If anyone tells you that games are bad, that games eat your brain cells or that games can kill, point them to this story. It's about a woman from Missouri, a woman from Australia, and a simple, casual word-based game that bridged them together across the gaping watery divide that is the Atlantic Ocean.
Oh, don't forget lots of luck.
Beth Legler of Blue Springs, Missouri, began playing Words With Friends on her smartphone more than two years ago. The beauty of this casual game is that it's multiplayer, bringing players from across the world together without the need for guns and swords and cows. This is the arena where she met Georgie Fletcher from Australia.
While the two were exchanging words, Georgie mentioned that her husband Simon wasn't feeling well. When asked what was wrong, she poured out his symptoms to her American friend... who just happened to be married to a doctor. Concerned, Beth relayed the symptoms to her husband Larry. He quickly diagnosed the Australian man's situation as critical, and urged the Australian couple head to the emergency room.
Trusting her long-time American friends, Georgie rushed her husband to the hospital and shortly discovered that Simon had a 99-percent blockage to his heart. Had he waited any longer, it could have killed him. Quickly.
"Had Larry not sent that message, I don't think Simon would have gone to the doctor that day," Beth told KCTV of Kansas City, Missouri.
"I've gotta buy that man a beer, he saved my life...I'd really like to put my arms around him and give him a big squeeze," Simon said from Australia. "I owe Larry everything...I'm really lucky to be here."
Now nearly three months later, all is well in Missouri and Australia. The two ladies continue to play their word game without ever having met in person, and all that much closer now thanks to Zynga and its social game, Words With Friends.