It’s been a while since I posted an update here on NoobTubeTV. From new games to old games there always seems to be something I should be covering. As I recently played through a few rounds of Call of Duty WW2 on PS4 I noticed something that wasn’t necessarily ‘new’.
Online gaming interactions can occasionally be fun experiences where you make new friends. Unfortunately, more often than not in games like Call of Duty (especially) it’s a party line for verbal abuse and threats. The fact that there is an option in the game to mute the entire group of players en masse with the click of a button should tell you how necessary it can be at times. As I thought about the issue of bullying/verbal abuse/racism/etc. in gaming and the ‘Mute All’ function it became more and more clear to me that burying our heads in the sand and clicking ‘Mute All’ isn’t an option out in the real world.
While I am not particularly fond of unsolicited advice (ask my parents if you want proof). I feel compelled to throw this out into the world for kids, teenagers, parents, teachers, and bullies alike.
People that are bullied for their looks (weight, physical features, etc.) will grow to not only have negative self-esteem towards their own body, but they will grow to be more critical of others. It can be hard to deal with this because it’s literally something we can’t escape. I was bullied about my weight when I was as young as third grade. I hit a growth spurt when I was in 5th grade or so and by the time I was in 8th grade I was 6’2” 220 lbs. When I was in sixth grade I used the wonderful note-passing system to ask my crush to be my girlfriend. Among the things she responded to me on a note card were the colorful cuss words to describe my looks encircling ‘lose ten pounds’… this was a sixth grader to another one of their peers.
To the adults out there that have lost touch with their own childhood – try and remember how cruel it was a times. This is only one example, but it is my example of being able to pinpoint one of the starting points for my own poor self-esteem and negative body image that unfortunately I carry to this day.
The worst part about being bullied isn’t necessarily the parts that make us cry in front of those we want to impress as we are being made fun of either (yes, that happened to me as well). But, no… that isn’t the worst part about being bullied.
The worst part about it is if and when we allow it to grow and fester in our mind and like Anakin Skywalker, we let that hate and anger turn us into the very thing that we want to fight the most. I can remember saying things and doing things that I was ashamed of even as I said and did them. The wonders of insecurity given to us by bullies tend to turn us into the worst versions of ourselves and make us into the bullies we hate the most. Looking back on how I imagine I am probably remembered by those that were my peers when I was a teenager and probably into my early twenties – yes, I knew I was a bully (and a lot of other names I would probably find acceptable, but not complimentary) and a jerk. I won’t use the excuse of causation to justify those actions. I will take the responsibility for them as someone that knows all the more how damaging those things can be. I can honestly reflect on this stuff now – and hopefully help someone going through these things.
To anyone being bullied in school or otherwise and the many others out there that are victims of such cruelty. I wish I could tell you to hit the ‘mute all’ button. I wish I could tell you that these kids are just insecure jerks and not to let it get you down or feel bad. I wish I could tell you that adults don’t behave that way. Sadly, we can be a totally new breed of jackass (you’ve heard the supposed ‘grown ups’ on Call of Duty, and such, you know better).
I can tell you this.
You are more powerful than you know. You have the ability to change the world by being who you want to be and not what they are trying to make you into. Be the kid that carries around your Dungeons and Dragons notebook and storylines. Be the teenager that listens to metal music and keeps a poetry journal. Be the athlete that hangs out with the goth kids and outcasts. Be the dude that cooks for his prom date instead of taking them where everyone else is going to be. Be the person that opens doors for others. Be the nerd that reads because it is fucking awesome. Be the person that stands up for others that are being bullied. Be the cool hero in your story instead of becoming the villain (villains are lame and cliché anyway). Be the adult that knows about the multiverse in comic book lore. Be the guy that has seen Dumb and Dumber so many times that he can quote it at some of the best (and worst) moments.
Never ever forget – you have people who think you are cool as hell. While there are people that we don’t get along with or don’t hang out with, it doesn’t mean they don’t deserve your basic respect. Just remember they have their own things that other people think are cool – even if you don’t. That’s the best part about being different from everyone else – we get to know people from other walks of life.
To the kid out there that gets made fun of or rejected by your crush. Don’t you dare let them get you down. Because, here in not too long (although, you will swear it takes forever) you will meet all sorts of new friends as you grow in this world. You will find that you aren’t so alone in yourself. Keep being the good version of yourself. Don’t let the world turn you into a mean and cynical person. It is hard to turn that off as you get older if you let it settle in now. You are cool as hell and you look fine. Stop worrying about your acne, nose, hair, lack of six-pack abs, etc. Your friends will make themselves known in time. In the meantime, you have some work to do getting back to being yourself. That is what makes each day kick more ass than the day before.
As my wife tells me I now tell you…
Go and do great things.