Fallout 76 fans have come together to return a player's kindness after he was struck by a house fire in his real life home.
Brent Fairchild is better known as his character "CJ Martin", a doctor who wanders the wasteland giving food and medicine to needy strangers. His generosity has inspired many players to help out, first in game, and now during his offline moment of need.
Fairchild was at home in Philadelphia last Saturday when the fire broke out. He was able to get his wife and child to safety, but suffered smoke inhalation and first and second degree burns to his hands, face, and feet. The damage to their home is also considerable. But his fellow players were quick to respond to a call for donations on GoFundMe. A modest $1000 (£810) was requested, but over $9000 (about £7300) has been raised so far.
As Polygon reported, Fairchild's online persona as a benevolent doctor made him probably the game's most famous player, attracting a whole crew of volunteers who donate time and in-game resources to support his project, and even some articles and interviews. The concept is straightforward enough: he's a doctor, and provides medical care and resources to anyone in need. But that takes considerable time and effort in a game built on scraping for food and junk, especially when anyone could take a potshot at you for the hell of it. Have a look at one of his in-character videos:
According to an update yesterday, the good doctor has been discharged from a burns unit and will recuperate with his family. The fundraiser's organiser Kenneth Vigue wrote:
"He was in good spirits, but in pain still and wished he remembered his first helicopter ride even with the breathing tubes in his throat. He was incredibly emotional about the outpouring of support and said he was thankful for each and every person. He also said and I quote, 'I can still press X though, so this won't keep me from making up stims for y'all!'"
I will insist that Fallout 76 is still doing well despite its calamitous launch because it has a remarkably positive and friendly playerbase. But even I was pleasantly surprised by how quickly people came together for this one. Good work, gang.
You can contribute to the fundraiser on GoFundMe.