Through the dozens of hours playing Marvel’s Spider-Man on PS4, you might’ve noticed the middle-aged man and lady playing a game of chess in the middle of the FEAST center. That would be Cam and Eileen.
Cam & Eileen's back and forth over the game is heartwarming, a friendly competitiveness that brightens each others day. At first glance, you might think they are just regular people enjoying a good game, who will then finish the day and go home to their families, a nice hot meal and a warm, soft bed. And that’s the thing - they are regular people. They are just in an irregular situation.
Cam & Eileen's banter masks a reality they both currently face; they are victims of the system, both now homeless.
Cam likes the quiet - that’s the best time of day to just sit and think. He doesn’t have a family of his own, due to the always-on-the-move nature of his old job - that of a hauler. Most of Cam’s time used to be spent on the road. That was before he lost his lease. Now he has nowhere else to go.
Despite all that, his words suggest an infectious optimism in the way he talks to Eileen; it's an in-built mechanism for Cam to not only keep the reality of his current situation at arms length, but a way to help his chess partner Eileen make it through to tomorrow.
Eileen’s story is rooted in her relationship with her daughter - she’d made some mistakes while raising her, leaving them estranged. Too proud to reach out and make a connection when she was struggling, Eileen instead wound up at the shelter.
Though she resists at first, she slowly gets back on speaking terms with her daughter, who had called up worried that Eileen had gotten caught in an explosion that rocked New York. Late in the game, Eileen nearly dies from the plague that was unleashed on the city - a breaking point for both of them to get over their differences. By the end, Eileen has moved up north and in with her daughter.
As Cam sits alone at the chessboard, Peter suggests a game, but Cam is happy to leave it as is. He tells Peter that he’s moving up North too - Eileen's Son-in-law has a job lined up for him. Gotta keep the game going, right?
Cam & Eileen are regular people, who just happen to be homeless. They are the furthest from the drug-addicted, mentally scarred stereotypes plaguing media today. They're good people who simply had fallen on hard times thanks to regular aspects of life taking a turn for the worse - a damning of the reality reflected in millions of people going through the same across the globe.
And Cam & Eileen got through it, coming out the other side and moving forward with their lives. They were able to do so, thanks to the selflessness of others - and each other.