Posted by xenorevlis (4 posts) -

In the middle of July, my mother and sister walked in to me with my head down in front of my computer. I was doing my best not to cry, to not punch my desk, but my sibling immediately thought I was simply ignoring her when I asked her to repeat whatever she said and then my mother came to figure out if I had done anything to upset her. It was then they noticed, that my face was covered in tears, and I was looking at the news post on Giantbomb concerning Ryan's death - a man who taught me a lot with a little, and years later he and his friends helped to keep me high when things were low.

I've not publicly disclosed the following but expressed it to many close friends. I am deciding to do so now that my life is in one of those roller coaster valleys that you know leads up to a barrel roll or sudden turn. It's time to let go, yet never forget those in our lives that helped us in the past, and continue to do so in our spirit and mind. There are people we only get to meet a few times in our lives, or only get to speak to over the phone or online. Yet they are a force we cannot deny.

On the fourth of July, 2013, I was in Sunnyvale with a small assortment of friends celebrating the day with a BBQ, fireworks, and other shenanigans. Many of these people I grew up with and others from around California (most, anyway). We were comprised of musicians, filmmakers, game developers, software engineers, retail employees, students, and so on. I had brought a few friends with me, but ended up settling down in the living room at one point to share a short-form history video about what I've been up to over the past few years with my oldest inner-circle. This included a short primer of 2000-2010, wherein I worked on sketch comedy, game journalism, a music-based reality show, and more.

It was here, after hanging out with a database engineer and some other relatively new faces, that I heard something that sounded like a bad joke. Something that took me a moment to process, because I was told that one of their friends had passed away suddenly - as if they had just heard that day. When the name uttered sounded "Ryan Davis" I immediately thought of Ryan from Giantbomb. A man I barely knew, yet had met on several occasions when we crossed paths at events, at random places in the San Francisco Bay Area, and over the Internet after I used to work / contribute to sites of old (pre-IGN, iONvideogames, Cloudchaser, SegaNation, etc.) and finally, when I was a tester at SCEA.

After asking for validation of where this Ryan was from, and how he found out, my stomach was in upheaval. I didn't want to believe it for a moment, as in all these years I had yet to have a chance to reconnect with Ryan and his friends because my plate was overflowing with school, student employment, and real work on projects within my company. This was all taking up too much of my time and I barely got to play video games, rarely ever went to the theater, and my love life was non existent. Yet I made time to read/watch GB once in a while, above most other sources of media (besides Adam Sessler, who I met outside of GDC back when I was meeting up with the DrunkGamers - now known as Rooster Teeth).

Several days passed with no news of this, and me believing it to be nothing but a mistake of who had passed. It wasn't until I saw some stories pop up on Twitter that the fear of losing someone I looked up to, that had given me a little advice to survive in the world, was being mentioned as having passed away. It was so frightening, that I as in denial at first, and stayed away from GB, from Twitter, and from my smartphone in general. Later that day, however, I was looking at some websites for free assets to use in an Intermediate Motion Graphics class and a Kotaku ad popped up. Once I landed there, the first thing that drew my attention was that Ryan Davis had passed away.

I left that class early that day, checked GB, called some friends to confirm. Didn't want to believe it. Still pains me to this day. I too, was large (and in charge) for many years as a one-man multimedia army, a so-called teddy bear, a man the ladies could trust, and someone who loved people and always gave them the benefit of the doubt. After my mother and sister realized I was grieving, they consoled me and asked about him, after which I showed them some old photos, some newer videos, and then returned to the page here on GB about his passing. It was hard, and I still hope to finish the piece I've been working on for the GB crew.

My life may have recently turned into an incredible (and interesting) mess of nearly being killed, my car being totaled, losing my enrollment, student worker employment, and now having to learn about the legal system to go (back) to court for the first time in my life, but before my life goes back to being a space train that stops for no one I don't know or care about, I wanted to tell my story, on here. The staff has my condolences, they have my contact information, and I wish you all the best for the future. Especially Jeff - I was going to contact him immediately after it was official, but decided not to.

