Paul NyhartcloseAuthor: Paul Nyhart
Name: Paul Nyhart
About: Paul Nyhart has been the Head Editor and Writer of JaceHallShow.com since Season 3. He began his career as a sports announcer, segueing into the world of voice-over and film production. Send all tips to Paul@HDfilms.comSee Authors Posts (394)
On the outside, he is a man dressed in an eccentric and elaborate costume, which took six months to construct, displaying his affinity for the Froglok character in the video game, EverQuest. Jumping into swimming pools, hopping around the stage at the Sony Online Entertainment Fan Faire convention in Las Vegas, NV, one might mistake him for an actual Froglok—he certainly seems to act the part. But who really is this man–this person who has appeared on several episodes of the Jace Hall show, recently making his biggest splash when he proposed to his completely unaware, and subsequently shocked, girlfriend on stage in front of two-thousand observers (she said yes). You can call him Phil, one because that’s his name, and two, because it’s shorter than his official title when he’s dressed in full, Froglok attire: Snickers, The Shadow Knight Froglok.
“I’m a Froglok, we’re impulsive!”
How impulsive, you ask? You have no idea…
Phillip Simmons is a retired RV and Mobile Home repairman, who also was the proud owner of a Slot Car Racetrack. Needless to say, he is also an avid player of the Massively Multiplayer Online Role Playing (MMORPG) game, EverQuest. He and his wife Mary were married for fifteen years before they separated and divorced. After the divorce, Phil began playing the game even more, using it to cope with the struggle of the divorce, not being able to work and having to collect disability. It so happens that the game not only gave Phil, or Snickers, something to escape into, but it also gave him the chance to connect with other people. Little did Phil know who he was going to connect with and who was also escaping into the same world…
After a fifteen-year marriage that ended when “things started to go bad” Phil decided to jump back into the waters and propose to his girlfriend at the SOE convention, seen on the
past episode of the Jace Hall Show. Who is the new girl that has Snickers down on one knee declaring his eternal and undying love? It turns out she’s not new at all, in fact, both have been here before (well, not in front of thousands of people). Phil isn’t simply proposing to his girlfriend; he’s marrying the same women, Mary, he was divorced to for three years, his previous wife of fifteen years.
If you think that’s complicated, wait until you hear what caused them to get back together. How did the two fall back in love after agreeing to divorce? Did a friend convince the couple to get back together? The answer comes in the form of the MMORPG EverQuest. A game that allowed both people to escape the world they were living in, yet miraculously brought them back together after being divorced for three years.
Phil explains how it initially transpired:
One day I was in game …I’m out in Felwithe, killing things, just killing time, and here comes a character running by me, and it looked like her character… So I hollered out, who was here…I sent here a tell, saying, ‘is this Mary?’ She said, ‘yea who is this?’ I had to kind of play 20 questions to make sure I didn’t have some weirdo on there. I said this is Snickers, you know Philip! And she went Oh My God! We went off, where people wouldn’t have to worry about trying to train us or where we’d be getting killed and we just sat there and talked for about 2 hours, just catching up on things. We hadn’t talked to each other in almost 3 years…
On the surface, it could have just been a random coincidence that the two people would run into each other playing a video game that’s “just for fun” and not have meant anything in the long haul. That, of course is just on the surface. What made the EverQuest experience different, and how could it bring them back together?
We started opening up a whole new means of communication between ourselves, it was just great. We just kind of clicked together, again. Our problem was communicating before, but the game opened that up for us, it was like a catalyst. We just sat down and talked in game. (We were) able to go to areas that were beautiful, with beautiful backgrounds that were very tranquil, and you could sit down and relax, and not worry what was going to happen next…
The game was also quite the “coping mechanism” when things got frustrating:
There were the other areas where if you wanted to let your frustrations out…I’d say, you know what, let’s go to Karnor’s Castle and just wipe it out, and raid it, you and me. It’s like a level 20 zone and at that time we were both level 60’s so there was nothing that was going to hurt us…we spent like 5 hours going through there and just wiped it all out, and I said to her, now you feel better? And she tells me, oh God yes!”
But Phil is self admittedly, the “Impulsive Froglok.” Would he let his emotions take control of him? Not quite, the transformation of their relationship wasn’t exactly overnight and even the moments leading up to Phil’s proposal at the Sony Convention had plenty of suspense for Phil:
I was a wreck, I couldn’t even hardly talk, I wasn’t still quite sure if she was going to say yes or no, I was hoping real bad, but I had a knot in my stomach the size of a globe. I couldn’t even talk for about 2 or 3 minutes after that. And then Brasse tells me that they were giving us all the Sony games free for life. I was speechless, I didn’t know what to say.
As if free video games for life wouldn’t do the trick:
(Sony) took care of our Fan Faire passes…and worked with me about 3 months in advance so I could (propose). The show actually sold out, I was ready to purchase my ticket but it was sold out. But they said this Fan Faire is on us, we want to help you guys out.
The “Impulsive Froglok” is seemingly now the “Luckiest Froglok on Earth,” or Norrath, for that matter. A man that was divorced just three years ago, after a fifteen-year marriage, just got his girl back and he did it uniting with her through a video game. The two now have plenty of video games to last a lifetime and to fall in love with each other again and again. Heck, the costume, the pool jumping and the running around on stage, it all makes sense now. But, still some things in life you just can’t explain, the power of video games would certainly seam to be one of them. Some say they’re pointless and a waste of time, some people, like Snickers, say they’re the main thing that can bring them closer to the people they love. Impulsive? Well, that all depends on what your definition is.
Post By Paul Nyhart (394 Posts)
Paul Nyhart has been the Head Editor and Writer of JaceHallShow.com since Season 3. He began his career as a sports announcer, segueing into the world of voice-over and film production. Send all tips to Paul@HDfilms.com
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