Son Gets To Play One Last Game With His Dad, So Get Ready To Cry

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dead-dad-ghost-car-rally-sports-challengeI hope you guys like crying into your coffee, because that’s what I did when I read this story over on Jalopnik about a boy who found a literal “ghost in the machine” when he fired up his old XBox and was able to race against his late father.

The spirit in question is actually a ghost car–if you play any racing games, you know that sometimes the fastest lap is recorded and preserved in the form of a “ghost car”, and that when you race the same course, the ghost car will race too, as a kind of barometer against how you’re doing. Apparently this boy-who is now 16 years old-used to play a racing game against his father called Rally Sports Challenge, until his father died when the boy was only six. Now, prepare some tissues because what happened next is kind of hauntingly sweet:

“Well, when i was 4, my dad bought a trusty XBox. you know, the first, ruggedy, blocky one from 2001. we had tons and tons and tons of fun playing all kinds of games together – until he died, when i was just 6.

i couldnt touch that console for 10 years.

but once i did, i noticed something.

we used to play a racing game, Rally Sports Challenge. actually pretty awesome for the time it came.

and once i started meddling around… i found a GHOST.


you know, when a time race happens, that the fastest lap so far gets recorded as a ghost driver? yep, you guessed it – his ghost still rolls around the track today.

and so i played and played, and played, untill i was almost able to beat the ghost. until one day i got ahead of it, i surpassed it, and…

i stopped right in front of the finish line, just to ensure i

wouldnt delete it.


I don’t know about you, but it is really hard for me to read that without choking up a little. For one thing, I like a good story about video games. My husband makes them for a living, and it seems like all you hear is about how they are violent and awful and turn your brain to mush.

For another, he loves to play games with our daughter, especially racing games. It’s something that they have that’s completely theirs. Ten years ago I never would have been able to get on board with the statement that gaming can be anything more than a superficial entertainment experience. I think this proves that it certainly can be.

I hate to be morbid, but part of being human is accepting our own mortality. When you have kids, I feel like that part of you-the one that wonders, “what if?”-is so much stronger, because you think of how your children will be affected if you or your spouse passes away.

This kid has a little piece of his dad that he can keep with him for a very long time-a little part of his father is preserved in a way that he can interact with him even though he’s gone. I for one, think that is amazing.

And now, if you’ll excuse me, there’s something I need to go do:


(Image: Tomislov Forgo/Shutterstock)