Rock on, GiantBomb.

#1 Posted by TheManWithNoPlan (6011 posts) -

I remember the night I found out. I was just settling down for the evening. I usually visit the site every day out of repetition, but I just hadn't gotten around to it. I actually didn't even find out through Giant Bomb, but rather ign. With the intention of checking on the latest events in the industry, I was confronted by what I thought at first was a morbid joke. "Ryan Davis passes away". I initially assumed it to be a play on Ryan recently getting married, as in the dumb old joke that when you get hitched your life as you know it is over. After immediately clicking on the story I was forced to accept the sad truth. One of my favorite personalities I'd followed for years was dead.

I strangely didn't shed a tear for several days after reading that. I only had a sick feeling in my stomach. It was only when listening to the Memorial bombcast that it really sunk in and I began to emotionally process everything. It was really strange being so affected by the death of someone I've never met. He didn't even know I existed, but he brought me such great joy for so long a time that I couldn't help but care. All in all, the man was a goddamn legend whom I'll never forget. Rip Ryan.

Also, I wish you the best of luck with your tough times and the project you're working on. :)

#2 Edited by xenorevlis (4 posts) -

@themanwithnoplan: Thank you for posting that. It was definitely a shock, as yes, he had just been wedded. I almost feel bad for bringing this all up again, especially at his digital home. Yet if I didn't share, it'd eat at me like other things in my life have before.

I'm doing my best and actually glad to have made it to where I am. It has given me some breathing room, proven the point to my family that they need to respect me, and proven to myself who I am and what my path in life is (basically, what I set out to do before I was 10 years old - interactive media production) and that my emotional side is still alive and kicking. There are a lot of story lines imbued into this project (and other branches of the same world) that deal with love, life, loss, and fundamental things like putting yourself first in order to be able to work with others.

Many of the personalities on GB have always been something I can tune into when doing concept art, programming, eating lunch, or even just something to relax to some evenings when subjects or games I'm curious about (or like) are involved. May their future continue to run strong.

#3 Posted by Demoskinos (15179 posts) -

I remember the night I found out. I was just settling down for the evening. I usually visit the site every day out of repetition, but I just hadn't gotten around to it. I actually didn't even find out through Giant Bomb, but rather ign. With the intention of checking on the latest events in the industry, I was confronted by what I thought at first was a morbid joke. "Ryan Davis passes away". I initially assumed it to be a play on Ryan recently getting married, as in the dumb old joke that when you get hitched your life as you know it is over. After immediately clicking on the story I was forced to accept the sad truth. One of my favorite personalities I'd followed for years was dead.

I strangely didn't shed a tear for several days after reading that. I only had a sick feeling in my stomach. It was only when listening to the Memorial bombcast that it really sunk in and I began to emotionally process everything. It was really strange being so affected by the death of someone I've never met. He didn't even know I existed, but he brought me such great joy for so long a time that I couldn't help but care. All in all, the man was a goddamn legend whom I'll never forget. Rip Ryan.

Also, I wish you the best of luck with your tough times and the project you're working on. :)

Heh, that was how it happened for me as well. I saw the post on the front page and thought they were ribbing Ryan for getting married. Spent the rest of the day in shock.

#4 Edited by MikeFerrari7 (212 posts) -

I remember just going about my usual day, I was at work and began browsing Facebook as usual. I am friends with Hilary Goldstein, and similar to others, thought a comment about his passing was a joke related to him getting married. Of course, I had to check twitter, which was full of similar messages. So I went to Giant Bomb, and saw Rories article.

I still didn't believe it. I am happy I had work that day, because without that distraction, I don't quite know how I would have taken it. Now I didn't know Ryan, although I had the great privelege of meeting him at PAX East. I was keeping an eye out for the Bombsquad, and happened to see Ryan walking down the hall, stopping in to see the Cards Against Humanity guys. I'm a pretty nervous person when it comes to meeting people of great influence to me. It feels weird saying the Giant Bomb guys are like heroes to me, but it's true.

