By John Walker on March 7th, 2014 at 4:00 pm.
If you don’t know the name Brandon Boyer, then you’ll certainly have benefited from the incredible work he’s done and continues to do for indie gaming. He’s been the brains behind sites like Gamasutra, Offworld, and now Venus Patrol. He writes for champions of good, Boing Boing, and is no less than the chairman of the Independent Games Festival. He also has cancer, and a health insurance company that’s refusing to pay for his vital treatment. We rather want to keep him alive – you can help with that. You can even get some very cheap games in the process.
Boyer’s situation is extremely serious. Last year he was diagnosed with cancer, and given emergency surgery to remove a few feet of his small intestine, and a portion of his liver. This meant he got to stay alive. However, in order to stay that way, he needs consistent treatment. And his health insurance company are refusing to pay a cent.
Humana, for it is they, have decided to exploit a grotesque loophole and claim that Boyer’s stating he had stomach aches in the past, prior to his purchasing health insurance, invalidates his claim and proves that stomach and liver cancer could have been diagnosed earlier. Stomach aches. Stomach aches, like every human alive has experienced in the last five years, and obviously not considered worthy of a trip to the doctor and exploratory surgery. Based on this, they are refusing to pay toward the hundred thousand dollar bill Boyer has already run up, nor any ongoing vital treatment for the cancer.
We can do something about this mess. Boyer has had the humility to create a fundraising page to allow people to donate toward his epic bills, and you can go stick in a few bucks right now.
And superbly, Devolver and Humble have put up a bundle that lets you direct your payment directly toward Boyer’s campaign, and pick up a bundle of games in the process. In there you’ll get Duke Nukem 3D Megaton Edition and Shadow Warrior Classic Redux, along with three movies, Austin High, The Poisoning, and One Couch At A Time. Make your donation $10 or higher and you’ll also get Defense Technics, and debut game Cosmic DJ, along with movies Good Game (also a debut) and MARS. And for some reason you’ll also be punished with a copy of Marc Ecko’s Getting Up: Contents Under Pressure. You can split your funds between lunatic publisher Devolver, Humble, a film making initiate called The Collaborative, and of course Boyer’s fund.
Why Brandon Boyer, when clearly countless Americans are in similar conditions? Because he’s a man that’s made a difference to so many PC gamers. His enthusiasm and support for indie games surpasses all others, and the years of coverage, promotion and celebration he’s provided have enriched our lives, and literally those of many indie developers. The IGFs, for all the controversy they generate, and perhaps because of it, has been responsible for so much good in gaming, and has become bigger and stronger under Boyer’s watch. He’s one of the Good Guys. We don’t want to lose him.
For those wondering, yes, the rules have changed in the States, and medical insurance companies can no longer fuck over human beings in this most despicable of ways via the Health Insurance Marketplace. However, this only counts for cases starting after January 2014. Boyer’s diagnosis was in 2013, and as such, he’s left horrendously screwed. But let’s help make a difference. Let’s help that goal of $110,000 look like a blip in the distance, ensuring Boyer has the funds for continuous treatment over many years to come.