By JoeyF 59 Comments
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.