety to the news output on Giant Bomb

#46 Posted by XenoZak (170 posts) -

@OracleXIII:

You are boycotting because you get extra news articles? I can't see the point of complaining about something that isn't forced on you, you don't get less content you get MORE. It's not their problem that not all of it is to your taste.

Your statement is pretty selfish as looking at the comments the majority of people appreciate these articles. Not paying because you don't want them indicates that your intent is to take away from other peoples experiences, nice going.

#47 Posted by TatsurouXIII (649 posts) -

@XenoZak: I'd really rather get less than this spam. Even since Patrick appeared on the site the quality's been going downhill. These articles are pointless, and I don't even wanna get into the quality of Patrick's QLs.

#48 Posted by MisterMouse (3539 posts) -

More awesomeness! It is cool to get these kind of reactions.

#49 Edited by darkjester74 (1564 posts) -

It's the type of insightful, interesting and mature work so often lacking in games journalism.


This comment from Daniel really hit the nail on the head!  Thanks again for this write up Patrick.
#50 Posted by Tidel (360 posts) -

C'mon, Bombers, this stuff is totally, like, beneath Giant Bomb. Did you know there is a tit bridge in Shadows of the Damned? A whole bridge made of tits. THAT'S the kind of news items we need here, not thoughtful pieces about gamers as genuine human beings; not stuff that expands the terminally juvenile and anti-intellectual peephole from which virtually every single site that covers video games peeps. I don't want to live in a world where we ask our community to have compassion. That's fucking lame. That goes against everything TIT BRIDGE stands for. Which is a bridge made of tits. God, your feelings and prose are so fag-gay. Let's ALL boycott this stupid site until the true genuis of mammary arcitexture gets it's fucking due. Let's build a tit bridge to a better tomorrow where we burn these so-called 'aspurgers' at the stake like the gay-fag witches they really are.
 
WHO'S WITH ME?!
 
 
Guys?
 
 
 
I feel dead inside.