So, I walked up to Ryan, probably shaking like a maniac, and for some reason, ask an incredibly dumb question I already knew the answer to. "Hey, man! You're from Giant Bomb, right?" Ryan was incredibly nice, asked a near by person if they'd take the picture, after I stupidly began an attempt at a selfie style picture. If I wasn't so excited to have met him, I would have probably fainted from embarrassment.

That's my Ryan story. I've never cried about it, but I think about it often. The podcast they did in memory of him was a tough listen, and at the end, when you hear Vinny, one of the most upbeat people I've ever seen, thank Ryan while full of such sadness.... Talk about a stomach doing backflips. I miss the dude, and make sure to watch and listen to old content regularly, as he never fails to put a smile on my face.

Here's our picture by the way.

http://i.imgur.com/74MwSRc.jpg

#5 Posted by JasonR86 (9729 posts) -

I was at work when I heard. It was depressing but I had work to do so I tried to keep it off my mind but it was hard. For a long time I couldn't watch any video that had Ryan in it. Just recently I went through the whole podcast catalogue from start to the episode following his death and it was kind of nice. Dude was a great host, very funny, and brought so much joy and energy to each episode.

I remember spending a lot of time considering death though following the news. I deal with death a lot at work and so I've tried to reconcile with the idea that I will die. I'm trying to come to terms with that because deep down, when I really consider my own death, it scares the shit out of me. I want to come to terms with that because I need to be a guide for clients who wish to come to terms with maybe their own imminent deaths or the deaths of others.

Ryan's death brought that anxiety I have to the forefront of my mind. Ryan and I aren't that different in age (7 years difference which goes by fast) so knowing that he had died put the fear of God in me. I know that I'm not indestructible but my death feels like it is a ways off you know? But that's not necessarily true and Ryan's death made that very clear. So I spent even more time dealing with this existential anxiety I have. I'm not totally over it if I'm honest but I'm better than I was. I can now work with client's on these issues without feeling like a hypocrite.

#6 Edited by Nightriff (5367 posts) -

I found out with Dave's, now amazing, post and I thought it was some weird, inside joke between him and Ryan, and then the article hit and news spread on twitter and it was the truth. I was having a great day too, kid slept through the night, woke up easily and made it to work on time and was doing homework when I found out. The news just completely changed how I was feeling all day. It was the first time I cried, not just a few tears but bawled, in years later when I got home. Took all my strength to not breakdown at work and during my classes but I couldn't hold it in anymore. I still get teary eyed thinking about the big guy, miss his presence and humor so much on the site.

Never got to meet the man, but I sure wish I did.

#7 Posted by probablytuna (3832 posts) -

I was on holiday in Vancouver at the time when I found out. I was about to leave the hotel room and head to the airport when I managed to connect to the spotty Wi-Fi signal to check some news on Facebook when I saw a link from GB about the news. I thought it was some kind of joke but when I saw Jeff's twitter post a few minutes later I knew it had to be true. As my parents were finishing up packing I was just shocked and sat on the bed and didn't know what to make of it.

It was a very conflicted feeling knowing that someone you feel like you've known for years yet were never friends had passed away. I couldn't talk about it with anyone since I was the only one within my circle of friends that visited GB religiously so instead I went on Twitter and found countless posts from Ryan's friends about their favourite memories of him. The sadness I felt was compounded by the fact that in two weeks time I would've met Ryan and Jeff in person for PAX AUS. The day that I found out would probably stand out above all else from my first US/Canada trip and one I won't forget.

#8 Edited by TournamentOfHate (594 posts) -

Just last night I was going through my head of what happened that day. Luckily I was off work, but I remember reading twitter as the tweets came in, and it started off with kind of mysterious tweets from Patrick, Alex, Eric Pope, John Drake and some other people. Just stuff like "Really don't want to go in to work today" and "Today's gonna suck", but I just thought they were having the Monday blues. Then when Pope and John started tweeting about wishing that they could bring the tri-state area together for a day, then I started to get a bad feeling. The last time Alex was tweeting like that was when their equipment got stolen at E3 which wasn't long before that, except this seemed worse. Then Patrick tweeted "Giant Bomb has suffered a profound loss, and I've lost a close friend.", then I clicked on the link, saw the headline and Ryan's picture, and I immediately stood up, started pacing around the room and was basically yelling as tears ran down my face, started punching my couch, it sucked. Every once in a while when I start to really think about it again the tears come back, and I'm not sure if that'll stop for at least several years.

