I was not expecting today to be any different in terms of big life changes, it's really just a Thursday, pandemic seems to be easing up a little… But this morning, as I was playing draft pick, I understood something very painful: It was the last time I would play League of Legends.
I have been experiencing a very sudden process of sight loss due to untreated glaucoma since April 2020 that culminated in me hitting the threshold for legal blindness last December. All throughout the process, I kept playing League, as it was legitimately my favorite game and I had so much fun playing, but the past three months or so have been incredibly taxing, emotionally. I was playing more sporadically because even 15 minutes of straining my eyes leaves me with a migraine, but the more time that went between matches, the more noticeable my sight loss became whenever I logged in and sat for 30 minutes watching my gameplay worsen, the information slowly becoming something I could not parse. It was obviously not just the migraines, but the solidification of the fact that, well, fuck, I am going blind.
I know the community has a reputation for being jaded and toxic, and to an extent, I did get splashes of that experience, but honestly? My experience as a player was overwhelmingly positive. League was something for me to bond over with my real life friends, and a gateway to kind communities where I got to know online friends that would come to matter more to me than words could express. It was rewarding, I could see myself improve with practice, even if I never aimed for a high rank, and sitting down every night to play a few hours was the only thing that kept me going in what have been, quite frankly, a shit couple of years. When I think of League it's never the bad matches that stick with me, it's the neat outplays, the honest conversations about life in voice chat, the delight that came with messing around with builds and meeting people that I had this in common with.
Today was the day the loss finally hit. I was playing a Lux match, and understanding that even with my main, even with the more contrasting skin I could find, and all the color settings adjusted, and a giant monitor with a magnifier could not do anything about the fact that I just could not play because I could not see anything relevant. No abilities, no health bars, no indicators… My lack of peripheral vision also meant that all my attempts at hitting anything were mostly guesswork. Hell, the only reason I knew who I even was playing was the color of the blurry HP bar that took up a quarter of my monitor.
I don't think I can kid myself anymore into thinking that things will remain the same even as this huge part of my life changes into something unknown and terrifying. I hate that League of all things was what made me understand how real and irreversible the sight loss is, but it is what it is. So today, I have decided that I have played my last game of League. I did not savor it. I did not prep a goodbye party, and if this is a goodbye speech then it's kind of shitty.
I would still like to make use of this cheesy word vomit to thank League players and the team behind the game. You've brought many things to my life that I hope will remain now that League is no longer in it, and I am grateful. Regardless of what comes next, I will remember these times in my life fondly, and that's pretty much invaluable.
Thank you, it's been great. See you on the flip side.
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