Josh Roth, known online as “Quiet Josh,” has quite a story to tell. Roth is a devoted fan of gaming livestreams, like many gamers today, but he’s got a particular interest in streamers who play classic games. A few years ago, he found himself watching Jeff “Captain X-Bit” Tiberi, the Facebook Gaming creator behind X-Bit Gaming, a community dedicated to retro gaming livestreams, and something inside Roth clicked. Years later, he claims the X-Bit Gaming community helped save his life.
“I was going through a really rough time,” said Roth. “I was depressed, rough breakup, wasn’t working. I had nothing going for me. I was just devastated.” At the time, Roth was living in his car, using WiFi from a local Starbucks to check his messages and watch livestreams on a beat-up mobile device. He didn’t talk much with the X-Bit Gaming community--he’s known as Quiet Josh for good reason--until he decided to make a change. “I started talking to the guys,” said Roth. “They kept pushing me and encouraging me; just to hang in there.”
Having made friends within the gaming community, Roth travelled to a local gaming event, where a chance meeting with Tiberi would again change his life. “We started talking, and it turns out Jeff was going through the same thing that I was at the time,” Roth said. “So we just leaned on each other, and it was a huge support network for me.” After hearing each other’s stories, the two left the expo as friends and started playing games together. We were so moved by the story of Tiberi and Roth’s friendship, we sent Facebook’s Community Voices film crew to capture their story.
For Tiberi, meeting Roth at the expo crystallized why he started X-Bit Gaming: to help people revisit the past, so they can find the strength to endure the present. Retro gaming is nothing short of practical time travel, according to Tiberi, with each pixelated adventure acting as a circuit between the past and present. “It’s like building a time machine for you and your friends,” says Tiberi. “Playing classic games together brings back memories; the good times.”
Tiberi’s stash of vintage electronica, currently sitting at 7,000 titles from Nintendo, SEGA, and PlayStation, is enough to make any gamer weep, but for Tiberi, each one is a tool in connecting his passion for games to that of players all over the world. Moreover, it’s a bond central to X-Bit Gaming and the broader Facebook Gaming community. “We all walk each other through bad times and celebrate the good ones,” says Tiberi. “They aren’t friends; they’re family.”
As for Tiberi and Roth, they’re good friends to this day and still find the time to game together. They’ve become such good friends that Roth recently asked Tiberi to officiate his wedding. Fittingly, the ceremony will be livestreamed on Xbit Gaming, the same place their friendship started.