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The Game of the Life: The John Springer Story

Much like a video game, life presents you different levels to get through

“You can’t do what we have without incredible blessings,” said John Springer.

Twelve years ago, local video game creator John Springer went through what he calls the most difficult level he’s ever faced.

“When I got my biopsy the doctor told me we know it’s cancer but what we don’t know is if it’s going to be immediately treatable or if you only have a couple months,” said John. “I was just… How do you react to that?”

John’s wife Alia said the news left her nearly speechless.

“You go worst case scenario immediately,” said Alia. “You think I’m going to lose my spouse, who I just fell in love with so hard and our lives are just beginning. It breaks you.”

The disease took a toll on John, but he says his love of video games and his desire to create a game of his own, kept him light hearted during the hours of treatment he went through.

“All I did was research the games and figure out if i could bring these visions i had to life,” said John.

18-months after his diagnosis, doctors declared Springer cancer free.

“Cancer free! Best. Day. Ever!” said Alia. “It really just feels like you’re finally free.”

The news gave John even more time to work on his games based on his hometown of Fort Wayne.

“My purpose, I truly believe, is to celebrate our community and bring folks together,” said John.

John certainly makes it look as easy as snapping your fingers, but he promises it’s a lot harder to make one of the games than it looks.

“They’re a nightmare to make,” said John. “But I love making them”

John still spends a good amount of time working out some of the kinks in his games. Come this time next year he’ll be excited to share them with anyone who wants to play along when he opens up a pizza shop centered around these 90’s themed cartridges.

“To be able to do it in Fort Wayne, in my hometown, when Fort Wayne didn’t have something like this, and Fort Wayne didn’t take the pride in itself like it does today. Is just so cool,” said John.

John already beat cancer, but with plenty of levels still in front of him, he’s still looking forward to winning the game of life.

“We only get so many spins around the sun,” said John. “Every day is a gift, every day is a blessing, so living your life, that’s it. Isn’t it?”

The Springers plan to name their pizza store “I Heart Pizza”, which opens next year in the north side of Fort Wayne.

Adam Shear

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