Sep 8, 2016

Posted by in From the flight deck | 0 Comments

Agent Shepherd

With the news of its demise, I find myself coming back repeatedly to one particular association and memory from playing MAA over the past several years.
(Forgive me for having the rather sad tone to this – it’s ultimately a good, positive reflection in my mind.)

In the fall of 2013, my wife and I learned that the baby girl my wife was carrying had several serious complications, and that the likelihood of her survival was low. Not long after that, a very close friend of mine told me about this game that he had discovered: it was a Facebook turn-based strategy game, it had a bunch of Marvel heroes, and I should check it out. I did. When I first opened the game, the Dark World Spec Ops was live and so were the covert tasks for Moon Knight. I was super intrigued, I started playing, and I couldn’t stop. My friend had specifically shown me the game in an effort to cheer me up and give me something to help distract me during the hard time we were going through with the uncertainty surrounding our daughter (he even spent some money to hook me up with some solid heroes to get a good start). It worked. Even though it wasn’t that long of a period, the months during the time that we waited, worried and prayed for our baby dragged on. But throughout that whole time, MAA was there for me as a distraction and source of enjoyment & entertainment. Just a week before we were to deliver our little girl, we learned at an appointment that she had gone to heaven. We were devastated, and it was incredibly hard. Our supportive and loving families, our amazingly kind friends, and our strong faith in God were the real, ultimate supports and help during that immensely hard time, BUT the enjoyment that MAA consistently brought me on a daily basis was a substantially large part of the process for me, personally, and I’ll never forget it.

My memories of this game aren’t tied solely to that really hard time of life and how it helped me through it, but it is a huge part of what I think of when I reflect on this game in its final days. In a very real sense, I think of MAA as having been a significant portion of what helped me get through that very sad, rather dark time.

I won’t be able to achieve my ultimate goal in this game, which was to be Super Spartan (I do have all the heroes, but only my Generalists, Tacticians, Blasters and Bruisers are all 15 – the rest are 13 or higher), but I got a ton out of this game, have loved playing it (even if it did tick me off sometimes), and will feel, in a way, a sense of gratitude towards it for how it was a source of comfort and enjoyment in that difficult time.

I don’t want to neglect to say how great the Agents Only Lounge has been, too. It wasn’t until a while later that I discovered the FTH podcast and the Lounge, but since then, the interactions with fellow agents, the strategic help and the collaborative nature of the whole thing has been a blast, and I’ll miss that. Thanks to everyone in the Lounge with whom I’ve enjoyed interacting, and thanks to McFall, Ibbott and Klotz for their work on the podcast and in the lounge. It’s been real, it’s been fun and it’s been real fun.

Agent Shepherd out.

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