On November 28, 2018, the legendary video game champion, Joel David West, passed into eternity.
Though many of his friends knew he was wrestling with health problems aggravated by diabetes, everyone was surprised and stunned when he passed away.
It seems that in recent years he had failed to keep in touch with his family, so it took a while for his loved ones to learn of his death. But, when they did, they rallied around the flag and supported his memory with immense love and respect.
But, for the first few days, it looked like there would be no obituary or memorial, so I called the newsroom at the Charlotte Observer and told them a local boy had attained legendary status
in the video game industry and that he had passed away. The Observer editor needed to do very little research to confirm Joel was indeed a “legend” in his field. Before long the Observer issued a major story that commemorated Joel’s life and contributions to the world of gaming. My worries that Joel would not be honored by even an obituary melted away as the Observer story went worldwide on Star International Online. Joel was indeed a legend. He appeared prominently on the earliest Twin Galaxies Scoreboard reports as our first “multiple” world record holder – holding the top positions on Pole Position, Berzerk, Frenzy and Rally-X. This high-score dominance led to an invitation to be one of 16 celebrity gamers to appear in the fabled LIFE magazine photograph taken on November 7, 1982 in Ottumwa, Iowa.
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