I never met Ryan, but, like pretty much everyone else here, his death hit me hard.
I've tried to rationalise why I feel so personally affected by it.
It could be the nature of the podcast. For 3 hours each week Ryan's voice was pumped into my ears. The conversational style of the Bombcast meant that it didn't feel like listening to a show, but hanging out with friends.
It could be that a couple of years ago I was in a pretty bad place and the output of this site helped to drag me through. The sheer quantity of material that Giant Bomb produces means that if you haven't got much else going on in your life, you can really get lost in here. Being constantly exposed to the friendly, positive and, most importantly, gloriously dumb content of this site kept my head up and helped give me the strength to get myself out of a hole.
But ultimately, I don't think that I can rationalise why I feel so connected to Ryan. (I use the present tense intentionally; he still feels like a part of my life.) He was a one of a kind, joyous force of nature. I've decided to stop feeling weirdly guilty for the strength of my reaction to the death of a man I've never met, and just come to terms with it.
I will miss him.
For a while I've been planing to get myself a pair of New Balance 574s. Ryan was clearly a super-fan, and his enthusiasm was infectious. I was waiting for payday, when I planned to buy this ballin' pair I'd seen and tweet him a picture. Well today was payday, but sadly Ryan didn't make it.
As dumb as this is, walking around in these today made me feel a little closer to him.