Ryan Davis Was a Hero

I've spent the last 24 hours in somewhat of a daze. In lieu of trying to put my own thoughts into words last night, I decided to spend my time reading everyone else's and filling up the Bomb Shelter page with blogs from some of our amazing community's all-stars. I don't know what else can be said at this point, so I'll try to keep this short. Others have more eloquently and accurately conveyed how much the man meant to this community, so I just wanted to talk about some of my personal favorite memories of Ryan. Yes, like many have pointed out, it does feel awkward to get so emotional about someone we didn't really know in the traditional sense. But, fuck it. There's no shame here. I don't pretend to have known the man personally, but I did have the chance to meet him a few times.

At PAX Prime 2010.

I first met Ryan at PAX Prime 2010. @heavyduty32 and I had recently sent a mailbag of frozen Chick-Fil-A to the Whiskey offices. So, when we saw him at The PAX 10 booth, we had to go say hello. He immediately lit up in that energetic, magnetic way we've all come to know and love. He was kind enough to sign my copy of Deadly Premonition and he was the one who suggested we should all get a picture together. Not just one, but a second featuring Ryan photobombing us.

Ryan proudly never played this game.

About seven months later, I was in Boston for PAX East 2011. At the GB meetup, Ryan recognized me as I was passing by the booth he was in. "Marino!," he said. Somewhat stunned that he knew my name, I stuck out my hand to say hello. Ryan grabbed it, squeezed hard, turned to another person at the booth and said, "This man sent us Chick-Fil-A sandwiches across the country." Then, he kissed my hand and said, "He is a hero." Later that night, we were about to leave so I stopped by his booth again to say thanks and goodnight. Even after all this, my social awkwardness led me to believe maybe I would just be bugging him at this point, so when I approached him, I said "Hey, I don't want to bother you too much but I just wanted to say th-." Ryan cut me off and basically shouted "Well, you're bothering me now!" He had a gift for cutting to the quick and then immediately making you laugh about it. No one was safe.

I got to talk to Ryan in person a few more times at various PAX events between then and now. He always addressed me by name (even if it wasn't my real name) and made me feel immediately comfortable to talk about just random shit with him. I feel lucky and privileged to have been able to do so. He truly brought joy to every room he was in and every person he spoke to. Ryan had a unique, honest-to-goodness, kindness about him and an infectious laugh that will be impossible to replace.

Ryan & TurboToaster at the PAX East 2011 meetup. (Photo by Matt Pascual)

Ryan Davis once told me I was a hero. No, sir. You were the hero.

Thanks for everything.

13 Comments
13 Comments
Edited by BaconGames

I was looking forward to this one. Honestly all the community stuff has been outstanding and it's the one thing, beyond twitter that is, that has kept me going these past two days.

I think I'll start working on mine right now.

Posted by Marino

@bacongames: It's been pretty rough. I did smile when your Lang story got told on the Harmonix stream yesterday, though. Still a shame about the book, of course, but that story will live forever.

Staff
Posted by TruthTellah
@marino said:

Even after all this, my social awkwardness led me to believe maybe I would just be bugging him at this point, so when I approached him, I said "Hey, I don't want to bother you too much but I just wanted to say th-." Ryan cut me off and basically shouted "Well, you're bothering me now!" He had a gift for cutting to the quick and then immediately making you laugh about it. No one was safe.

haha. That's a great example of his amazing ability to somehow be the sweetest jerk. As you said, using that terseness to actually make people feel -more- comfortable. It's magic, and few people can pull it off. Ryan was one of those guys.

Thanks for sharing your thoughts and memories, Marino. It's great to hear from everyone right now when we're all just trying to process it as best we can.

Online
Edited by Marino

@truthtellah: I've been through my share of tragedies. There is no truly "getting back to normal," but reading the outpouring of emotion from everyone definitely helps.

Staff
Posted by BaconGames

@marino said:

@bacongames: It's been pretty rough. I did smile when your Lang story got told on the Harmonix stream yesterday, though. Still a shame about the book, of course, but that story will live forever.

I couldn't help but laugh and feel embarrassed, especially since people who don't know the story heard "bacon really wanted his autograph." That stream more than anything gave me the kick in the boot to write my own end of things. Thanks Marino.

Posted by TruthTellah

@marino said:

@truthtellah: I've been through my share of tragedies. There is no truly "getting back to normal," but reading the outpouring of emotion from everyone definitely helps.

Yeah, same here. To me, it really just helps you process it a bit better. It's a hard thing to wrap your head around, and the shared expression of others helps solidify what is often so jumbled in a time like this.

Online
Posted by BD_Mr_Bubbles

Thanks for posting this.

Posted by Apollo87

Really liked your write-up, the photobomb is amazing.

Thanks!

Posted by Hishighness

I was interested to read that HE was the one that suggested the picture, but it doesn't surprise me. He was a great man, I wish I could be 1 millionth of what he was.

Edited by Fobwashed

All anecdotal stories about people meeting Ryan Davis reaffirm how inexplicably awesome he was. Thanks for sharing =)

Posted by Bakumatsu

Thank you for sharing this Marino.

Posted by Gamer_152

Beautiful write-up Marino. Thanks for sharing.

Moderator
Edited by Generic_username

"Ryan Davis once told me I was a hero. No, sir. You were the hero."

I teared up again at this. Even having never met him, it's still a hard thing to come to terms with.