Though again at least I was home that day, so I was around and read all the articles from people that I saw on twitter, watched the livestreams that fans were having with lots of Ryan videos, and the stream that Harmonix did that day helped. This was the first death in my life that hit me really hard, and it's definitely changed the way that I think about life.

I just wish Ryan was still here.

#9 Posted by TheManWithNoPlan (6011 posts) -

@themanwithnoplan: Thank you for posting that. It was definitely a shock, as yes, he had just been wedded. I almost feel bad for bringing this all up again, especially at his digital home. Yet if I didn't share, it'd eat at me like other things in my life have before.

I think I speak for everyone here when I say you don't need to feel bad about talking of Ryan's passing. If you're going to share, then there's no better place. Personally, the thing that got me through the whole ordeal was this community and it's willingness to share. All of us reflected on how we felt about Ryan in some way and at different points. Honestly, the grieving process in this specific case was kind of nebulous for me, but it was something all of us shared and were able to relate to and get through together.

#10 Edited by TruthTellah (9481 posts) -

I sort of figured out what had happened before it got officially announced. Though, honestly, it wasn't "real" to me until that post on the site. And then Twitter and every gaming news outlet had coverage of it.

It was really surreal. Just a few days before, once pictures had come out from the wedding, some of us here joked that he had died from happiness. Completely unaware of the fact that he had died around that day. The popular photo of him splayed out on the lawn of the wedding with Dave and what looked like a fire in the background was a subject of jokes, as it just seemed like classic Ryan. Of course he'd lie down like that, and in the jovial mood of talking about his wedding, it seemed preposterous to consider his death at all. That was a silly thought despite somehow ending up the reality. It's really the first thing that came to mind when I found out. "Damn, that's insane. We just laughed at the thought, but it actually happened." It was bizarre in a way that seemed like something you'd only see on a TV show.

The tweets of the staff that week had struck me quite odd. Post-wedding, they seemed upbeat, and then suddenly, they became sparse or almost downtrodden. Like everything else about all of this, it was strange to intuit something from tweets and such, but various users on the site started to wonder and ask questions. I thought maybe Ryan had gotten hurt on the honeymoon, and then it seemed like something worse had happened. I understand them waiting to announce it; their lives are already public enough. But I think many regulars around Giant Bomb had an idea that it had happened, but likely, like me, they didn't want to believe it.

Then it was publicly confirmed, and I had a mixture of grieving and selfishness. Frankly, still not fully accepting the grave reality, it almost felt more like he had quit or like when a show gets canceled. You think of the unfairness and what it means for the site you enjoy on a regular basis. I thought about how one of the main ingredients of my favorite entertainment was gone and never coming back. Fortunately, I recognized how foolish that was and held back from expressing such myopic considerations. As it set in more, it felt more and more like a member of the family had died. And since you care about the others in the Giant Bomb crew, as well, your heart breaks for them. Because as much as we may care as devoted fans, Ryan was first and foremost a human being with real friends and loved ones who knew and loved the man in his entirety. We may love little pieces he shared, but so much greater is the whole for those who knew him.

I jumped into the forum, discussed it with two of my close friends who also like Giant Bomb, and with all the people I know in PMs. I shared the news with my family, and after a few days, they realized how big it was. I went around to every corner of videogame news sources and talked with people. The mourning of his death was shared by so many, and it was overwhelming. It was like I saw people from every part of the gaming community swept up in a great sadness, and unlike most sadness in the gaming community, there was little opportunity for channeling it into anger. It was just sadness and loss standing as a grim reminder of how fragile all that we care about is.

