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On Kate von Roeder

Kate von Roeder, formerly Visaeris, is dead. Many of you are aware from the forum threads. And now, I find myself with the second post this year about suicide. Again, someone I knew.

Fantastically talented, passionate, willful, always brilliant and interesting. Kate epitomized some of the best and worst qualities, but she never did it without a certain sense of style and followthrough. It didn’t surprise me when she became a prominent game developer, it didn’t surprise me how many people knew and cared for her.

I wish she’d known. I wish she’d grasped just how much all of us care. The ripples keep stretching out: the folks who loved her and cared, the folks who would have loved to hold her to this world. My hope is she’s at peace.

This is another thing that’s not easy for me to write: I’ve done work for Iron Realms Entertainment since winter of 2011, and before that to some capacity on an irregular basis. Part of my job involves dealing with players, liaising as a member of the staff should, but mostly writing a lot of descriptive text, training the next generation, and driving various projects behind the scenes.

Sometimes, I have an insight into the lives of folks. More, sometimes, than I might want.

In the last three years, a not insignificant portion of the players I deal with on a daily basis have mental illnesses of one kind or another. A smaller, no less visible group, are sick. Very sick. I watch these folks go into the ER, I hear about someone who can’t survive without dialysis, etc. So many bedbound folks who do nothing all day but play this MMORPG because they can’t do anything else. The people living paycheck to paycheck, the ones being abused by their parents… the list goes on.

I can’t say how helpless I feel right now, writing this post. My inbox is always open for those who need it, but most folks I’ll never speak with in my role. Most folks will never reach out. You can, at any time, whoever you are, wherever you play, no matter whatever arguments ICly. There’s so many who are hurting, and it hurts when all I can say is don’t give up.

Please don’t. No more Jasons. No more Kates.

I leave you with these words, once more:

“Life can kill you. It can, and it will. We all die in the end. Every one of us will be food for maggots. It is a certainty as true and profound as taxation and the sun rising in the morning. Every force of the universe is dead set against us some days, and the weight of the world will beat you into submission just as sure as you let it. It never stops. Entropy is king. And whether you believe in God or not, whether you love Jesus or not, whether you smoke dope or drink or write poetry or curse at the moon or engage in promiscuous sex, whether you pray on your knees or tithe or give money to charity or abstain from sinful vices or put your trust in government, every one of you will certainly perish. Our world is ephemeral. There is no escaping it. Our time here is fleeting, and the clock ticks seconds past even as you read these words.

But you must not give up. Never give in. Fuck all and fuck the world and fuck these enemies you fear which tear you down little by little every breath you take. You must fight; even when your enemies are those who love you and even when they are ones you love. You must fight for yourself and cling to those things that give you strength: your faith, yourself, your knowledge that no matter what may happen to you right in the here and now, the sun also rises tomorrow.”

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