Christian Donlan is a prolific writer, having contributed to Edge magazine, co-founded gaming site Hookshot, and co-created the animated children’s show Everybody Loves a Moose. After four years of freelancing for Eurogamer.net, he joined the staff as associate editor. His portfolio for that site exceeds 800 articles that demonstrate his passion for gaming as an art form.
In early 2014, Christian woke up to tingling in his fingers and toes. Several visits to the neurologist produced a diagnosis: multiple sclerosis, a degenerative neurological disorder that he shares with Polygamer host Ken Gagne’s mother. That November, Donlan penned an article for Eurogamer about how video games taught him the life skills he needed to cope with his diagnosis.
In this interview, Christian discusses the differences between the American and European gaming scene and his trajectory as a writer before sharing his experiences with multiple sclerosis: the challenges of being “out” about his disease, the support he’s received from his community, how MS put his life into perspective and made it easier to handle catastrophes, and why games like Spelunky and XCOM were a more valuable metaphor and escape than Uncharted.
Download the audio edition of this interview below or from iTunes, Stitcher, Google Podcasts, Spotify, Amazon Music, Overcast, Pandora, Pocket Casts, iHeartRadio, TuneIn, RadioPublic, or the Internet Archive. Click past the jump for links to resources mentioned in this episode.
- Christian Donlan’s Eurogamer portfolio
- Christian Donlan joins Eurogamer staff
- “Hey Hey 16K” music video — song by MJ Hibbett
- Elite: Dangerous
- Solar Jetman
- Retrospective: Impossible Mission
- The Internet Archive’s Console Living Room
- Edge Magazine
- Hookshot, launched February 2012
- The alphabet of months: a year of living with multiple sclerosis, by Christian Donlan for the New Statesman
- Carter Beats the Devil by Glen David Gold
- David Lander (Laverne & Shirley‘s Squiggy) on multiple sclerosis
- The Money Pit with Tom Hanks & Shelley Long
- Catastrophe games: How Spelunky and XCOM helped prepare me for an incurable illness
- Spelunky & X-COM
- Let’s Play Life Is Strange
- The MS Challenge Talk podcast for National Multiple Sclerosis Society (NMSS), Greater New England chapter
- Multiple Sclerosis Society of the UK
- BG-12 (dimethyl fumarate)
- (Hat tip to Chris Scullion)