Like many of us, I watch youtube videos from time to time throughout the week. A lot of us have our favorite channels that cater to our interests, and personalities that we trust to deliver solid content. One of those channels, for me, is the “Game Theorists”, and one of those personalities is MatPat. While people have tried to poke holes in a lot of his game theories over the years, the videos they’ve thrown up have been a great source of enjoyment for me personally, as I often struggle to find things that make me feel positive through my own haze of depression. So, two days ago, when I saw a new video from them pop up in my subscriptions, I was glad to have something to listen to on the way to work. However, when I saw the thumbnail for the video, it was Matt looking like he was on the verge of tears, with the video titled “Losing the Battle.” I decided to hold off on listening/watching it until yesterday, my day off.
I was sitting on a chair in the gym I go to after a workout, preparing to listen to a podcast about one of my other interests, while I went for a walk after the workout, when I saw the Matt video sitting in my queue. I opened it up, and , it was rough. What I saw was someone fighting back tears, having to explain to the world that one of his friends, and the editor for Game Theorists, Ronnie Edwards, had taken his own life. It’s really hard to explain the emotion and struggle Matt went through to get all the way through this video, so I’m going to link it here for a few reasons. Talking about it doesn’t do it justice, and the situation is something that should be told in the words of the person that experienced it. People don’t often get to see, on a large scale, how suicide affects those other than the victim. Also, Matt has a very strong message about mental health at the end of the video, that I think is worth a look to anyone who is struggling with depression, or suicidal thoughts. The depression I struggle with is the reason I haven’t written anything in just over a month. However, this situation pertains to an issue that I feel very strongly about, as I have lost a lot of people, and almost myself to it in the past. Depression and suicide are no joke.
On writing this…
Initially I was going to refer to this as an industry recon article, as it pertains to news that is happening within the gaming world, and affects a fan base comprised of mostly nerds and pop culture enthusiasts. However, this is a bit more than “news”, it’s a situation that affects many people every day, in all walks of life. Depression is something I deal with daily, and suicide is something I’ve lost friends, and even my mother to. How to approach reporting something like this while giving the people involved the respect they deserve, isn’t something I’ve really had to deal with before. This situation is a huge loss to everyone involved, and it comes just days after Matt had his first child. I can’t imagine being in a situation where you have to welcome one life into this world, and say goodbye to a friend, back to back. I hope the Game Theorists team takes the time they need to grieve, get through this, and find some kind of closure down the line. Matt has been very active on twitter throughout this, if you want to send any positive words or energy his way, his handle is @matpatgt. Also, if you or anyone you know is having suicidal thoughts, the National Suicide Prevention Hotline is open 24 hours a day, every single day at 1-800-273-8255. If you want to donate to suicide prevention, this site has a list of organizations who work towards that.