When Fallout 76 first started running BETA, my dad and I both decided to try playing together. I grew up watching him play Bioshock and Dragon Age, talking with him about Dungeons and Dragons, and trying to get enough achievements to beat him in Gamerscore. (That never happened, he had already been playing for years before I was old enough to understand anything.) I considered him my best friend, as being the "special needs girl with anger issues" at school wasn't exactly the best way to make friends my own age. The first few scheduled openings of the BETA, we ran around the wasteland saving each others asses more than a few times. My dad decided to go off adventuring on his own, and I wished him luck. Even after the game dropped fully, he never actually picked it up again. I spent my time as a lone high school loser playing at home by myself, racking up hours and levels.
My dad had a hemorrhagic stroke about a month after the game was released, and I'm very lucky he has recovered almost completely as of writing this due to the nature of hemorrhagic strokes. I moved out shortly after he was released from the hospital, but following that he gained a reputation in the entire family for being late and not keeping schedules. Even after his own father passed away, my Pop-Pop, he refused to sit in the front row at the wake with the rest of the immediate family in order to stay on the couch with his new wife. The next day, they were half an hour late to the funeral. Not a great look.
On the day the Wastelanders update was dropped around a year after shit hit the fan, I asked him if he would be up for giving the game another go. He said he would love to, and that made me the happiest I had been in a long time since now we lived far away and had lost most contact since I moved out. We played for about 3 hours, going through the new main quest with Duchess and the Wayward and fighting irradiated monsters before we were both about to pass out from exhaustion. I got a text from him the next morning.
"That was fun last night we can plan to do it again tonight"
In his usual new fashion due to the stroke messing with control of one's hands, and it easily topped the previous day's excitement. My dad, who had become the man who couldn't keep plans in the family, was asking his daughter to schedule. This simply didn't happen anymore. He didn't reach out, much less to try to do something as a family.
That evening, we played again for hours. Dropping dead like flies that kept respawning on Deathclaw Island, getting turned around on the train tracks thanks to an airdrop, seeing 2 wild housecats that looked just like mine. They were great memories, and after a year of him being bullied by his new wife and not being allowed to talk to me about nerd shit, we had finally reconnected. Now, we log on almost every night to shred up Appalachia.
If you ever see akulaCo and SamuraiCoder around when you're playing 76 on Xbox Live, come say hi!
Edit: Fixed paragraphs
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