Ryan Davis.

In the grand scheme of things, I jumped on the Giant Bomb train fairly late. It wasn't until early 2010 that Giant Bomb became anything more than "That website made by the guy that GameSpot fired." What happened was that I was talking, over an instant messenger, about Jackie Chan Adventures, the Jackie Chan cartoon show. And, naturally, this friend of mine (who had been following the guys since the GameSpot days) linked me to the Jackie Chan in Fists of Fire Quick Look.

I couldn't believe it. What kind of website made videos that "long" (though, in retrospect, it's only about 19 minutes long, which is short by modern Quick Look standards) about insane games like that, and with genuinely great dialog over it? And as I delved deeper into everything that Giant Bomb, I slowly, but surely got hooked. But it wasn't until the Quick Look for Wipeout: The Game that I was really hooked. And this was due, in no small part, to the recently departed Ryan Davis.

At this point everyone has said what a great guy Ryan is, but I never met him. I never went to PAX, E3, or any other event where he could have been. The only time Ryan ever acknowledged my existence was when I commented on an I Love Mondays video. It was this one, actually. I made a comment about how George Washington wasn't a Democrat, and that he didn't sound like a woman (as he does in the video, which you may want to watch now if you never did, for context). Ryan responded by agreeing about the Democrat bit, but that we have no way of knowing how George Washington sounded.

So I won't just repeat what everyone else has said about what a great guy he was, er, is. I don't want to make this religious, but there had better be some sort of afterlife where Ryan gets to play Saints Row IV, because damn, aside from the fact that he is dead, the idea of him never playing that game sounds like one of the worst things imaginable.

I dunno. Maybe I sound like a crazy person for saying that.

Anyway, the point I was trying to get to is how Giant Bomb went from being something I barely knew anything about to being one of the mainstays in how I spent my free time. I was in college back in 2010, and I usually left my video game stuff at home to keep me occupied when school was out. As such, I spent more and more time watching Giant Bomb videos, and talking about goofy stuff on the forums. Listening to the Bombcast, watching TNT every week. Watching EVERY Quick Look, no matter how uninterested in the game I was.

Granted, none of this is SOLELY because of Ryan Davis, but he was kind of the most, to use a bad pun, bombastic of the group. I didn't watch either of the Deadly Premonition Endurance Runs when they first aired because a friend and I (same one from the Jackie Chan conversation) were trying to play through it ourselves. But once we eventually got through it, I had to go through and watch them. And to decide which one to watch first, I watched the last episode to see who was the most "into it," and it felt like it was Ryan.

The enthusiasm that Ryan had when he really liked something was...Well, I don't have to explain it. If you're this deep into a blog about him written by me of all people, then you already know.

But I was devastated when I saw that Ryan had passed way. Aside from the occasional absences, Ryan had been in something that I had watched or listened to for every week of my life for the last three years. And now he's gone. I wish I had the artistic skills to make some sort of rad tribute art, or the video editing skills to make a slick tribute video, but I don't.

All I have is the respect and love for a man that I never met, but I wish more than almost anything else that I had, if only just for a minute. And I should say, a man I had so much admiration for that I have remembered that one comment he made to me on that stupid video. I don't even remember anything else from that week of Giant Bomb content, just that one moment where Ryan thought something I said was worth responding to.

Rest in peace, Ryan Davis. You're a hero of mine for living your life the way you wanted to, and for finding a way to do what you love for a living.

Bye Ryan.

3 Comments
3 Comments
Posted by CJduke

You aren't a crazy person for feeling sad about him not getting to play Saint's Row IV. All I kept thinking about was how he was never going to get to play it or Disney Infinity or try out the new consoles. Obviously video games are the least important thing in the world when it comes to someone passing away, but damn did I really want to hear his reactions to those games and the new consoles. He would have been so excited and it would have been great.

It does feel really weird getting so sad and upset over the passing of someone I've never met, but hell like you said we listened to this guy all the time. I probably heard his voice or saw him on the computer about 5 days a week every single week for the last 4 years. At this point it strangely feels like I did know him in some way. It sucks because Giantbomb is never going to be as crazy or as happy as it was without him on each podcast and video.

Anyway, the only way I made myself feel better about the whole thing is that I know he went out on top. He just got married, just saw an insane E3, and he helped build an amazing website where he got to play video games for a living. I'm sure it would have been hard to find anyone happier than he was with their life. Thanks for writing this Brett. RIP Ryan

Posted by MooseyMcMan

@cjduke: Maybe a reply on a blog isn't the best place to say something like this this, but I'm really glad I have guys like you and Larry that I can talk with about this stuff. I mean, having some form of...release that isn't just commenting with thousands of other people on an article on the front page can be the thing that keeps me from a complete breakdown when I remember all the other awful stuff going on.

Thanks. If/when I get a new TV I need to have you and Larry over and we'll have some sort of stupid mini-party where we play dumb old games.

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Posted by CJduke

@mooseymcman: That sounds good. We will have to play some games in honor of Ryan