Dear Gamers, It's Time To Grow Up and Show the World That We Are Decent Humans

This unacceptable behavior between us gamers has gone on long enough. Its time to grow up.

I sit here at my desk with tears rolling down my face, because a beautiful soul - a man who has brought joy, laughter and happiness to millions of people - has taken his own life. I am of course talking about the late Robin Williams. When the news broke it hit me hard, and very close to home. Like Mr. Williams, I too suffer from depression and I am sure a lot of you who are reading this suffer from it as well.

I thought that having depression was only temporary, but as time went on I realized very quickly that this is far from the truth. This mental disorder does not discriminate, it doesn’t care if you have everything in the world, or nothing. It doesn’t care if you’re white, black, male, female, adult, or child.

Seeing depression bring a man with so much to live for to his knees, is world shattering for me. How naïve and stupid am I to think that because you have everything you have ever wanted, that this mental disorder would just simply go away.

What is making things worse for me about this situation is how many people are handling it. People like Shepard Smith, a Fox news host who called Mr. Williams a coward. There are a lot of people out there who think that depression is just a phase, that this mental disorder is something you need to “Grow out of” or is just simply something you can “Get over.”

This ignorance towards mental health is shocking and unacceptable. Depression is not something you grow out of or get over, it is a legitimate mental disorder that hijack's a person's way of thinking and how they feel about themselves. Depression inhibits your logical way of thinking and destroys any and all self-worth you may have had. Fighting depression alone is like fighting Gannon without a master sword. Yeah some people can overcome these challenges, but most of us need tools, abilities and upgrades.

If you’re suffering from depression then there is a good chance that you are taking antidepressants, receiving counseling, and maybe even working with Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT) These are our hadoukens, our ultra-combos. The abilities and upgrades we need to fight this disorder.

If you are struggling with depression then I want you to know that I am here for you, and you’re friends and family are here for you as well. If you are having suicidal thoughts then please call the Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-8255 Things WILL get better. I promise.

Now, let’s get on with the second half of this discussion

In trying to calm myself down, I hopped on World Of Warcraft. I wanted to take my mind off of this tragedy; escape from the pain for a while. This is where things began to get exponentially worse. It seems a lot of players on the Stormrage server thought it would be a good idea to make fun of Mr. Williams:

Lol, don’t pull a Robin Williams on me.
What a coward.
Such a selfish man.

The list of insults I saw was staggering, and if I could remember the character names of those people I would list them here. I will not stand for this disgusting and subhuman behavior anymore, and I am throwing every gamer “under the bus” at this point. We have all insulted our peers. We have all acted childish. We have all spewed racial, sexist and homophobic slurs at one another. So much in fact that it’s commonplace and disturbingly enough accepted within our gaming communities.

Oh you’re a girl, go make me a sandwich LOLOLOL.
Ahaha what a F*****.
Shut up N*****.

Have we all been brainwashed behind this veil of being anonymous to think that this behavior is acceptable? Do we all think that treating each other this way is “cool” or “fun?”

Well I have a spoiler alert for you all: It's not.

I mean...
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Do you really think...
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This behavior is ok?
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It’s time to grow up; it’s time to start treating each other with the respect and dignity we all deserve. We’re not playing with NPC’s anymore, we’re all real people with real emotions.

This isn't just the Call of Duty community, or the World of Warcraft community. This isn't just young adults and children who should not even be playing some of these games. This is every game and every gamer within that community.

We all want video games seen as an art form, and we all want others to see us as a legitimate and accepting community. That is not going to happen as long as we treat each other like dirt. As long as we send death threats to each other because the difference in a sniper rifle’s speed is reduced by a fraction of a second. As long as we have swastikas and KKK flags as our emblems because we think its funny or cool, which it is not. There is nothing funny or cool about racism, or genocide. As long as we are accepting and participating in this disgusting behavior towards one another, we will never be seen as a respectable community by anyone.

No respectable community or group of people treat each other like the way we do to one another. And no, being a gamer does not mean that treating others horribly is just something that “Comes with the territory” I will not accept that pathetic excuse anymore. This isn’t something that is going to go away overnight, it’s not something that you can just sit back and watch happen. This is something that needs to start with you and me.

It's time to grow up. It's time to show the rest of the world that we're decent human beings.

Contributor

I like metal and video games :D

Published Aug. 14th 2014
  • topher339
    This behavior is more widespread than just the gaming community. It's all over. As far as my own experience goes, I find the gaming community isn't much worse than community as a whole. The other day my brother showed me a rather upsetting meme of Disney's Genie with Rob's head on it. It read "genie, now you are free". That's just messed up.
  • Jerome Phiffer
    Great article, and this is something I've seen a lot. I think the trend of negativity spread faster through the gaming community because of the already competitive atmosphere, but really this behavior exist for a lot of social media now. It is time for people to grow up, and it starts with people who are willing to make themselves that bright spot in an otherwise dark community.
  • Josh_7756
    *applauds* Thank you.
  • Chai Chien Liang
    Contributor
    Anyone who names their daughter Zelda has to be a big video game fan, the only thing Robin Williams deserves is a tribute for making us laugh (will go and watch Jumanji again plus some other movies which never aired in Malaysia)

    (Apparently he also had Parkinson's disease, which would not have helped his depression...)

    Respecting other people and being polite are the founding principles of our guild in Guild Wars 1 & 2! We're [NICE] after all
  • Fathoms_4209
    Featured Columnist
    Excellent. Somebody needed to say it.

    I wrote something that might make you feel better:

    https://www.gameskinny.com/15zld/video-games-the-beauty-beyond-the-bullets

    However, you might be depressed again when I tell you that this was my least successful article in terms of views. ...which only proves your point in another way, sadly.
  • video games
    There will always be shitty people, I think you need to grow up and stop being naive. Congratulations on another clickbait article though
  • Death Metal Hero
    Contributor
    Congratulations. You're now a prime example of the behavior i'm talking about. Did you make your account JUST so you can insult me?
  • Fathoms_4209
    Featured Columnist
    Congrats on proving the author's point.

    And Unepitaphed, just ignore him. Countless people have made accounts strictly for the purpose of insulting me. All it proves is that you're doing your job. ;)
  • Venisia Gonzalez
    Featured Columnist
    You can still play AND remain a decent human being at the same time. There's NEVER a reason to disrespect! Hiding behind a gamertag & the internet doesn't give "you" the right to be a bully & be cruel. Behave better! It's disgusting behavior that can cause horrific results for those on the receiving end who suffer from illness. Many people game to escape their grief/pain/stress, they don't need to be subjected to this on top of it. Gaming saved my life after my daughter died. It was the only place I had to escape from my grief & pain. I believe it's up to all of us to bring positive changes to our gaming communities. We matter!
  • Yeah yeah_8703
    This attitude isn't just limited to gamers. Humanity is facing an unforseen consequence of socialized intelligence -- socialized insanity. I understand your frustration, but underlining the problems we are all far too aware of won't stem the tide. Telling people to "Grow up" isn't a solution. I don't know what the solution is, this is the world we all wanted, it just isn't how we wanted it.
  • Venisia Gonzalez
    Featured Columnist
    I believe it's up to all of us to bring positive changes to our gaming communities. We matter!
  • Fathoms_4209
    Featured Columnist
    I don't think anyone is saying it's a solution. It's a statement of fact, not a formulated answer to the problem.
  • Venisia Gonzalez
    Featured Columnist
    I agree 100%!!!

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