Giant Bomb News

97 Comments

Out of the Matrix: "Jake," and Others, Share Their Responses

Three gamers dealing with Asperger's, including "Jake," share their stories.

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.
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.

Patrick Klepek on Google+

97 Comments

Avatar image for patrickklepek
patrickklepek

6833

Forum Posts

1300

Wiki Points

0

Followers

Reviews: 0

User Lists: 0

Edited By patrickklepek

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.
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.

Avatar image for sixtyxcelph
sixtyxcelph

288

Forum Posts

72

Wiki Points

0

Followers

Reviews: 4

User Lists: 5

Edited By sixtyxcelph

I love these articles of yours!  Always super interesting!

Avatar image for monkeynuts8
monkeynuts8

79

Forum Posts

53

Wiki Points

0

Followers

Reviews: 0

User Lists: 0

Edited By monkeynuts8

Great stuff

Avatar image for oni
Oni

2345

Forum Posts

5885

Wiki Points

0

Followers

Reviews: 26

User Lists: 12

Edited By Oni

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

Avatar image for mak_wikus
mak_wikus

797

Forum Posts

283

Wiki Points

0

Followers

Reviews: 0

User Lists: 2

Edited By mak_wikus

Journalism! Keep up the good work, Patrick.

Avatar image for vaiz
vaiz

3144

Forum Posts

28

Wiki Points

0

Followers

Reviews: 5

User Lists: 4

Edited By vaiz

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!

Avatar image for mollusklingers
MolluskLingers

117

Forum Posts

0

Wiki Points

0

Followers

Reviews: 0

User Lists: 0

Edited By MolluskLingers

Thank you patrick.

Avatar image for deactivated-5d5333d62f304
deactivated-5d5333d62f304

17

Forum Posts

0

Wiki Points

0

Followers

Reviews: 1

User Lists: 0

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

Avatar image for taliciadragonsong
TaliciaDragonsong

8734

Forum Posts

2

Wiki Points

0

Followers

Reviews: 0

User Lists: 8

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!

Avatar image for vitor
Vitor

3088

Forum Posts

51

Wiki Points

0

Followers

Reviews: 0

User Lists: 2

Edited By Vitor

@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!

Avatar image for liv
Liv

48

Forum Posts

92

Wiki Points

0

Followers

Reviews: 1

User Lists: 2

Edited By Liv

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.

Avatar image for cooljammer00
cooljammer00

3181

Forum Posts

17

Wiki Points

0

Followers

Reviews: 0

User Lists: 0

Edited By cooljammer00

Great job, Ja-Jeff-emy

Avatar image for smellylettuce
smellylettuce

278

Forum Posts

0

Wiki Points

0

Followers

Reviews: 4

User Lists: 0

Edited By smellylettuce

Wasn't his name "Jeff?"

Avatar image for davotron
DavoTron

186

Forum Posts

1009

Wiki Points

0

Followers

Reviews: 0

User Lists: 2

Edited By DavoTron

I'm totally glad I pay you people money.

Avatar image for monkeyman04
Monkeyman04

2859

Forum Posts

10

Wiki Points

0

Followers

Reviews: 0

User Lists: 5

Edited By Monkeyman04

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. 

Avatar image for sinful
Sinful

218

Forum Posts

48

Wiki Points

0

Followers

Reviews: 0

User Lists: 1

Edited By Sinful

Sigh

Avatar image for greggd
GreggD

4596

Forum Posts

981

Wiki Points

0

Followers

Reviews: 0

User Lists: 4

Edited By GreggD

@Laketown said:

still don't believe any of them

Why not?

Avatar image for rottendevice
rottendevice

173

Forum Posts

146

Wiki Points

0

Followers

Reviews: 0

User Lists: 5

Edited By rottendevice

@smellylettuce said:

Wasn't his name "Jeff?"

Yeah. This.

Avatar image for animasta
Animasta

14948

Forum Posts

3563

Wiki Points

0

Followers

Reviews: 4

User Lists: 5

Edited By Animasta

@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.

Avatar image for misterchief
MisterChief

832

Forum Posts

19

Wiki Points

0

Followers

Reviews: 0

User Lists: 0

Edited By MisterChief

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

Avatar image for hydraham
HydraHam

1380

Forum Posts

675

Wiki Points

0

Followers

Reviews: 0

User Lists: 6

Edited By HydraHam

Great article.

Avatar image for headnodshy
headnodshy

83

Forum Posts

223

Wiki Points

0

Followers

Reviews: 0

User Lists: 2

Edited By headnodshy

@Laketown: Who don't you believe?

Avatar image for strikerthelizard
StrikerTheLizard

326

Forum Posts

50

Wiki Points

0

Followers

Reviews: 0

User Lists: 0

Edited By StrikerTheLizard

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

Avatar image for himsteveo
HIMSteveO

89

Forum Posts

20

Wiki Points

0

Followers

Reviews: 1

User Lists: 1

Edited By HIMSteveO

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.

