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Game developers stage auctions for ailing peer

Online games sites and hardware companies are auctioning collectors' items and custom equipment on eBay to help pay the medical bills of a terminally ill colleague.

Online games sites and hardware companies are auctioning collectors' items and custom equipment on eBay to help pay the medical bills of a terminally ill colleague.

Eleven months ago, Jeremy Allford was diagnosed with an inoperable brain tumor.

An early pioneer of the online gaming and hardware industry as well as co-founder of Web site AGN3D, Allford has been forced to discontinue full-time work on the site because of chemotherapy treatments.

Now the tight-knit electronic games industry is rallying to his side.

Allford, a 28-year-old with a wife and two young children, has no life insurance and a mountain of medical bills. To help offset some of the financial burden, several gaming software and hardware-related sites and companies are banding together to raise funds for the Columbus, Ohio, family.

"This is an industry that (takes) care of its own. There aren't too many industries where you see people come together like this," said Duane Pemberton, co-owner of gaming site Gamers Depot.

Gamers Depot, gaming site SharkyExtreme.com and hardware site AnandTech are auctioning All-in-Wonder Radeon demonstration set-top boxes they received from ATI Technologies, a graphics chipmaker. The boxes, which include a pause feature for live television and an electronic TV guide, are being auctioned on eBay, with the proceeds going to Allford's family.

"ATI said, 'Here are some systems to test, and afterwards you can auction them off on eBay and give the proceeds to any charity of your choice,'" said Anand Shimpi, chief executive of AnandTech. "I thought of Jeremy and talked to others like SharkyExtreme about it."

Shimpi added that AnandTech is helping to establish a trust fund for Allford's family and will keep the industry posted on the fund's progress via its Web site.

Meanwhile, gaming site Hulka.com is auctioning a set of Doom master disks on eBay. And hardware site DeezTech.com is auctioning a Theon Cyclone 5000 Custom Computer case on the same site. Both companies are turning the proceeds over to Allford.

"We like to help people in our community, especially for someone as prominent as Jeremy and AGN3D," said Dee Edwards, editor in chief of DeezTech. "Jeremy was one of the gaming and hardware site pioneers."

Allford said he's amazed at the support he's received from the gaming community and notes it's been such a benefit to his family.

Initially, Allford was given three months to live, but he has managed to beat the odds to date. The glioblastoma tumor, which encompasses 25 percent of his brain, has affected his walking, eyesight and memory, he said.

"I have good days and bad days. Sometimes I may have a good week with just one bad day. Other weeks, it may be bad with just one good day," said Allford, recalling the days when he would work 12-hour stretches.

He added he takes advantage of the good days to write gaming-related news for AGN3D and keep friends, family and acquaintances posted on his health.