Gears of War 3 and My Brush With Death

gears of war 3 carmine

It was September of 2011, a mere few weeks after I had begun to work here with LevelSave. My social life was near non-existant, and outside of reviewing War Worlds on the Xbox Live Arcade, my only plans for that month were to make it to the Gears of War 3 Midnight Launch to pick up my Epic Edition, Gears 3 Console, and Retro Lancer Replica. Monday, September 19th I planned to arrive at GameStop around 8PM and sit for four hours waiting for my most anticipated title of the year.

But we aren’t there yet.

Two weeks prior, I felt a small sharp pain in my stomach. Like I needed to throw up, but couldn’t. I went to school, told the nurse, they wrote it off as me trying to fake my way out for the day – something I’d admittedly done a few times before. I went home, had a normal day (albeit feeling sick) and went to bed… although I couldn’t sleep a wink that night. I laid on my stomach, on my back, on the floor, until eventually I began to dry heave into the toilet for a few hours. Eventually I passed out on the carpet outside of the bathroom, only to be awoken by my dad later that morning. We went to the doctor later that day “I think he might have appendicitis” she told us “Take him to the hospital. Now.”

So we rushed to the hospital, where I was sliced open later that day, my appendix now removed and me in the hospital. Over my 10 day stay, my only question was “will I be out before the nineteenth?”.

I’ll spare you the details: I was released from the hospital on September 18th, I was regularly throwing up, diarrhea was a constant happening, and I could barely walk because of the pain. My parents urged me not to go, the doctor told me I might hurt myself if I try to push it that quick, and I had some doubts myself.

Yet, diarrhea be damned, I was getting Gears of War 3 at midnight. I wasn’t going to let some damn appendix tell me I couldn’t play my most anticipated game. Gears of War 2 was the first new game I bought for Xbox 360, and I wasn’t getting Gears of War 3 a minute late.


And so, on the night of September 19th, I took my antibiotics and prayed I would be able to sit there for four hours without having to expel some sort of bodily fluids. I sat in my green camping chair, drinking an energy drink of some sort. As the night grew later and the anticipation built, the pain faded to the back of my mind. As I dreamt of curb-stomping grubs into the ground later that night, I curb stomped the pain away. I talked Gears with some fellow gearheads, relaxed, and waited. It wasn’t easy, no, the pain was pretty extreme, and I could barely walk because of it, but come Midnight, I was the first person in line. After two nail-biting weeks of not knowing if I’d be out of the hospital for the games release, four tedious hours of waiting, and $800 later, I walked in, carried out my armload of boxes, and headed home to chainsaw grubs late into the night.

I don’t think I slept very much that night, the anticipation was much too high for me, and if I wasn’t going to mow down grubs and save Sera, who would? My girlfriend and I completed the entire game on co-op that night, and I even had time to reach level 15 in multiplayer that night.

Let me just tell you, never have I felt more pain free then when I played Gears 3 the day after getting out of the hospital. I guess it just goes to show how far the love of the game can take you.


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Author: Austin Griffith View all posts by
Austin Griffith is LevelSave.com's Reviews Editor. He began gaming young with Pokemon Silver and Banjo-Tooie and hasn't stopped since. You can find him on Twitter @AustinG909 and on Xbox Live at iKarmakazi. You can email him directly at AustinGriffith@LevelSave.com
  • Skylar Hoffman

    I remember hearing about that. We were distancing ourselves around that time. But inspiring story man, you’re a true gamer and will one day be among other great video game reporters. Sorry about not winning at the TSA meeting. See you next year or something Austin.

  • shabz

    Hope you’re feeling better… Gotta say though gears 3 was no where near special as gears 2 for me… Hope you enjoyed it… Gears judgment is awesome though. Take care of your health man