Avatar image for rmanthorp
rmanthorp

4646

Forum Posts

3603

Wiki Points

0

Followers

Reviews: 1

User Lists: 13

Edited By rmanthorp  Moderator

Wonderful!

Avatar image for relentlessknight
RelentlessKnight

1132

Forum Posts

-1

Wiki Points

0

Followers

Reviews: 1

User Lists: 32

Edited By RelentlessKnight
@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. 
Avatar image for cirdain
Cirdain

3797

Forum Posts

1645

Wiki Points

0

Followers

Reviews: -1

User Lists: 6

Edited By Cirdain
@StrikerTheLizard: You sir are a troll and deserve a slap.
Avatar image for cirdain
Cirdain

3797

Forum Posts

1645

Wiki Points

0

Followers

Reviews: -1

User Lists: 6

Edited By Cirdain
@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
Avatar image for thealexray
thealexray

73

Forum Posts

20

Wiki Points

0

Followers

Reviews: 0

User Lists: 1

Edited By thealexray

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.

Avatar image for randomfella21
randomfella21

68

Forum Posts

0

Wiki Points

0

Followers

Reviews: 0

User Lists: 1

Edited By randomfella21

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.

Avatar image for dingofighter
Dingofighter

1888

Forum Posts

251

Wiki Points

0

Followers

Reviews: 0

User Lists: 3

Edited By Dingofighter

@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.

Avatar image for greggd
GreggD

4596

Forum Posts

981

Wiki Points

0

Followers

Reviews: 0

User Lists: 4

Edited By GreggD

@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.

Avatar image for branthog
Branthog

5777

Forum Posts

1014

Wiki Points

0

Followers

Reviews: 2

User Lists: 0

Edited By Branthog

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.

Avatar image for stingermk2
StingerMK2

398

Forum Posts

1

Wiki Points

0

Followers

Reviews: 0

User Lists: 3

Edited By StingerMK2

@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!

Avatar image for jorbear
jorbear

2570

Forum Posts

28

Wiki Points

0

Followers

Reviews: 7

User Lists: 6

Edited By jorbear

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

Avatar image for robinottens
RobinOttens

36

Forum Posts

835

Wiki Points

0

Followers

Reviews: 0

User Lists: 0

Edited By RobinOttens

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?

Avatar image for vortextk
vortextk

954

Forum Posts

0

Wiki Points

0

Followers

Reviews: 0

User Lists: 1

Edited By vortextk

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?

Avatar image for deadly_polo
deadly_polo

503

Forum Posts

790

Wiki Points

0

Followers

Reviews: 2

User Lists: 6

Edited By deadly_polo

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

Avatar image for pkhilson
PKHilson

215

Forum Posts

23

Wiki Points

0

Followers

Reviews: 0

User Lists: 0

Edited By PKHilson

Great job!

Avatar image for deactivated-59d1ab87a7ca4
deactivated-59d1ab87a7ca4

99

Forum Posts

6226

Wiki Points

0

Followers

Reviews: 0

User Lists: 0

Great stuff Patrick! Your articles are consistently interesting.

Avatar image for deusx
Deusx

1943

Forum Posts

0

Wiki Points

0

Followers

Reviews: 0

User Lists: 2

Edited By Deusx

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

Avatar image for blackheronblue
BlackHeronBlue

789

Forum Posts

1722

Wiki Points

0

Followers

Reviews: 8

User Lists: 3

Edited By BlackHeronBlue

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

Avatar image for depth
Depth

363

Forum Posts

0

Wiki Points

0

Followers

Reviews: 0

User Lists: 0

Edited By Depth

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!

Avatar image for mjhealy
MjHealy

2009

Forum Posts

17432

Wiki Points

0

Followers

Reviews: 10

User Lists: 15

Edited By MjHealy

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

Avatar image for xenozak
XenoZak

172

Forum Posts

29

Wiki Points

0

Followers

Reviews: 0

User Lists: 0

Edited By XenoZak

@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.

Avatar image for blackheronblue
BlackHeronBlue

789

Forum Posts

1722

Wiki Points

0

Followers

Reviews: 8

User Lists: 3

Edited By BlackHeronBlue

@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.

Avatar image for mistermouse
MisterMouse

3608

Forum Posts

272

Wiki Points

0

Followers

Reviews: 5

User Lists: 5

Edited By MisterMouse

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

Avatar image for darkjester74
darkjester74

1725

Forum Posts

0

Wiki Points

0

Followers

Reviews: 1

User Lists: 0

Edited By darkjester74

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.
Avatar image for tidel
Tidel

373

Forum Posts

13

Wiki Points

0

Followers

Reviews: 4

User Lists: 0

Edited By Tidel

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.