After that initial burst, though, there was growing celebration. Not that he was gone, but that he had lived. I joined others in recalling our favorite moments of his time with us and the great joy he spread on a regular basis. I thought quite a bit on what I would say in honor of him. Someone had asked for people to record little tributes, and while I thought I could do it, I ultimately couldn't. I considered all I'd say, and I condensed it into what I appreciated most about him. Yet, I couldn't do it. It's often easier to think about things than to really say them, as though saying things gives them a heavy life. So after testing my setup for recording a little video, I couldn't say anything. Not because there wasn't anything to say, but because there was too much. The weight of a thousand words rested on my throat each time I tried, and I thought, "Man... no one wants to just see a video of me tearing up with a frog in my throat."

About a week passed and even though I had finally gotten to the point of being able to talk about him without my jaw clenching up, I hadn't been able to get anything. So the community tribute came out and @fattony12000 had made a really cool little video saluting him, and I felt like I had failed. But I appreciated that so many -could- voice what they felt about it. All of us handle events like this differently, but people expressed the great blessings of Ryan's impact better than I could.

Life moved forward. The site moved forward. But even though I did not know him personally, his death is probably one of the most memorable things about 2013 for me. Giant Bomb's still such a regular presence in my life that it's hard for it not to bear such weight. Just this week, I was discussing his skills in reference to recent murmurs about potential new staff. He was so good at moving things along; at keeping things together. And knowing exactly when to break things apart. You can't really teach that; that was just Ryan. There was so much that was "just Ryan", and you can't replace that.

Like you, I feel like there has been enough time that I might finally be able to do a proper tribute. I'm an artist; I should put those skills to good use in honoring a man that genuinely improved the lives of so many of us through his commitment to great entertainment and commentary. I do worry that perhaps the staff are sick of tributes or it would be a bad reminder to them, but as we're doing here, maybe it's okay and even good for us to acknowledge and talk about it further. We may be moving forward, but he is in no way forgotten.

Online
#11 Edited by TruthTellah (9481 posts) -
@themanwithnoplan said:
@xenorevlis said:

@themanwithnoplan: Thank you for posting that. It was definitely a shock, as yes, he had just been wedded. I almost feel bad for bringing this all up again, especially at his digital home. Yet if I didn't share, it'd eat at me like other things in my life have before.

I think I speak for everyone here when I say you don't need to feel bad about talking of Ryan's passing. If you're going to share, then there's no better place. Personally, the thing that got me through the whole ordeal was this community and it's willingness to share. All of us reflected on how we felt about Ryan in some way and at different points. Honestly, the grieving process in this specific case was kind of nebulous for me, but it was something all of us shared and were able to relate to and get through together.

Exactly. We're a community surrounding this crazy site. If not here, where? I appreciate @xenorevlis sharing his thoughts like this and spurring the discussion. There's no Giant Bomb without Ryan, and all of this, well, it's just a continuation of his impact on all of us. We may be a cold ol internet forum, but we're still real folks behind the pictures and text. Talking with people here after his passing was important for me, and it's still important now. No one's alone in this.

Online
#12 Posted by Akyho (1698 posts) -

@xenorevlis: My family too had to deal with me greving. I was on the pc it was coming up for 6pm (UK time 10am San Fran time) I was on skype with a friend talking.

He said "I got a text from Pat. He says Ryan Davis is dead." I said "What? thats the worst joke! He cant be....no!" despite what I said me and my friend went and checked GB in silence.

Sure enough our fears were realised, Rorie's article confirming it. We said "Yeah its true." and we swore a little went quiet. Talked about how we thought it was a joke....cursed it was just after his wedding. We also watched Patricks Bombastica earlier of which the end he tears up over his father's passing the same time the year befor.

I said to my friend "I am going to go." he said "yeah....." I did. I switched off logged off. I was about to burst into tears. I thought I was holding it enough. I was just gonna slink into my room except I thought Id best warn my dad first. I stood up walked over to him got his attention I was fine. I said "Ryan Davis" I lost it I was crying. I said his name and the following words in my head only made it true. He was stunned and worried ofcourse. I composed quickly and said "Ryan Davis of Giant Bomb died." my dad knew who he was.

