Remembering YouTube star Etika

Etika

Desmond Amofah, popularly known by his online moniker of Etika, passed away via suicide at the age of 29 on June 19.

“We regret to inform that Desmond Amofah a.k.a. Etika has been found deceased,” the NYPD’s official Twitter account posted.

The same Twitter also posted that Amofah was “last heard from June 19 at about 8 pm by phone.”

Amofah was widely popular for his Nintendo game videos on YouTube where he would stream, react, and play Nintendo games, as well as his streaming on the platform Twitch. Many fans enjoyed his exciting, engaging and humorous personality, and they dubbed Amofah ‘Nintendo’s unofficial hype man.’

Amofah inspired and paved the way for many new reaction YouTube channels as well as many streamers. Amofah also created anime based content in which he would react to popular episodes of popular series such as Dragon Ball: Super and Naruto Shippūden.

Even beyond death, Etika still leaves an impact and legacy on the gaming, anime, and overall YouTube community. With his passing, fans have developed the phrase ‘Joycon Boyz Forever,’ which is based off of the term ‘Joycon Boyz,’ a uniting nickname for Amofah and all of his viewers.

A few months before his death, Amofah was put into custody where he would receive the mental health aid he needed due to posting several tweets hinting at and suggesting suicide.

One such tweet read, “Savonarola! I’m going to kill myself! You most certainly have already. Shame on you all, silly humans!”

While some fans were worried, many took his tweets as a joke. Almost 2 weeks after being released, videos of Amofah having a ‘mental breakdown’ began flooding YouTube. In the video, the police and EMS attempt to enter Amofah’s apartment on several reports regarding his safety. After 10 minutes of resistance, Amofah was finally brought into an ambulance once again.

Once again, many people laughed at the time, taking it as a joke or claiming that the video was staged. Then a few months later, Amofah posted an alarming video to YouTube in which he discussed having suicidal thoughts and being “mentally ill.” While the video has been taken down, many other users have shared it. In the video, Amofah said that concern for his social media image and how it had affected his relationships had negatively impacted his life. He apologized to those he had wronged, and explained how he had come to terms with his death and how he had made up his mind to kill himself.

“I’m sorry to those of you who I betrayed. I hope that my story maybe helps to make YouTube a better place in the future somehow. To where people know boundaries and limits, how far things should go. And in an attempt to be edgy, I [messed] up my entire life,” he wrote.

If you, or anyone you know are considering suicide, call the national suicide prevention lifeline at 1-800-273-8255.