“We have a saying in England,” Last Strike Co-Division Leader KSI Akame 7 said. “‘The most contagious thing in the world is a smile.'”
In KSI, thousands of gamers seek a safe and fun gaming environment where they can meet and play with like-minded individuals from across all walks of life.
One of those members is Akame, who arrived in KSI on 30 November 2014.
Much the same as everyone else, Akame’s KSI story is unique and telling of a situation many haven’t seen and don’t know, but are all too familiar with.
“When I joined KSI, I was in a dark place,” Akame said. “I went through a terrible relationship and it drove me to the point of wanting to end my life. If it wasn’t for my friends I made through this community, I think I would have done something stupid.”
A three-year relationship with a woman he thought would be the one came crashing down. Living together at the time, Akame moved away back in with his sister.
“I was living with the girl I thought I’d be with forever at the time, so I moved out and I move back to a town with my sister, and all my friends who had been there had moved away,” Akame said. “As soon as I got home, I started to spiral downwards. It was KSI that brought me out of it.”
Feeling alone and without a direction, Akame had a close real-life friend who was told about KSI while gaming, and he shared the news with Akame.
“It was like, ‘I’ve got nothing better to do.’ I’ve got no friends locally and I’ve got my Xbox, so it gave me a chance to meet new people. I thought I’d give it a go,” Akame said. “It was the best choice I’ve ever made.
“I knew instantly it’s where I wanted to be. It took two week’s post-me joining to change my gamertag. I knew then and there this is where I wanted to be.”
Akame quickly made his impression, garnering a Lieutenant of the Year nomination for 2014 despite only being there for a few weeks. His ascension through KSI is still ongoing, and he’s making the most of it.
“Once I got Lieutenant, I thought it was fun and I knew I wanted to go all the way. I still want to go all the way. I want to get on the Board of Directors one day,” Akame said.
The darkest moment of Akame’s life led to what he says is the best decision of his life. KSI made the difference to him.
“It was the general atmosphere in the lobbies of people I was with. It was lively, it was bubbly,” Akame said. “There were no dull moments, no signs of depressive moods. It was always fun.
“The most contagious thing in the world is a smile. You don’t know what people are going through in real life, but when they come into a party, the attitude can cheer them up and make their day, and you’re not aware you’ve done that, but you have.”
Akame hopes to continue to be an example of what a KSI member should be, and he hopes sharing his story will encourage others to be open and lean on those close to them to get better.
“Don’t be afraid to reach out to people. People will always listen. Even if it doesn’t seem like it, it will hit them in the heart and they will take care of you. Dealing with it alone will make it worse,” Akame said.
After all, that’s what a community is for, Akame says.
“It doesn’t matter what position anyone is in, we’re all here to look after each other. We’re not just a community, we’re a family – a massive family.”