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What I Wish Gamers Understood About Other Gamers With Disabilities

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I love to play video games. Ever since I was younger and had the original Nintendo, I’ve been hooked. Currently, my gaming console of choice is the PlayStation 4. I also like whatever games I can download on my phone. Pokemon Go is my favorite, although it’s tricky to play without someone pushing me in my wheelchair. My girlfriend Mandy got me hooked on that game last month and I haven’t stopped playing it since.

I am a gamer who just so happens to have a disability. I have cerebral palsy and doing things like reading instructions or hitting the right button combinations is hard for me sometimes. But I am a fast learner if someone tries to help me. I have a few good friends who are willing to explain a level to me so I can prepare, but more often than not, I run into some rude people.

A few days ago, I was called a lot of mean names by people on the PS4 Network because they can pick up in my voice that I have a disability. They called me a lot of things that, let’s just say, weren’t very gentleman-like. The “R” word especially.

I see my games as an escape from reality. The last thing I want to have to deal with is being made fun of. I wish other gamers would realize that although I might not be the best at what I do or I might sound funny to them, I am a person just like them. I’m just a guy who likes to game.

We don’t have to all be friends, but we do have to respect each other and our differences, whether we have disabilities or not. We all log in to our games because we love what we do. Don’t you think we should at least try to be nice to one another?

There are times I might need help on some things, so please have patience.Treat me the way you want to be treated, and don’t take a game so seriously to the point of trash talking someone. Think of how you would feel if someone did that to you. There are many people with disabilities who like to play games, and we just want our fair shot at being treated fairly.

I am always open to meeting gamers who share the same philosophy as me. You’re more than welcome to meet me at HotKnight1966 on PS4 and Twitch. If you want to know more about the games I play or even my disability, just ask. Although there are plenty of mean people out there, I will never stop gaming. Hate will never ruin my hobby.

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Originally published: November 28, 2016
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