This weekend, Good Guy Gaming (G3) is holding a 24-hour stream to honor a member of the gaming community who struggled with mental health issues and recently passed away. PoroZera, G3’s League of Legends Game Lead, reached out to Take This to share their story, and to invite Take This supporters to check out the stream this weekend.
The stream starts at 2 p.m. CST this Saturday, September 24, and continues for 24 hours. They’ll be playing games like Catan Online, League of Legends, Rocket League, and old-school N64 games. You can check it out on G3’s Twitch channel.
Below, PoroZera shares the story, and explains why they’ll be asking viewers to support Take This during the stream.[font_text link=”” icon=”star” color=”dark” size=”small” border=”off” spin=”off”]Content warning: discussion of suicide.[/font_text]
It was 7 years ago that I truly understood what loss meant. Specifically, what loss of life truly meant. I had a friend take his own life. The immediate question I asked myself was “Why?”, and only after that did I start frantically calling everyone who I knew was hurting worse than I was, making sure they knew I was there for them, making sure none of them felt like it was okay to follow his example. I remember that day so clearly that it scares me to recall exactly what happened.
I understood where the feeling came from. The want to make the pain stop, the notion that ‘I won’t be missed,’ or ‘I’m only hurting myself,’ or ‘This is the only way out for me.’ Those were daily thoughts in my own head at the time. I understood, and was able to rationalize how I felt from there. I turned off some emotions to be able to be strong for those who knew him better, knew him longer, were affected more deeply.
I put myself through therapy, knowing then how much a suicide can scar those around the person. I saw the result of it, and knew then that I could never willingly do that to those I loved, yet those thoughts that drive people to do the act were still in my mind. So I tried to get better. It wouldn’t be until 6 years after that I would truly feel free of those thoughts, but the important thing was that I reached out for help.
Something I started to quickly understand was that those who need the help the most may not be able to get it in time. I understood the effect my internal thoughts were having, I knew how dangerous they were, but many don’t. Or maybe they do and ignore it, thinking they can deal with it themselves better. There are so many reasons.
I encountered my second understanding this week. The son of a friend of my dad. I knew of this man, I’ve spoken to him a handful of times. I didn’t know him, I had moved away before we had any semblance of a meaningful relationship. For whatever reason, though, his story hit me harder and deeper than my first friend. Maybe because I’m more emotionally healthy, I don’t stow feelings away in a box to deal with later. Maybe it’s the fact that this man could’ve been any one of my distant online friends. Maybe it was the manner of his death that shocked the feelings out of me.
As a gamer, I have a community that supports and is there for me in ways regular friends and family are not. These people have been there for me through every single battle, on- and offline, for the past 2 years, and more still older. As gamers, we use this online world as an escape from the terrors and horrors of our own reality, a way to relax, a way to deal. To hear of yet another one of us to succumb and become that very horror cuts me on soul level. The gaming community, through all of our trolls and memes and faults, is one giant, loving support system. To those on the outside looking in, we are “nerds” or “geeks” or “loners,” but to us? To us we are a Friday night tournament to get us through the week, a reason to get through the mundane 9-5 and see people who really understand us. We are from all different walks of life, religion, social status, mental status, gender status. And maybe that’s why this death, this loss hurts me more. His family has lost a son, a brother, a friend. We, as a giant online community, have lost a comrade, a battle buddy, and to those who knew him better than I did, a friend from a distant place. This could’ve easily been one of the 60 players I see regularly in my community. And that, that is what has shaken me to my core.
I want to be able to help people, specifically gamers. See, I’m part of a community called GoodGuyGaming, or G3. My official position is League of Legends Game Lead. My gamer tag is PoroZera, but most people just call me Poro. We are a community that is dedicated to delivering a toxicity free gaming environment for both our members and the rest of the people who happen to join us for a game.
In light of this recent loss, I reached out to my community, asking them to help me out to give him a proper gamer send off. I am putting together a 24 hour live stream. We will be playing games he enjoyed watching, games he loved to play, and some just for fun.
If you’d like to join in the fun, you can find the stream on G3’s Twitch channel, starting at 2 p.m. CST this Saturday, September 24.