I first met J.R. in January 2020, via one of the very first non-family people I've ever added to my XBox friends list. He lived in the Southern U.S. and had a very pronounced drawl.
I didn't get to play with him frequently, due to the restrictions of only having up to 4 or 6 people in a gaming lobby on BO4. We typically played Blackout, groaning at quick demises or cheering to clutch performances.
Sometimes we'd have to delay our deployment into the next match, as he would have to let his dog outside to relieve itself. We'd also sometimes hear him grumble about his flatmates using the batteries he needed to power his gaming controller.
He went on to play COD Warzone quite a bit in the Spring/Summer 2020, so I didn't get to play much with him as I've stuck with BO4. One of my most memorable times with him actually occurred in Warzone, not BO4. We'd landed near the Prison, and J.R. got sniped from an elevated position. I ran across cover to revive him. Our third teammate, one of J.R.'s friends, then got sniped as well. I ran over to revive him. J.R. got sniped a second time, so I again frantically dashed over to rez him. I performed 5 revives within 2 minutes, before we finally got our act together and vamoosed away from Prison. We got a chuckle out of that.
J.R. didn't appear with an "online" status starting in the Summer 2020. I realized that many of those on my Friends list did that to avoid game invites, while they played with people they wanted to spend time with.
However, at the start of October 2020, I raised the question as to whether anyone had played with J.R. in the past few months. Our mutual acquaintance reached out both via XBox and privately. He got a reply from one of J.R.'s siblings.
J.R. had died in late July 2020, due to a traffic accident.
This is the time of year when COD gamers presumably deal with the issue of friends gravitating to the newest game, and perhaps not playing as much with those who want to continue on the current games.
The thought should be, "Aw, I may not get to play as much with so-and-so because the new game came out." It should NEVER be, "Aw, I'm never going to get to play with so-and-so ever again because he died."
If there's someone on your BO4 or XBox friends list who hasn't shown as online in a while, please at least send a message. Find out if they've simply set their Privacy Setting to "offline" but are still well.
I only got to share in 6 months of J.R.'s life. He's one of the very few gamers on my Friends list, and I'm grateful I at least got to meet him, even if it was just over our headsets.
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© Post "RIP to my Black Ops 4 gaming buddy" for game CoD: Black Ops 4.
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