It was with great sadness that we here at PALGN received news of the passing on Tuesday of Tim Richards. A lawyer, father, husband, son, friend and also an integral part of Melbourne‚Äôs gaming community, Tim was a person who had time for everybody. One of those quiet achievers, Tim's gentle down-to-earth nature kept him out of the spotlight but constantly contributing to, and driving, his multiple projects.
In January 2005, barely into his 30's, Tim was diagnosed with pulmonary hypertension due to congenital heart disease, and as a result required a heart and lung transplant. Placed on the lengthy waiting list he could do little about his condition, but stay as healthy as possible.
Whilst many finding themselves in the same position as Tim may have admitted defeat, he instead continued throw himself at things he was passionate about. One of these areas was gaming and technology, and in June 2005 Tim started Dissecta, a regular lecture series with which he aimed to "bring the different elements of the video game industry together with keen game fans, and encourage serious and informed discussion about games and the game industry." Proceeds of the nights were often donated to the Alfred Hospital.
A great forum for gamers and members of the industry to hear about issues affecting the business and the medium, Dissecta has covered a broad range of topics including such things as ratings, the latest games, and the state of the videogame development in Australia. The group has also been involved in campaigning for an R18+ rating for gaming amongst other videogame related causes.
In many ways, and let's face it, probably more importantly, Tim was a fantastic campaigner for a better system for organ donation within Australia, convening The Transplant Waiting List Advocacy Group, speaking publicly on the topic and contributing to newspaper articles in order to raise awareness of the issue.
Tim managed to put things in perspective in an interview with The Age's Screenplay, stating, "while I do enjoy video games and technology, I take life and living seriously."
Recently Tim underwent the transplant surgery he had been waiting so long for, unfortunately he was unable to make it through the process.
PALGN's collective thoughts are with Tim's family and friends. He will surely be missed by many.
For more information on organ donation visit http://www.organdonor.com.au