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Learning about Differences, Fighting Spirit, and Limitations from A Disabled Gamer

01 Mar 2019 | Yabes Elia
…named Angga Tribuana Putra

His face was beaming while waving his hand beneath his chin when my video call was connected with Angga. With his mother that was devoted to stay beside him in a small modest room, Angga did not limp even though he was on a wheelchair.

The conversation between us three was different with the most video call. Angga typed the answers via WhatsApp for the questions I asked through video call because he is also a mute. Angga’s mother, Nurhikmah, sometimes translate Angga’s sighs so it was easier to understand.

The Story of Angga Tribuana Putra

Angga with his mother
Angga with his mother. Source: Angga Zerotoshine

Angga Tribuana Putra is his complete name. He could not speak nor could his legs move. “The doctor said that I have acute polio. So, my spinal nerve is pinched and my voice cord does not work. If I don’t drool, my head grows big,” said Angga. Angga’s mother added that only the fingers on his right hands that could move.

The gamer that likes Pro Evolution Soccer (PES) and Clash Royale explains that he likes to play game because he could get spirit, aside from happiness. For him, game is not just a hobby. He sees game as a medium to achieve something. For Angga, esports is one of the things that could make him face the world with a smile. The thing is, in esports he could develop his talent, use his brain, and exercise his hands.

Angga likes PES because in his opinion that game is the most realistic one. He admitted that he was undergoing a license for PSSI training. Because of that thing he always plays PES because he believes that the strategy in PES can be applied as well in football. “I knew football from PES. I play not to win but to fathom the tactics,” said Angga who wants to be a football coach.

Interstingly, this fan of Manchester United, Cristiano Ronaldo, and Ibrahimovic admitted that he got the second place for ASIAN Games Vlota Tournament in Mumbai, India. Angga said to the gamers all around to not give up and he also hoped for a competition for those whom are disabled.

Source: Liga1PES
Source: Liga1PES

For those of his disabled friends Angga asked them to fight against the emotional conflict and stopped asking about the justice of God. For him, people with disability are phenomenal humans that must be able to show the world that they have outstanding class and abilities.

I also managed to talk with the mother through WhatsApp to find out more about Angga’s daily life. On daily basis, Angga always got help from his mother because of his limitations. However, his mother is still grateful because she thinks that Angga possesses a lot of abilities.

His mother says that Angga can use PS3 or PC without any help. To this day, Angga does not go to school. His mother said that there are two reasons for that, one is that they don’t have enough money and that Angga does not want to go to school. “He said, I don’t have to go to school, Mom. I can do it myself,” said his mother copying Angga.

Source: Angga Zerotoshine
Source: Angga Zerotoshine

His mother never expected that Angga can learn to read or use computer by himself. She also said that a lot of people who mocked Angga and degrade him. Even according to his mother, she is the only one who supports him from the family’s side.

His mother hopes that Angga can always be passionate and fight for his dreams and ambition even though he always been underestimated and considered as hallucinating. “I’m relieved. Insya Allah Angga can make me proud. Angga doesn’t want to see mum being sad all the time,” said Nurhikmah copying Angga once more.

That was a piece of story about Angga and his mother, Nurhikmah, about each of their own struggles. Of course it’s a bit inconsiderate to condense one life story in one writings, even a thousand pages. But, I personally believe there are two important things that we can learn from the struggles of Angga and his mother.

Gamer Community Should Be an Inclusive Community

From Angga’s story, game is one activity that can make him passionate to go through life. Game could give him challenges without seeing the limitation of physical aspects. Esports can give him a sense of achievement that maybe unable to present in another area.

Actually, other areas that are more traditional such as art (music, painting, et cetera) can also give challenges and new goals without seeing physical limitations. However game and esports now can become a new life goal for everyone, without exceptions.

Source: Angga Zerotoshine
Source: Angga Zerotoshine

Unfortunately the social network that is very dominant in our daily life as a modern society often sharpen the differences, including in the gamer community.

The fact is, the debate between which MOBA is better, which games that is more valid to be included in sports events such as SEA Games or ASIAN Games, which gaming platform that is more ideal, and any other kinds of debate that do not give positive impact for the development of Indonesian game or esports industry; at least if the debate is limited to the foolishness that often happen in the cyberspace now.

I’ve been included in the gaming industry for 10 years and I got new friends, fellow gamers from different social, culture, economic background. For me, this is how a gamer community should be: a community that does not discriminate about religion, political views, economic class, cultural background, sex, even physical limitations.

Agreed or not, for me true gamers are those who are open to every kind of differences. Why? Because the fact is, game is a culmination between the meeting point of art and technology that is considered to be too distinct for traditional people.

A True Gamer Does Not Easily Complain and Never Stops Fighting

Source: Angga Zerotoshine
Source: Angga Zerotoshine

The reality is, there are a lot of people who think that they are the most miserable ones in this world. Often, us humans tend to see limitations and unfortunate aspects of each of our own lives easier.

I personally believed that a true gamer is supposed to be like Angga. With all his limitations, he never stopped fighting. He does not want to give up and blame the fate. Aside from Angga, I think we can learn about the diligence and perseverance from his mother because she always tries to provide the best for Angga.

Apart from the fact if Angga can reach his dreams or not later, I think we can think about that some other time. The more important thing here, for me, is how we don’t use our limitations to stop fighting. The fact is, true gamers should be the ones who are attracted to find new or hard challenges.

Source: Angga Zerotoshine
Source: Angga Zerotoshine

No matter if it’s single player or multi player, we enjoy the process of playing games because there are challenges and goals that we want to finish—except if you are playing Pou or My Little Pony on Android or iOS (which means that you enter the wrong website).

Finally, there is nothing wrong if we reflect from Angga and his mother. There is a big chance that we are luckier than Angga because our limitations are mostly about social and economic order (it’s also not that as bad as what you imagine if you still have access to internet). So, be grateful and keep fighting…


Original article is in Indonesian, translated by Kristin Siagian.