How could he not when I talked about Ryan and the the Bombcrew almost all the time. So he knew how much Ryan ment to me. I said I would be in my room.

I cried all day and night finally falling asleep exhausted. I could talk the next day however Id have to hold back the tears when I remembered Ryan was gone. i thought about all of the sad things. He was just married, new wife, it was 4th of july. I later would cry alot when I thought about Patrick. About EVERYTHING! Missing Ryans wedding, mourning his father who died on day after Ryan, trying to be happy in 4th of july and the abuse he got when his father died it was horrid. No surprise ....the same disgusting comments about their horrible wishes where said except with Ryans name.

It was a horrible week. It took me a week before I was "normal" even 8 months on my eyes find tears behind them when I remember Ryan is no longer with us...then...I hear his laughter echoe in my head.. That grigorias laughter when something truly tickled him.

It hut me and my friends all hard as well. Just today I was at one of their houses and we were talking about E3 and the new consoles being worth it. I then said "Its weird....Ryan saw last E3 yet not the new consoles....." we both hung our heads for a second and nodded at the sadness. Then carried on.

Still sad as hell.

#13 Edited by Sooty (8082 posts) -

@themanwithnoplan: It's not strange to not shed a tear for someone you never really knew, for me it was just a shocking thing to find on the site and then I felt bad seeing his Twitter and the fact he had just gotten married made it more depressing. I fucking hate seeing Facebook posts and tweets from a day or so before that person died, it's extremely unsettling.

#14 Posted by Demoskinos (15179 posts) -

@truthtellah: You know as sad as I am about the whole thing I'm more angry than anything every time I think about it. Cause god the timing was the worst. And well, not like there is ever going to be a good time to die but the fact that him an Anna never really got to spend anytime in actual married life just is frankly the worst part about all of this. That part more than anything just kills me. Then again as we all learn life is anything but fair. =(

@sooty said:

@themanwithnoplan: It's not strange to not shed a tear for someone you never really knew, for me it was just a shocking thing to find on the site and then I felt bad seeing his Twitter and the fact he had just gotten married made it more depressing. I fucking hate seeing Facebook posts and tweets from a day or so before that person died, it's extremely unsettling.

Heh, extremely so with Ryan because he actually flat out made a "Well I'm not going to die" joke probably literally hours before he actually died later that evening in his sleep.

#15 Edited by xenorevlis (4 posts) -

@MikeFerrari7: Awesome photo. I found an old photo of Jeff but haven't looked at my HDDs from pre-2005 yet. There is bound to be something, but either way I'm working on an art piece and may create a video about it's creation as we progress forward. I'm also very tempted to give my regards to GiantBomb by way of making them exist within an alternate reality that our interactive experience weaves through, but of course they would be called LittleBigBomba or something :P

Just realized there were a bunch of posts. I do apologize for taking so long to respond, but my life has been rather crazy recently and I'm currently dealing with how to move out of my family's home, as it's difficult to maintain a healthy sleep cycle and get any work done, especially without a car, access to my school, and while technically being jobless. I was hoping to move into a house in Sunnyvale with a few of my friends in the game industry, but that spot has been taken by a girl some of us went to high school with.

Thank you all for sharing your stories. This is indeed a great community and place to share these things, even though for the majority of my time on this site I was generally just a lurker, as I used to be on NeoGAF, and how I was with many people I knew in real life or over the internet for the last 15 or so years, including the folks of Good Neighbor Stuff, Derrick Comedy, and so on (many of whom have "graduated" to SNL, Community, music industry, etc.)

I really appreciate anyone who took the time to read this and I do hope I get to run into GB crew soon enough, or at least can send what I'm working on to the mailbag. I'm also supposed to run into Greg from IGN at some point and maybe even Matt C. if he is still working there and remembers me from 12+ years ago lol.