Spotlight on Abbey Sager / by Haley Smith

Meet Abbey Sager - after being dealing with cyber bullying in her high school days, she's making sure no one else endures the same pain with the creation of the Diverse Gaming Coalition and its accompanying comic book.

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What was the impetus for starting the Diverse Gaming Coalition? 

High School wasn’t something I enjoyed. I had lots of issues, but the main thing for me was constant bullying. Because of this, I eventually dropped out of school and obtained my GED. Not only that, it seems as if initiatives with anti-bullying efforts were not getting to the people they were trying to reach. They were the boring assemblies, preachy lectures, and the terrible misconceptions about bullying. 

So, I wanted to create a campaign that would end this. I wanted something that my peers could relate to- and would engage them to join the cause, thus creating Diverse Gaming Coalition.

 

What does the Diverse Gaming Coalition aim to do? 

Diverse Gaming Coalition’s mission statement is, “Fighting for a change in online and gaming communities through modern concepts”. We vision a world where people are free from bullying and harassment. We do this through fun and interactive workshops, keynotes, events on and offline, and much more.

 

You’re making a comic book currently - tell us more about that writing & illustrating process and what readers can expect! 

 

Our current comic book follows a non-binary person of color being bullied in a school setting. We chose to do comic books because they’re the next big thing. Comic books are hitting the scene again and becoming rapidly popular. We wanted to use this to create a whirl of change.

We came up with the story line after Diverse Gaming Coalition held an event to garner community input on the comic, including the story and illustration. When creating my anti-bullying comic book project with my community, one young high-school student expressed to me that they were being bullied because of their LGBT identity. Because of this, I decided to change the entire script of the comic that we had thought of at this event and turn it into something that can support them and their experiences with bullying, while still adhering to the masses.

Our illustrations of our main character Asher, follow along with similar characteristics of our real life victim. We wanted to do this to showcase the real people out there, not the one’s we make up in our heads. The comic will be done by the end of the year, and we are still actively seeking donations to support our work. We plan to integrate this comic book into school’s curriculum, and need the funds to do so.

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