FFXIV: Welcome Back Soken

FFXIV: Welcome Back Soken

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The end of the digital FanFest brought on a tidal wave of emotion from both developers and fans as the beloved composer/musician Masayoshi Soken tells his story of secretly battling cancer… while still working as part of the FFXIV dev team from his hospital bed!!

I’ll let the video do the talking. Be warned, this is extremely emotional.

When I woke up this morning, I didn’t realize what had happened just a few prior hours. Thankfully, I got news via text from Syn before seeing this video.

This really puts so much into a different perspective for me.

It tells a story of the unsung strength of people who put their lives into making the games that we love to play. It also tells how our love of that work as gamers and our support of the game can help heal and strengthen the resolve of those who put that kind of sacrifice into this creation.

It brings home the meaning of a Game Community, how we’re all connected, and how important each of us are within it. Also, how important it is to view the individuals as people – both those who make and play the game – and understand there’s stories and lives – hopes, pains, fears and joys – all mixed up in this world that we log into every day.

I wish I had better words to describe what I’m feeling. I just don’t.

I met Soken in person during the 2016 FanFest. He’s an absolute charmer – not only an amazing musician and composer, but an extremely fun and upbeat person that loves to entertain other folks from the heart. I just know he’s a blessing to that dev team and everyone who has the joy to know him personally.

I tried to express my thanks for all of his beautiful music when I had the chance to say it to him face-to-face then. Years later, he continues to amaze…

Soken’s autograph (bottom) from the 2016 FanFest

But also, thinking about all this…

It’s a lesson to me to be thankful for these beautiful worlds and creations – all of it. Even the raids I don’t want to do and the content I’m loath to try. I’m guilty for taking things for granted from a mundane gamer perspective (we’ve all been there).

It makes me feel a little rotten that there Soken was composing “To The Edge” – the song that plays during the Warrior of Light trial – tirelessly from his hospital bed. And here all I could do was anxiously grumble that I needed to get past another trial just to move through the MSQ… rather than trying to enjoy the creation for what it was.

I had no clue what kind of sacrifice went into that creation… do we ever stop to think about that kind of thing when we’re playing a game? That just makes me ashamed now. And maybe a lot more aware for the future.

Granted! I do love the song – we played it for a very long time in our FC house! In fact, I think I’ll go and put it on again right after this.

Welcome back, Soken!

Thank you for your courage to share your story and open the hearts and minds of the fans to how fine the line is between real life and our gaming worlds. You’re a true Warrior of Light and an inspiration to us all.

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