It can be tough to live past mistakes down. Mess up once, and sometimes you’re branded among friends and family for years. That can be a rough and lonely existence, one that often pushes someone further down the path they should veer from.
Sonny Groat, or SPARTANSonny to some, lived that very existence. Trapped in an endless cycle of drinking, gambling, and fighting which led to the occasional trip to jail, there were few physically around him willing to offer a second or even a third chance.
In my interview with Sonny, he credited SyntaxSe7en as extending that chance. He offered a hand to pick him up, not one to keep him down. Not only did Syn help him through a hard time in his life, but the happiness Syntax conjured up in others by guiding them through raids inspired Sonny to do the same. He found much of the same in Jsniperton, another Twitch streamer, one who helped push Sonny into streaming himself.
“Eventually I did start streaming and at first it was slow like all brand new things that grow but its grown like wild fire, its turned out bigger than I ever expected it to be, and the only reason for that is because of streamers like Syn, Jsniperton, and bayoubombshell along with all the followers and viewers.”
It’s odd how so few choose to encourage someone rather than berate them when a mistake is made. What’s even odder is how most that are labeled as selfish are sometimes the most willing to give. Perhaps the physical world chose to write-off Sonny, but in the confines of a video game, Destiny and it’s community, there were those willing to reserve judgment.
Online gaming communities shouldn’t be defined by their size, or how many articles are posted per minute on forums or Reddit. They really should be measured by whether or not they have a SyntaxSe7en or a Jsniperton to be a “face” for the community. They should be measured by how many deathsxlullaby there are – pushing a friend that they see vast potential in. Or if they have mods like goliathtactics, ron_rogers, and tuxydoh – willing to be behind-the-scenes to watch that potential come to fruition.
You can follow SPARTANSonny on Twitch, here. If you stop by, you aren’t going to see a bunch of fancy equipment with high-tech graphics and audio. What you’ll find is a fun and welcoming place to hangout, free a judgment, and a testament to the power of what a healthy, online gaming community can do in someone’s life:
“I am no longer a 7 day a week pool player who drinks excessively, I don’t have to hear that people don’t have a home anymore because I took there money, I don’t go to jail anymore, I stay away from bars, I have made great friends (online), and I make more every day… and people are happy.”
Congratulations on 1,000 followers on Twitch, Sonny – each one earned, each one inspired by your generosity, but not one gained with any strings attached.