Name / Twitter handle?
Ash Morgan / @Ranooth
What do you do?
I’m a producer (soon to be studio head) for a indie games company called Dojit and a bit of a testing consultant if people ever need help with it
Where were you born?
Hereford, United Kingdom
And where are you now?
Birmingham, United Kingdom
Favourite game of all time?
Dungeon Keeper 2
What was the last game you enjoyed?
Far Cry 3, total freedom in a great sandbox setting – plus you can re-create scenes from Rambo all the time
Tell us about some of the bullying you experienced.
My experiences with bullying were weird compared to others, I never had the “classic” big bully with his “cronies” who one would fear. My main bully was a person younger and smaller then myself and also someone I considered a friend, for the sake of this explanation let’s call him “Kid X”.
During my first year of High School a lot of kids would insult and call me names, spearheaded by “Kid X”. This was general hazing but I took it all to heart and lashed out which caused more people to mock me, I essentially became the joke of my year. Some kids decided to get physical and would punch me to see me react. I remember being punched in the guy pretty hard for not giving up a seat quick enough. Teachers would commonly see what happened and do nothing, or worse blame me. I was told many times that I was the problem and was told that my weight was probably the cause. A teacher who ironically was quite large told me I had to lose weight or “face insults for the rest of my life”. The thing is I wasn’t that large a child, obviously I comfort ate a bit but I was hardly the fattest in my year.
The physical and bullying continued till my third year until I finally fought back against “Kid X”, I hardly remember the fight as I blacked out due to anger. I did however break “Kid X”’s leg and “win” the fight. I was suspended but I didn’t care, my parents understood why it happened and I was proud that I stood up for myself.
However this didn’t stop all the problems, I lost the rest of my friends because my teachers forced them to decide between me and “Kid X” and again I quickly became the joke of the year all over again although all the physical bullying stopped. Teachers did nothing about it and I just learnt to accept it, hide when I could and finish the school day as quickly as I could.
I have a million and one different stories of what happened in my time at school, but most boil down to someone insulting / attacking me, teachers doing nothing to stop it and blaming me instead, my self esteem dropping and my parents trying their best to support me and demand answers from the school.
When did you manage the bullying?
I didn’t really manage it at all; I took everything to heart and didn’t stand up for myself. I did stand up for myself a bit more after the fight but was still mocked. I was still ridiculed a little bit at the very beginning of college, but I was able to re-invent myself and find friends who actually liked/respected me.
What effect do you think bullying had on you?
My time at High School affected me a lot, at the time I doubted myself and had very little self esteem. I thought my life would be crap as people would pick on me forever.
Thankfully after college this wasn’t the case, but the memories of what happened still affect me, I find myself remembering little flashes of what happened and how I felt and it does really get me down. I do try my best to repress these memories but it doesn’t always work.
How is your life better now?
My life is kick ass! I found the girl of my dreams at the end of college and we’ve been together ever since, I went to an awesome uni and made a tonne of friends who I love. I graduated with a really good grade and a great little reputation in the indie games industry.
I have only really just started being a producer for Dojit but I am enjoying the challenge and what is coming next.
Did you ever think life was going to be this good?
Not at all, like i said earlier I thought people would continue to pick on and mock me throughout my life but things in my life have overall been great.
What would you like to say to a youngster thinking about getting into video games who is experiencing bullying right now?
Do not give up. I know it’s tough and you probably think it’s just going to get worse but keep going, keep believing and keep driving towards your dream. Bullies are odd creatures; they do what they do for little to no reason and will try and take EVERYTHING from you. You cannot let that happen, as long as you have your hopes and your self-respect you can achieve what you want in life and hold your head high. No amount of name-calling, threats or personal attacks can take that away from you.