When I sat down to write this book, I didn’t sit down to write this book. I didn’t even know if it was a book. I knew there was a story to tell, at the very least a factual documentation of the rise and fall of Mike Kennedy, but I didn’t just want to write a factual documentation of events. What I didn’t realize until I had started writing was that there is also a story between the lines and that is what I wanted to write.

The majority of people who will read this book will be a part of the video game community because, like it or not, the story barely broke out beyond the realms of that community. For those of us involved or following along, it became all-encompassing at times, but it was at best a small group of people in a niche audience that were aware of it.

What I realized as I began to write was that there was also a human story, the story of a man who followed his dreams and lost his way. The story of a man who set out on a journey and picked up fellow travelers along the way, some of them disingenuous, some of them with Mike’s best interests at heart, but all of them along for the ride, and we will examine Mike’s inability or unwillingness to notice the difference.

Throughout the following pages you will join Mike on his journey from innocent gamer to pantomime villain or true pariah, depending on your opinion. You will have to decide. Some people will come out of this book in a better light than others, some will come out of it with their integrity and reputation intact, others will not. This is not an opinion piece, it is a factual representation of events, but having said that, the facts will lead us to some inevitable conclusions.

I hope and believe that the book has appeal beyond the realms of the gaming community as I truly believe it is a valid study of the human condition and its foibles, a study of one man’s blindness to the folly of his endeavors and a study of those willing to help and those seeking to hinder him.

Though I was a passenger on the bus as it left the station, before joining others under it, as it began to gather speed before careering out of control as the wheels began to wobble and the inevitable crash happened, I certainly did not look back at the wreckage with any satisfaction. I wasn’t, to use an analogy, an ambulance chaser, in fact, on more than one occasion, I was the ambulance offering assistance.

Even after the last wisps of smoke had left the long burned out wreckage, I would have willingly gone back to that station and stopped Mike from boarding. By the end of the book however, you will realize that Mike had his ticket and he was always going to take that ride, wherever it may lead.

Mike James (UKMike)

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