Jagex believes in building diverse and inclusive gaming communities that are respectful and welcoming to all, so that our players can escape the stresses and strains of the real world.
We don’t normally comment on political situations as a company, however recent events mean that we must raise our voice and speak in solidarity with our Black team members, players and the entire Black community in opposing systemic racism.
We have committed to donate £60,000 to the Stephen Lawrence Charitable Trust, a UK charity committed to social inclusion, community cohesion and the alleviation of poverty.
We also recognise that we need to do more and we will always look for opportunities to do so. Right now, we are increasing investment in resources and materials to further raise awareness of racism, as we continue to support each other in the workplace. We are also matching employee charitable donations to organisations committed to advancing the opportunities for ethnic minorities, and those involved in fighting racial prejudice.
- Everyone at Jagex
A message from the frontlines
Jason Docton is the CEO of Rise Above the Disorder, one of Jagex’s official mental health charity partners. Based in California, Rise Above the Disorder provides free mental health care to people all over the world. Right now, they are dealing directly with mental health issues being experienced by Black people and are actively involved in providing medical support for protesters.
Their work is now more important than ever – especially for the Black community, which is often disadvantaged in receiving help for mental health issues. Below, Jason relates how he and his team have directly experienced the events now unfolding in the US and across the world following the death of George Floyd.
Yesterday, a neighbor stole a shipment of medical supplies from outside my front door. But how can I blame them for desperately wanting masks, sanitizer, and medical gloves? In a time of mass protest and pandemic, Rise Above the Disorder needs these types of items for both.
This neighbor couldn’t know that I’ve recently overcome coronavirus after contracting it back in February while treating patients for trauma at the start of the pandemic. Certainly, there’s no way this neighbor could know my team was shot at, tear gassed, and assaulted by police while aiding both sides of the protest for emotional and medical needs. Or, that we had exhausted all our medical gear while doing so.
I’m simply exhausted. Every refresh of the media lends more stress, more anxieties, and a depressing worldview that I can’t stand much anymore. The push and pull of what I need to see, respond to, and care about, is mixed into an endless stream of misinformation and bias. I’m shown things that I can’t help but condemn; though, to do so is to choose a political side and identity. The urgency and importance with which everything is thrown in my direction is overwhelming.
What we can take in and tolerate at any given time says a lot about our mental health. If we imagine ourselves as a cup and stress as the water, it’s easy to see why so many people would overflow right now. Issues like depression, anxiety, and the like tend to be large bodies of water that seemingly refuse to leave the cup, which may well explain why less water is needed to cause those afflicted to spill over. Still, with all that is going on, it’s inevitable that even the most resilient, well-maintained minds will struggle. To that effect, we find ourselves tending to a lot of people here at Rise Above the Disorder, and I imagine we’ll be doing so for years to come as sustained levels of stress can create trauma, creating another large body of water in our cup.
Although we all find our cups to be quite full right now, we’re being asked to fight in what may be the most important societal shift of our time, and that’s something I choose to rise to. The stress, anxieties, and depressive worldview I find to be a product of this unique pandemic give me a glimpse into the experience of the Black community. To live in fear daily that those enlisted to safeguard society may harm you, and 98% of the time will get away with doing so, creates a never-ending feeling of chaos.
To be clear, the protests here in the United States are directly addressing the injustice with which the Black community is treated, but racism extends far beyond that. Just like in US healthcare, those of color find themselves at a marked disadvantage in getting help for mental health issues. Not only are Black individuals more likely to be diagnosed with schizophrenia, but they are dramatically less likely to be given treatment. The overall quality of care for those of color is lower, while the insurance premiums are higher. It’s no wonder the Black community is more likely to have feelings of sadness, hopelessness, and worthlessness. Even within our gaming community, we regularly see racism and prejudice.
My hope in creating Rise Above the Disorder was simple: to make mental health care accessible to all. To make mental health care accessible at a time when people are unable to leave home, to make it accessible to a group of people who find themselves otherwise unable to access the care they deserve, and to make mental health care accessible to those who need the emotional bandwidth to fight for the world they want to live in.
With the financial support that Jagex and the RuneScape and Old School RuneScape communities provide, myself and my team can do just that. If you believe in a world where everyone has access to the hope, health, and happiness they deserve, I ask that you join us in this effort.
You can find out more about Rise Above the Disorder here: https://www.youarerad.org/