Nintendo sends Legend of Zelda fan a care package of game memorabilia after fan sends Nintendo a letter detailing his brother's love for the Zelda franchise.
Gaming has a way of bringing people together. Whether it’s siblings taking on hordes of enemies from the comfort of their couch, to friends playing together from thousands of miles away. There’s a special connection that can be made through gaming, and its one many game developers understand and respect.
Corey Austen and his brother Matt have been The Legend of Zelda fans since they were young. The Zelda franchise brought them together, and became a staple of their relationship, especially once Matt was diagnosed with epilepsy in sixth grade. Sadly, Matt passed away on May 31, 2016 due to Sudden Unexpected Death in Epilepsy (SUDEP). In response to his brother’s passing, Corey drafted a letter to Nintendo, sharing him and his brother Matt’s story, thanking the Nintendo for the memories the duo had developed while playing the Zelda franchise together.
Austen also set up an Epilepsy Foundation charity gaming stream, dubbed Moblins for Matt, in honor of his brother. During the stream, Austen received a package from Nintendo. The package was packed with Zelda-related items, including badges, a backpack, a Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild t-shirt, a coin with the Sheikah tribe emblem, and much more. With the package came a simple letter to Corey from the team at Nintendo:
"Our condolences on your loss. May your brother's legend live on forever. Thank you for sharing your story. Sincerely, Your Friends at Nintendo."
When someone loses a friend or family member, and especially someone as close as a brother, there are rarely words that can provide relief. But when a company does something like this to honor the life and love of a single person, it’s a kind reminder of the power games can have in the lives of gamers. For some, Zelda may be a simple pastime. For others, it may be considered a waste of time. For the Austen brothers, Zelda was about cultivating a friendship that only brothers can share.
Matt passed away before Nintendo’s E3 Zelda presentation. According to Corey, the brothers were looking forward to texting each other as Nintendo revealed details for the game. Corey watched the presentation alone, and rejoiced when he learned that Link's wolf form from Twilight Princess, Matt’s favorite game, would be used in Breath of Life, the new Zelda title. While a bittersweet moment for Corey, the news provided a small bit of joy for the gamer after the loss of his brother.
Today, after more than 66 hours, the Moblins for Matt stream finished with more than $5,200 donated to the Epilepsy Foundation cause. Corey played six games during the stream, including Twilight Princess HD. Those interested in helping out can still donate on the Moblins for Matt Epilepsy Foundation donation page.
Game Rant's deepest condolences go out to Matt Austen's family and friends.