Thanks For Everything, Ryan. I'll Miss You.

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I met Ryan Davis through mutual friends in the early 2000's, hanging out at house parties and poker games. I was fresh out of high school, and Ryan was kicking off a career at Gamespot. He moved to San Francisco, and I went to Los Angeles to work a bit, and although I wouldn't see him again for, maybe 5 years, I would often check in on him through Gamespot videos. It was a blast watching one of my funniest friends, on camera for this "internet video" thingy. He was an absolute joy to be around, and all that joy came through video so naturally.

After a while, I moved back up to Northern California and was freelancing here and there, and working some part time jobs -- overall, it was a rough time. I wasn't where I wanted to be professionally, and I was depressed.

I came across a craigslist add regarding a video spot at Whiskey Media and when I looked up the company I realized it was the home Ryan's new site -- Giant Bomb. Now, I'm usually really reluctant to ping friends about favors, so I worded an email -- or maybe it was an XBOX live message, I can't remember -- to Ryan expressing my interest in the position, but at the same time, it would be completely understandable if he didn't feel comfortable passing my resume along. Even though we were friends, we have never worked together professionally. The only thing about video he knew from me, were some goofy videos I made, and I didn't want to put him in a weird situation.

However, I got a message back saying, "Sure! Send your resume and reel over to me!"

After some interviews, and a trial employment period, I found myself full time at Whiskey Media. I would then meet a ton of really great, really talented people that I would soon come to consider my family. I got to learn a ton of stuff, work on fun projects, and do something for a living that I was excited about. My life kind of turned around, and this was really all thanks to Ryan, and the leap of faith he took on me. I would get to work with him a lot more over the next couple years, and would soon consider him one my closer friends.

The Whiskey Split was one of those bitter sweet events. Although I was presented with the opportunity to work in some exciting new grounds with Tested, I was parting ways professionally with a big chunk of people that were really important to me. The last few days of Whiskey as we're taking apart the office, separating stuff, and getting ready for this new venture, Ryan sat down one last time in the live set host chair (the one used for Happy Hours and TNT's), knowing that this was the last time he would sit there. Me, feeling a little emotional about all this, sat to talk with him; before we parted ways, I wanted to make sure he knew how grateful and appreciative I was. How that I understood the importance and weight of his recommendation, and how that, thanks to him, I had a job I was excited about, and new friends I cared about.

He humbly shrugged it off and simply said, "I just made the introduction, it was all you from there." Ryan was always a super kind dude to me.

I told him I was going to miss working with him, and he assured me that we would probably work together again in the future. And we got to, if only for a week at E3 2013. It'd been year since we last worked together, but it felt natural, like old times -- it was a total blast.

He was an intensely fun guy, who was deeply loved by many. It's painful to think that he's not going to be just down the street anymore, or talking nonsense in a little video player, just a url away. My last memory of him is a good one. Ryan Davis, at his wedding, dancing, laughing, soaking wet, singing, surrounded by friends and family, ecstatic with joy and happiness.

I'll miss you, buddy.

My thoughts go out to his friends, family, his lovely wife Anna, and the Giant Bomb crew.

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E3 2011, Day 00: Press Conference Stuff I'm Excited About

With the last press conference coming to an end, and so Day 00 of coverage (lots more coming as the video editing is soon to start), here is what I'm most excited for thus far:

Microsoft Press Conference:

A whole lot more of Kinect stuff than I anticipated. Some of the concept tech seemed interesting, and I'm interested in the live TV stuff (even though they never explained how any of that stuff is going to work).

Modern Warfare 3

Looks crazy ridiculous. I, perhaps, am not prepared for this since I never played the second one. Going to catch up soon though to be ready for the third; I really like the first games campaign

All things Halo

I have to admit, I'm a shamelessly loyal Halo fan. I'm going to have a blast replaying through the first campaign with a nice wash and buffer job, and probably play the heck out the multiplayer. And the idea of having another 3 FUCKING HALO TITLES coming out in the future is pretty great. However, with some of my favorite characters like Johnson, Keyes, and the Guilty Spark dead, they're going to need to reintroduce some characters just as, or more awesome, than those cats to keep my interest in that world strong.

Fable Journey and Ryse didn't do a whole lot for me. I don't quite know how Kinect is going to hook me to game with it's technology. Not sure I want to be the controller.

EA Press Conference

Not a huge sports or racing gamer, which was what a lot of the first half of this EA conference was. SSX looks like something I'd be interested in taking for a test run -- it looks like it moves right. Football, soccer, racing, eh. Not my jive.

Also, Sims Social seems very creepy.

Mass Effect 3

Sure, bring it, I'm pot committed at this point. Played the holy hell out of the first two, taking all sorts of different paths. The improvements from the first to the second game were leaps and bounds, and I hope they find new ways to improve on the next iteration. Yelling the voice commands with the Kinect seem like fun -- although, I do that anyway without it.

Battlefield 3

Pretty great showcase of the Frostbit 2 engine; game looks and sounds beautiful. Might check it out, despite what I thought was a rather tame live demo, but I really can only take 1st person warfare games in small doses, and Modern Warfare might wear me down.

Ubisoft Press Conference

An enjoyable looking Rayman, followed by a super hyper active presenter, then rolling into Farcry 3, followed by MR. CAFFEINE, Tintin, Ghost Recon, "HEY GUYS, HEY GUYS, TIME TRAVEL!!!".

Assassins Creed Revelations

Super huge fan of the franchise, and this was a great show ender to an previously dull show. I'm eager to play Old Man Ezio playing pirate, warrior, and heavy weapons specialist, but I'm not sure how much more AC is in me. I think I'm ready for the story to wrap.

Sony Press Conference

I haven't owned a Sony system since the original Playstation, but I hope to pick up a PS3 at some point soon to catch up on Uncharted, Heavy Rain, Metal Gear 3 and so on.

I really want to be excited about some good handheld systems, but Vita looks too much like an elaborate cell-phone gaming system. There were a few gems in the presentation I'd like to keep my eyes on though.

Also, I've never played 3D games, but I go way out of my way to not see a movie in 3D, so, there's that. Not huge on the Move, or MMO's, but I am looking forward to…

Bioshock Infinite

Saw this at Irrational in Boston a while back and was blown away by the demo, and now even more so with the hints of whatever time distortion parallel dimension jumping wackiness they got up their sleeves. Looks beautiful, mesmerizing, and a ton of fun to play. As of now, the game I'm most excited about at the show.