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Facebook game saves disabled man from house fire

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Evony to the rescue

Robert Chambers is a fan of the Facebook version of the online game Evony, and not just because he plays it regularly -- the 51 year-old gamer from Spokane, Washington credits the medieval-themed strategy game with saving his life.

The Spokesman-Review reports that Chambers, who suffers from muscular dystrophy, was playing Evony last Tuesday when his toaster accidentally caught fire, igniting the house. He was alone at the time, and with limited mobility due to his condition, was unable to reach a phone.

So he turned to his in-game friends.

"Help me," he wrote in the game's chat window using a customized
keyboard. "My house is on fire and I can't get out." He also included his address
(perhaps the only time that's ever considered a good idea), which was reported
by fellow gamers from states as far away as Indiana and Texas. Firefighters arrived within minutes, escorting Chambers to the hospital where he was treated for minor smoke inhalation.

The feel-good story is good news for Evony, which faced stern criticism in the past for featuring blatantly risqué imagery in a 2009 online advertising campaign. They've since toned things down a bit, though many gamers still avoid the title.

To Chambers' wife Patricia, however, it gets a free pass.

"I hated this game because he doesn't pay attention to me or anything else in the
house," she said. "Now I've got to bite my tongue because it saved his life
quite possibly."


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